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Bucket List Update - Hunting

flatlander's picture
flatlander
Posts: 46
Joined: Dec 2011

I had partial nephrectomy December and its still not healed, due to leaking kidney and hospital aquired MRSA. Long story, but second opinion at Mass Gen. says **** happens but my case is extreme. Yadda, Yadda ....tumor had doubled in size in a couple months, Yadda... Spared kidney anyways. Thus I have been wearing a wound vac for weeks etc.

That said, I thought of many things I wanted to try while in and Out of the hospital. Tops on the list was take the required hunter safety class and go hunting. Buying a shotgun alone is healing. Standing on your back porch with a cath bag dragging in the snow, shooting ice blocks was a great New Years Eve. Anyways, today I went turkey hunting with a friend from college. It was the last legal day for shooting wild turkeys this spring. Due to the early start to the warm spring, the turkey breeding season began and ended weeks early. The birds stopped responding to turkey calls two weeks ago as they had already 'henned up'. At that time I had taken a break from the sport to heal after another surgical procedure. Regardless of this early downturn, I was better and it was our last chance, so we hoped to stumble upon the one male still looking for a date.

Starting before the sun we saw several deer and watched the morning dew burn off the fields of hay. We tried sitting and swatting mosquitos and we tried walking the edge of farm lands. We didnt see any turkeys in an area that had been alive with rowdy males only weeks earlier. I was left only with the memory of the Jake I let walk away on opening day.

At noontime it was seasons end and we drank a can of beer in a field for old time sake. Empty handed but richer from the experience we headed home. We had accomplished something only talked about in years past. We did something I dreampt of in my hospital room day after day this Winter. We got out there and had a go of it. I think its a kind of metaphor for life; get out there and have a go of it. Its a hell of a view, but a very short ride.

I almost didnt go at all today truth be told. Another firefighter, a year younger than me died yesterday a few towns from my department. We were both told of our cancer in November. His was a more aggressive endocrine based ca. Anyways, it shakes me to the core. Its sad and its like buying a red car. All you see is other red cars and it can make you crazy.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1452
Joined: Jan 2010

Flatlander,

I am not sure as survivors that we should be into hunting at all. Remember the scene from My Cousin Vinney where the little deer wets its lips by the pond and than BAM?

Anyway I got my fiest deer in the year following surgery and my second deer 9 years later, about a month ago. Not good for the car bumper.

Icemantoo

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

flatlander,

Good to hear from you, been wondering how you were doing.

I said it before and I'll say it again, YOU ARE ONE TUFF S.O.B. Your story demonstrates what firefighters are made of, while most would be down and out feeling sorry for themselves you continue to play the hand you were dealt and live life as full as possible. I hope and pray that things get better for you soon.

Hang in there,

Gary

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