Hello from Everest Base Camp again! We’re here a little longer. Today was supposed to be the day we move on up the mountain, but an ice break in the glacier has us here. That’s okay. It gives opportunity for us to get even stronger. There is strength in being able to wait well! That’s a Perfect Day concept!

With half my team sick with coughs or headaches or sore throats, the words: STAY WELL truly resonate with me. It was the advice several seasoned climbers offered to me prior to coming to the Himalayas. There really are opportunities you can take to stay strong and well.

Am I cold? Yes. Am I tired from lack of sleep due to the high altitude? Yes, but am I sick? NO. 

“Stay well,” they say to me. So daily, hourly, I wash my hands, stay further away from those I want to hangout with, stay elevated while sleeping, cover mouth and nose with a buff during all outside activities despite it making it that much harder to breath, eat well, hydrate. So basically, I’m doing all I can toward self care.

If I get sick, this gig gets a whole lot harder—same with a negative diagnosis from your doctor in everyday life, right? Think about it. You are the one who takes care of yourself. Do what you can to “stay well” and live life to its fullest.

So, yes, this is when I re-echo to all of you who are climbing your own summits right where you are; take the Health Pledge. Don’t put it off.

A stage 3 diagnosis is a much tougher climb than a stage 0 or 1. Schedule that mammogram you missed last year! Get a colonoscopy. Get a skin check before summer gets into full swing.

For now, I’ve been on/at every training event, climb, hike, rappel because I have been well. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to be my best when my team begins to head higher. What can you do to become healthier or to stay healthy? You probably know the answer.

Reality can and does hit us hard. Do you want to miss or not be your best at your daughter’s wedding due to a harsher chemo regime? The same can happen with merger negotiations — all because you’re not well enough. Or maybe you never chose to take the time to build a strong enough team to negotiate for you because you haven’t been well enough to dedicate the time.

Each one of these are real scenarios that I have witnessed. But you can avoid your ER moment by taking the health pledge and deciding to no longer roll the dice saying: “It won’t happen to me.”

Cancer isn’t contagious, but it’s also not discriminatory. It’s very fast and very strong. If something doesn’t feel quite right, tell your doctor—be persistent. There are special cancers that can be tracked quickly and beat! I’m climbing to raise awareness for cancer prevention. Will you climb with me? Take the first step toward health!

Remember, if I can make it to #everestbasecamp in support of @hollingscancercenter and the fight against cancer, you can take the health pledge! Visit my personal Everyday Everest website to learn more. PLEASE consider donating to this life-giving effort! 

You can track my climb to the top of Mt. Everest! You will notice on www.share.garmin.com my name is Helen Cox! Thanks for giving! I’ll keep you updated as we push on to the top of Mt. Everest.