The Return of the Elusive Mountain Man!

Welcome Back! It’s been months!

We’ve been so busy with LIFE!!  and living it that we have neglected our website. But for those of you who visit for inspiration or education or just for curiousity, I wanted to update you on Chris progress and the pages we’ve turned in our lives. Since I last wrote, Chris hit his one year in remission!, his 1 1/2 year in remission!!, we’ve climbed and conquered Mt. Whitney, 14,505ft up! (the highest peak in the 48 contiguous US states), we’ve had our official and joyous wedding reception in NH with 120 guests and we’ve moved from San Diego to Rhode Island!

9-8-12:  Mr. & Mrs. Smyczek Lyme, NH

Mr. & Mrs. Smyczek
Lyme, NH

Yes, we have been very very busy.

Like I said, Chris is healthy! He is only taking baby aspirin 1x/day as a blood thinner to prevent future blood clots. No other meds. He sees his Oncologist, Dr. X, every 3 months for a MRI-most recently adding a PET scan of his whole body, in which both came back clean! It was scary leaving her, Dr. X, behind in San Diego after putting all our well-deserved trust in her, but the plan is to keep her as a “consulting doctor” while he remains healthy. Basically, he will have a new PCP in RI and in March he will get another MRI. We will bring the results all the way to CA for a visit with his oncologist and if everything looks good, it will be another 6 months before the next MRI. We’re also looking at some highly recommended oncologists here in RI/MA (just as a precaution).

When Chris left CA in November, he was working a 40hr plus work week, with no difficulty at all. He found a full time job that requires standing all day, so his feet get tired and achy (as would anyones), but any work, that also offers paid health insurance I might add- is great.

So we’ve started climbing mountains again. Like I said earlier- we started in August with a big one, the biggest one- Mt. Whitney. 14, 405ft high- 21 miles RT! I felt better on the top then down at 8,000 ft. Chris had a little bit of a struggle breathing, but remember he only has 1 1/2 lungs ( the pulmonary embolisms have seemed to cause some damage to his lungs).

14,505 ft. (CA)

August 2012: 14,505 ft.  Mt. Whitney (CA)

Since we are living on the East Coast now, our mountains are much much smaller. In fact, our goal is to complete the 4000 club- climbing the 48 highest peaks in the White Mountains of NH- which all happen to be 4,000 ft high. We started with the smallest, Mt. Tecumseh- a 4,003 ft mountain right next to Waterville Valley. It was only 5 miles round trip and the breathing/altitude obviously wasn’t an issue, but the elevation gain in such a short distance created a very steep climb, in 5 inches of fresh snow (with a good base) on snow shoes! It was tough for us coming from such warm hikes, but boy was it beautiful.

Up we go.  Waterville Valley NH

Up we go. Waterville Valley NH


AMC 4000 Club. Peak 1 of 48 bagged 12/29/12. Mt. Tecumseh, 4003 ft.

Chris and I are both working 5-6 days a week, so I’m not sure when the next peak attempt will occur, probably in January sometime. It will either be Mt. Pierce or Mt. Cabot. We are leaving the hard ones (Mt. Washington) for the spring/summer when the snow has melted.

Happy New Year everyone! We’re hoping 2013 was a wonderful as 2012!

On January 28th, Chris will be 43 years young. Make sure you wish him a happy one!

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4 Responses to The Return of the Elusive Mountain Man!

  1. Karen Smyczek says:

    You make me tired just reading all your activities! It’s so good to hear all the happy events that have transformed your lives, expecting it to be all uphill from here! Love, Mom and Dad

  2. Jeremy Smyczek says:

    Talk about elusive–fled all the way across the country without being seen.

  3. Howard Mahoney says:

    Congrats Smeech. Don’t understand the snow thing, but hey that’s your gig not mine. Glad your doing well these days. Have to find time to visit you in Rhode Island. – Howard

  4. Claudia says:

    Such a joyous update!

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