Rocky Mountain High

Sort of a weird day today: I’ve been invited to embark on a weekend ski vacation by Ken, one of my oldest friends and the best man at my wedding. I’ll be in Denver starting tomorrow with just a handful of my friends with whom I play Omaha Poker, trying to stay upright on skis for at least part of the 3 full days we’re there. I haven’t been on skis in about 9 years, and I’ve never been on any slope west of WVA, so this will be interesting. Helmets will be required for Young Eric.

The excitement of the impending adventure is tempered by the crappy non-stop rain we’ve had here for the last 2 days and the news that my cousin Dave succumbed to his pancreatic cancer this morning. Based on what I know from my aunt, his life was a bit difficult, having to seemingly always travel from Florida to see his daughter in Iowa, separated by divorce I think. I’m of the opinion that he’s in a better place now, and am content knowing his struggles here are done. Rest in peace, Dave… I love you, man.

On a more personal note, I’m still contending with the effects of the more aggressive chemo dosage, with the first stages of neuropathy settling into my fingers and tongue consistently now. It’s also playing havoc with my digestive system, my tummy feels like I ate shellfish that I probably shouldn’t have, if you get my drift. I don’t get hunger pangs or feelings of fullness, like my stomach is numb. I haven’t been skipping meals however, and continue to eat regularly, though I’ve just tipped the scales at under 200 pounds yesterday, which I’m sort of thrilled about even though I know I’m going to catch hell from my oncologist… I haven’t been at this weight since the Clinton administration. I’ve had to buy new jeans that fit me better and – since I’ve started to take up leather working as (yet) another hobby – I’ve made a better-fitting belt as well. So that’s sort of a positive side effect: weight loss thru aggressive chemotherapy! Eat whatever you want, assuming you’re not nauseous! Take some Imodium and enjoy the slimmer, new you! Buy new clothes and make leather-based accessories, if you’re handy!

OK enough of that, it’s silly. If you need me I’ll be on the slopes, or in the lodge, enjoying the mountains and recharging. Stay strong!

13 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain High”

  1. Eric, so sorry to hear that Dave passed away. He is at peace now. Enjoy your ski outing – sounds fun. How wonderful for you to connect with old friends and enjoy the warmth of their friendship again. Cold slopes, but warm hearts.

  2. So sorry to hear about your cousin — I’m glad that he is out of pain and in a better place. Have a great time on the slopes — hope you have great conditions.


  3. Eric, condolences about your cousin. Sorry to hear that…..

    I am happy that you are going off and will be enjoying some R&R with good friends! As hard as you have worked to maintain a good balance in your life right now, you deserve to enjoy this ‘time off’ , so go have fun with your bud’ s!! And, come back all reinvigorated!

  4. Next time you come out to the Rocky Mountains give me a bit of notice so I can join you on the slopes. Have a great time, breathe that clean mountain air and drink an expensive Colorado boutique beer!!!

  5. Eric
    Sorry to hear about your cousin Dave.
    Enjoy your time with Ken and friends. Don’t use trees as a means to stop or slow down. Your support group will be thinking of you while you test your skiing abilities! Is it like riding a bike? Probably not! Have fun. Thanks to Ken for his friendship and generosity.

  6. I am so sorry to hear of your cousin’s passing, although I’m sure it is reassuring knowing he is in a better place. I hope you enjoy your weekend skiing! You definitely earned some vacation time. I hope the “bad shellfish” effect doesn’t wreak havoc on your plans. Safe travels and have fun!

  7. Have a great time in CO! I had not been on skis in almost 20 years when I went in Canaan this past winter, and I was able to stay up. Although, age definitely made a difference. :0 Just have fun, don’t push yourself, and enjoy your time with friends.

  8. I second Kelly, have fun, don’t push yourself and breathe in that mountain air and let all of your senses be revitalized! I know you will appreciate every moment of it. And ya better wear that helmet! I love you and I am so excited for this trip. Give Ken a hug (and a smack on the head, cause, you know) and we will be thinking about you. Love ya E!

  9. Hey Shooter, thanks for the update. Very sorry to hear about your cousin. Ride that bad shellfish wave all the way to shore baby ! Have fun on the slopes, wish I could be there too (though I’m not sure I’d survive…) Much love,


  10. Eric…….
    Great thanks to your friend Ken & other buddies for coming up with this great skiing adventure. It sounds like a wonderful healing time in these beautiful Colorado mountains.

    Love you!
    Millie and Bob

  11. it is one of the most beautiful places on earth… and will bring you even closer to God, as only nature in it’s most magnificent can. 🙂 Enjoy breathing in the fresh mountain air! Fun/active = therapeutic. Thinking about you all!

  12. E,

    Have a great time in CO. Matt and I were there over the summer and it’s awesome. Make sure you drink plenty of good beer too.

    Stay strong, man. I’m thinking of you!

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