ZM, Cancer, and the end of a Dream


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Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 24, 2012 - 08:30pm PT
Ian, Must have been hard to make that decision but seems the right call. My best wishes for your recovery and your subsequent send!

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jun 24, 2012 - 09:15pm PT
Dreams add sparkle to life and purpose to our play. Chasing that dream over the last year probably added some sparkle to your life. Keep dreaming even if it seems further away if not impossible today. Find other dreams, too.

I am rooting for you to have as much fun as is humanly possible.

Social climber
Jun 24, 2012 - 09:26pm PT
Hey Ian,

Obviously tough to write and hard to read. My thoughts are with you. In the grand scheme climbing aint no thing. Toughing this sh#t out is, for however long the nasty stuff lasts.

You know that already. It aint as much fun as being on elcap for sure but it is an amazing and painful journey of discovery. If the time comes and you get a chance to get back on elcap I'd be happy help make it happen in any way possible.

I had a good reminder this week from "the gift that keeps on giving", it really isn't how much power we put out short term but how much endurance we have in the end.

I know that midstream HOPE can be really hard to come by. Let your friends, family and medical staff help when you are finding it hard to come up with any. You have more climbing yet to do Bro. And you have the power and endurance to see this through.


Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Jun 24, 2012 - 09:29pm PT
Best wishes for a rebound and return, Ian.
Captain...or Skully

Jun 24, 2012 - 09:54pm PT
You've got the Heart, and that's the biggest thing in Life, AFAIC.
Dreams are dreams. They'll always be. You be too, ok?

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 24, 2012 - 10:02pm PT
Ian, there is a saying "one loves ones desires, not what is desired". No matter how many times you climb El Cap, or other walls, and no matter how many times you get off the top and say "never again", the desire to return always seems to come back. You are lucky that you've already had an El Cap experience - most people can't say that.

Your wall now is the cancer - get on it and SEND!

My thoughts and energy are with you.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jun 24, 2012 - 11:45pm PT
Sorry to hear the turn of events. Ovarian cancer survivor here. I recall all too vividly those dark days of the feeling of letting people down. I know we didn't but it still is there. Keep your strength up for the really big wall facing you.

Thinking of you,

Big Wall climber
Jun 24, 2012 - 11:49pm PT
ian, my thoughts are with you tonight. i'm glad you found a lot of friends and support here on the taco. el cap can wait for now. just try and get better. steve
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jun 25, 2012 - 12:47am PT
That really does suck brother.

I was hoping you would still somehow pull it off although from your symptoms I was pretty worried about you.
Don't know you at all but you are a kindred spirit and therefore a brother.

I'm very sorry and please know you are an inspiration and the exact opposite of a disappointment.

I'm a nurse also and if you need anything please write.

Keep fighting and keep the dream alive in your heart.


Trad climber
Jun 25, 2012 - 08:08am PT
We're here for you, Ian. . . keepin' your magic alive!



Trad climber
East Coast US
Jun 25, 2012 - 09:08am PT
I find myself prone to lightheadedness and short dizzy spells, which is probably not the best thing to have in the middle of a hook lead.

Seems like a benefit while on A4 hooks ;)

But truly, hang in there and don't give up hope. Fight out of this current nadir and find your next window of opportunity. Then... get after it. Best wishes from the east coast.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 25, 2012 - 09:20am PT
Sometimes amazing cures happen. I had a friend with acute leukemia - white cell count 5 times higher than "normal" leukemia, total liver and kidney failure, and he still pulled through all that - 12 years ago. He had good doctors, but most importantly an indomitable spirit. You want to get through the cancer to climb but maybe you climbed so that eventually you could survive even cancer. My friend rode a motorcycle across the Sahara desert among other things, and he said that experience helped him get through the leukemia.

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Jun 25, 2012 - 10:39am PT

Wishing you the best over the next few months and never give up on the dream. Perhaps when you are better we can pull together and get you up the big rock one more time.

Attitude is everything Ian you know that. You can win this but you have to believe you're the one going to win.

Dream BIG live BIG.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev.
Jun 25, 2012 - 10:52am PT
sending spirits your way Ian. Climbing in the mind can not be squelched. Relay on that till the battles are WON!

Jun 25, 2012 - 11:55am PT
I've only read your posts but your situation has really touched me and I can only send you many many positive thoughts from France and tell you to hang in there, give it everything and I hope you get the best best luck you deserve to get back on the rock. Bon courage

Social climber
Jun 25, 2012 - 12:49pm PT
"maybe you climbed so that eventually you could survive even cancer"

well said.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jun 25, 2012 - 02:54pm PT
"maybe you climbed so that eventually you could survive even cancer"

I so believe that was my case. During treatment I pulled on so many climbing metaphors. You can do this Ian. Live your life well no matter what is thrown your way.


Big Wall climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 25, 2012 - 06:18pm PT
Good luck to you - you are inspiring.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jun 25, 2012 - 10:14pm PT
Climbers Rise Above Cancer. Even when we feel like we fail to red-point, let alone on-site, we WILL try again. That is the difference between a soul who collapses and a soul who soars.

Paul, Disaster Master, had posted this on one of my cancer threads. Says a lot.

Keep soaring in spite of all the crap being thrown your way.


Trad climber
Jun 26, 2012 - 05:11am PT
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