Have you ever climbed a mountain?
I have! Last weekend I was tricked into climbing a mountain and let me tell you, that shit is hard!
My boyfriend and I thought it would be fun to go hiking with some of his friends – this was our first mistake. They picked a more difficult trail and we were naive enough to jump on board. From the get go we were doomed.
Our first mistake was taking the wrong trail and only realizing it once we were half way around the mountain, instead of half way up it. So, we found a secret side “trail” to take up. This trail was unmarked; filled with fallen branches and snow. We began bushwhacking our way up the ascent. It was 700m up to the top of the mountain and we had to work our asses off for every single one of those meters.
There were areas with heavy tree coverage and others with none at all, leaving us sweating one moment and freezing the next. Halfway up our group was already praying for it to end, and I had lost feeling in my legs. When we reached the top, we were met with incredible views and tempestuous winds. The way down was easier, but still riddled with challenges. After suffering through this grand adventure, I can look back and say two things.
- I climbed a mountain
- My MS I like a mountain climb
My MS is just like this mountain climb. Before I was diagnosed, I had no issues – no hints that anything was wrong … this is me before the mountain, naïve about what I had signed up for. When I was first diagnosed life seemed easy, this was me walking the trail around the mountain. There were some bumps in the road, some uneasy footing, but over all I rocked it. The start of climb was like my first relapse. Manageable, but harder. Climbing the mountain through the dead-fall and snow is like my MS journey over the last years. Some crazy hard moments (Lemtrada, hospitalizations and hard relapses), some easier times where the MS was controlled and I could take a break.
The top of this mountain is comparable to my journey with HSCT. I am currently coming over the crest of the mountain; I am on the ridge and the view will be amazing, but the winds are terrifying. There is no denying that HSCT treatment is going to suck. It’s going to feel like I’m being thrown from the precipice and am hurtling through the air. But, the journey down from it will make it all worthwhile. I will be able to say I have done it. I will have smoother sailing as I travel through life. There are no guarantees, but the possibility is why I am doing it.
Climbing a mountain was hard and terrifying. HSCT will be hard and terrifying, but the view and the journey afterward where I can say, “FUCK YES, I did it!” are going to make the whole thing worthwhile.