Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hunting Trip Plan Updates

Well, as I posted before, I am really looking forward to Brendan and I going on our annual hunting trip. It is the goal I have set for myself for when my cancer treatments are over (and hopefully successful). As usual, I set our trip to start a day or two before opening day for deer. Also as usual, I have been planning to go up to scout out the new area in which we will hunt. So far there have been a couple of bugs that have gummed up the works just a bit but the basic plan is still on for the hunt.

Since my first round of chemo knocked me on my ass for the last 9 days, I did not get a chance to drive upstate last weekend, or this one, to reconnoiter the hunting grounds. I have one more weekend before they give me another dose of that evil yet often life saving concoction and am hopeful I will be able to make the drive and get the lay of the land. As Brendan told me though, I do a good couple to a few scouting trips every year and we hardly ever even see a deer let alone bag one; so maybe we ought to just go, get out of the car, walk into the woods and shoot the first thing we see (yes he does mean the first deer we see). He may have something there but I still want to go take a look before we hunt there if for no other reason than it would do me a lot of good to get out and about for a day in the woods. If I am really lucky, he will come with me next Friday night or Saturday morning.

The other thing that has unexpectedly come into play is the timing of my chemo. All the docs were saying that I would be out of it for maybe a week or two after the treatments were over, well except for the head man who told me it would be an additional 4 weeks. I am thinking he may be the one who was right. With my last chemo session coming close to the tail end of treatment, my recuperation from it may take me longer than I expected. If that is the case, our trip may have to be delayed a week, which is not that big a deal except we will miss opening day. I think I should have ample time to recover from it but then again by the time of the last treatment I will also have received radiation therapy 5 days per week for 6 weeks, with one more week to go. whatever, I should have about 2 full weeks of recovery from all my treatments, and 3 weeks from my last chemo, before our hunt as it is currently scheduled. I am hopeful I will have the strength and determination to get it done. As I said though, if not, I can wait another week and go hunting the weekend after Thanksgiving. I guess time will tell. Shit, if he has to carry me into the woods and prop me up under a tree then so be it!

Now for the good news. We both got Deer Management Permits, also known as Doe Permits. They increase the odds of us putting meat on the table. We have one or two for the area where I hope to hunt, and another one for an area in upstate NY that is much closer to our home. If worst comes to worst, we will hunt there; it is good to have a back-up plan.

Hmm, I just had the thought that we have not been to the range in a long time. It would behoove us to go and get in a bit of practice and to make sure that the scope on the Marlin 336 is still spot on. With the way my neck feels from the radiation, it might be best for Brendan to do that himself although maybe I can go along for the ride. No great hurry on that one, it is not like it requires rocket science or anything to adjust the scope if it has been knocked out of alignment.

Other than those considerations, I guess I should stock up on the gear or supplies we may need for the trip. I am going to be very short on cash relly soon, heck I already am short. I just paid half of Brendan's college tuition by credit card and have not paid even half of that off and the other half of his tuition is coming due on October 1. Add to that the steadily building copay expenses for my cancer treatments and I can just about assure one bottle of doe piss may have to last the whole season! I may also have to wear the same leaky cold boots I have worn for the past several years. I had been ever so sure I was going to buy myself a nice new pair this year but think it may have to wait until after I pay the doctors off. Perhaps, I could sell a gun from my small collection, to help out with the hunting expenses but then I would probably hate myself for having done so - that is usually the way I feel after I part with one of my firearms. Oh well, old boots it likely will be for me, that surely is nothing out of the ordinary.

All the best,
Glenn B

The Things I Took For Granted

The Things I Took For Granted

The things I took for granted
are piled up quite high,

They reach far enough up
to block out the beauty of the sky.

They surround me on every side
so close yet now so far, I must give a sigh.

I saw each of them just about every day
Without realizing that in them treasures lie.

I daily passed them with nary a glance,
I had more important things to try.

Yet now, I cannot enjoy even the least of them
without illness, pain, and all my effort to try.

I embrace them, from this moment, as dearer to me
So much more precious to me until the day I die.

And should I be well again I make this sacred vow
To pay more attention to them, than I do to I.

You know, there are a lot of things I used to take for granted. Being able to swallow without pain, being able to walk up the stairs without feeling as if I had just run 10 miles (uphill), being able to go to work every day, being able to drive, having relatively normal blood pressure thanks to my meds instead of way to low BP thanks to other meds, that my heart was in relatively good condition, that I would probably live until I was in my late 70s at the least, my relative health, that I would wake up tomorrow, that I would soon retire fat and happy, that food smelled and tasted good, that my wife loves and cares for me, that my wife is a good woman, breathing without an effort, feeling relatively well even when I thought I felt miserable, feeling alive and well, not being depressed, that I would be around to shoot up all the ammo I have stashed away, that my son and I would go hunting together this fall, that my daughter would marry her sweetheart and I would be there to see it, that I would visit my mom at least once a week, friends and friendships, AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON AND ON. It was just way to easy to take all that stuff for granted but I don't anymore not now with the cancer and other developments with my health. Apparently the chemo, after only one 2 day treatment, may already have severely damaged my heart - as per my cardiologist. Heck, I even took the chemo for granted but now certainly cannot do that, not if it is going to cause heart damage but the jury is still out until further testing.

My health issues are not really my concerns in this post although my health issues brought that concern to light. Taking things for granted, a common human flaw or condition, that is my concern as it relates to me having done it. For now at least, I have stopped doing it as best I can. Sure, I guess I still expect the lights to go on when I flip the switch but now I am thankful that they do go on. A day or two ago, I actually caught myself thinking how wonderful it was that the lights went on when I flipped the switch, I thought to myself: "That is a good thing". I mean that most honestly - I had that thought over such a simple thing I used to take for granted. I have had a lot of thoughts like that lately, about things as wonderful as my wife being there for me to something as silly as the toilet flushing.

Now, I don't know if I can maintain not taking things for granted but will try if for no other reason than to let those who care about and for me know that I do not take them for granted but that I appreciate everything, every big or little thing, they have done for me. Along those lines I have my family, loved ones, close friends to thank but I also have others like you. You folks out there who have sent me well wishes and spirit lifting messages of hope yet, you do not even know me. To all of you, thank you ever so much, with all my heart.

All the best,
Glenn B