I have been thinking long and hard as to when I would take my first steps on the AT. I have chosen March 17, 2013. Now many of you are most likely saying “Wait…? What…? You want to leave on St. Patrick’s day? Why would you do that?” In all honesty it has nothing to do with St Patrick’s day at all. March 17 2013 marks a very special day for me personally. On this day 20 years prior I will have been told that I was cancer free. I can not think of a better way to celebrate than to take my first steps on the AT.
I have been trying to write this post for awhile now and some things are just hard to put into words. When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that causes cancerous white blood cells to rapidly replicate killing off all of the healthy white blood cells. Chemotherapy is used to kill the immune system and the white blood cells basically causing a reboot of the whole body. Some times if it gets to bad a bone marrow transplant is needed to completely flush out the system. I was very lucky and only had to have Chemo and never needed a bone marrow transplant.
It is really hard to look back at what I went through and put it into words to where someone who has not had cancer themselves of known someone who has. I suppose the best way to describe it is always feeling physically and mentally tired, painful, sad, angry, pissed off, and yes some times there were even happy moments.
I have two major topics I never talk about and that is politics and religion but going through such an experience at the age of 10 you very quickly come to terms with the fact that nothing is in your control. Some times its just easier to give all control to a higher power that allows you to rationalize that when its your time to go well its just your time to go.
With all that being said on March 17 2013 I will be heading off into the great unknown of hiking the AT and doing what I do best. Hike, Survive, Adapt, and overcome. I can not wait for the adventure to begin but at the same time the faster it gets here the quicker it ends. Anticipation of the adventure has turned into its own adventure.