[Oxford63] Saturday Dinner

Judith Whitcomb jwhitcomb at alaska.com
Fri May 2 11:52:09 MDT 2008

   I got back from Nepal Mon at 3AM, went to work at noon, came home and 
cleaned out 1976 viagara junk mails to open up my mailbox, and all of a 
sudden I looked around and couldn't find my body or my brain. My spirit 
found my ticket to Hartford and rejoiced. Then my brain flew in and 
peeled my body off the ceiling and said, " There is no way."  Pulling 
myself together, I think my brain is right. My spirit will be with you 
all on Sat night, but the rest of me will be in Alaska wishing I were 
   The trip to Nepal was the most difficult thing I have ever done 
physically, the most challenging and the most exhilarating. I  made it 
up to 17,400' when a high altitude headache set in and I realized this 
was a situation where descending was the only good solution- it was a 
good decision. I recovered quickly and the other two girls made it to 
the top of the 21,800' peak with the climbing sherpas the next day. I 
climbed my own Everest and am exquisitely happy.  I gave 200% of my 
energy every day and was babied by our staff of 19 sherpas (that is 
more than a ratio of 6/1) (13 porters, 1 fabulous sherpa cook, 3 
kitchen help and two amazing Nepali guides). I still can't believe I 
spent 3 weeks in the mountains where there are no roads or any 
motorized vehicle or machine, the only way to get from one place to 
another is on foot on a trail you often can't see with mountains 
shooting straight up on all sides and  roaring rivers  below. On the 
lower elevations the rhododendrons trees grow wild everywhere and have 
brilliant red flowers. On the higher elevations we had thunder snow 
storms which I thought were avalanches until I saw the lightning.
The people were incredible- open, warm, hardworking, smiling and 
enjoying a good song and dance. With my $3 stethoscope I diagnosed a 
left lower lobe pneumonia in one of our staff, gave him antibiotics and 
the next day he was carrying 120 lbs on his back through the snow with 
sneakers on and he got better.(Not the standard treatment.)
    Now I am back at work and see the same "one step at a time" 
determination in my post op patients where walking down the hall to the 
window takes as much effort as it took me to climb Zetwrla Pass. I hope 
I can be as supportive of them as my climbing sherpas were of me. We 
all have our own Everests. My heart goes out to Susan and Zach and the 
whole family . May this challenge be a healing time for everyone.
    I just had a long talk with Betty Barzilai who sends her greetings 
to the whole class of '63. We were trying to see if she could come over 
and be an honorary member of our class for the reunion but her husband 
Mimis has just been diagnosed with colon cancer metastatic to the liver 
and is just starting heavy chemotherapy. I will be staying closely in 
touch with her. I wish we could all be together to share our 
challenges, our heartaches and our joys. Our internet bond is very 
important to me. It is just that seeing each other and hugging each 
other is so renewing and powerful.
  Lelly, thank you for your wonderful effort pulling together the 
reunion dinner. I am sorry that I didn't let you know by May 1st that I 
can't make it. I pledge myself to helping organize the 50th so that it 
doesn't all fall on one person's shoulders.
   Lots of love to everyone-

On Apr 13, 2008, at 2:44 PM, LESLIE BARLOW wrote:

> The dinner is Sat. night.  Sorry Claudia that you'll be away...
> Lelly
> Leslie & Cotty_______________________________________________
> oxford63 mailing list
> oxford63 at cyber-community.com
> http://mailman.cybermesa.com/mailman/listinfo/oxford63
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