Monday Morning Sidewalk

| November 23, 2015

blue river trout fly fishing health cancer recovery texas skiff #flyfishing

I have a report directly from Barry Shrader that came in yesterday, and it is quite surprising, almost shocking, in how good the trout fly fishing is right now on the Blue River outside Tishomingo, Oklahoma. That will be a premium story coming out tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, the weather here in North Texas has no intent of cooperating for this Black Friday, but then that’s why we spend all that money on layering Simms, Simms waders, boots, socks, Under Armour long johns … you get the picture! Somebody needs to bundle it all up and get out to make our Black Friday, or else I will be forced into action. If you do go – SEND PICTURES TO ME any way you want – text, email or whatever way you want, and I will run them here on next week’s Monday Morning Sidewalk!

Looking back over the last few weeks of “recovery,” I realize there wasn’t a lot I could do while the daily physical beating (I received) continued long after the treatments were done. That has been a very big surprise.

Certainly, my case was not one of, “Okay, that’s done! Now let’s get back to business as usual!” I would say as I crossed that two week line, (that is two weeks away from my last treatment) I could tell I was being given back a bit of that energy that was down very near zero tigers in my tank. 

Swallowing, on a schedule, and small hurdles of swallowing something – water, starts to give me more strength. There’s also (come to find out) some physical therapy that goes with this particular cancer. I am having to re-establish being able to actually open my pie hole to its original diameter- three fingers. Had I known that in advance, I would’ve definitely started a long time ago. Now, it’s actually painful to get past two digits. I imagine the haters will rejoice about that malady.

The battle to maintain weight has also taken the turn, as I can say with confidence that the bottom of that hole turned out to be 136 pounds. I wasn’t smart enough about the process to know I should’ve held onto the 173 pounds I had when I was first diagnosed with cancer. I never needed to weigh 173 to begin with, and I hope never to be back at that weight, but now the epic effort – to gain muscle weight and leave behind fat weight – begins.

I am scheduled for one more surgery in early December, to get rid of these lymph nodes that were polluted by cancer. The doctor made a good case (as I had and still have my doubts) for this cancer coup de grâce – a day surgery (in-and-out) less known for the surgery than the lifetime side effect – lymphedema. The upside (for greater than 90-percent) is the complete elimination of this cancer (only last week positively identified as from HPV).

I figure now that I am on the upswing, maybe it’s time to ramp the fly writing back up as well. We’re at kind of a low point in the Statewide Texas fly fishing scene, beyond the low point for my photography business, and I’m thinking a healthy recovery makes for a much better story (more helpful to others out there I hope as well). Regardless, it’s pointless to have tried to write about “Going and Doing” when I was completely unable to do so either. Now, at least I can imagine being able to go and do, and it excites me to the point of increasing my pulse. I can also muster the strength to punch this keyboard for more than a copy-and-paste. I hear you saying, heaven help us all!

As you know, we’ve never been just about fly fishing here at Texas Fly Caster. No, first we lived the credo “Fly Fishing Culture on the Skids,” which for many of the last eight years included a heaping helping of fly fishing, a dynamic dose of music and a fairly regular sampling of the beer scene. Did you know that these recent beer mergers (the huge companies) are because the micros have swiped about 20-percent of the foam away from the big brewers? We are truly headed to a new golden age of beer.

Now, as we evolve, some would say age, you’ll be witnessing a move toward more health oriented menu … more longevity to our pursuits through more frequent articles on the “MIND BODY SOUL” of a fly fisher. It’s such a broad topic though, you never know what I’ll fit in there. I feel a deep obligation to any reader, especially fly fishing readers, who may be dealing with, worried about, caregivers — to answer any questions and interlace any insights that could help them through a cancer diagnosis. I don’t know everything, not even close, but I feel like being open about all this could provide someone a different perspective on this widespread, heinous disease. The days of whispering the word are long gone.

One thing that will be unchanged is our continuous search for great new music that meshes well with fly fishing. It’s certainly one of the most subjective topics I choose to discuss, although I get very little feedback or disagreement about the music I choose to lump into the “Fly Fishing Music” category. And right now the new music I am spinning happens to go a long way toward uplifting my spirits and keeping me distracted from all the downtime during recovery. (It also leads me into thinking about how I am going to rigging the skiff for sound.)

And as we evolve, you will be finding a whole lot more about the new opportunities to fly fish off a classic technical poling skiff in not so classic locations. Much of the technical knowledge, that goes with having a saltwater boat rigged for freshwater, will be spun off into a new site coming this spring. I’ve already had questions from fly fishers all over the USA about how this boat works for a completely different purpose than it was created for, so I think the new site could actually go into excruciating detail (as I seem to always do) on the how this skiff works, how to rig it, and all the pros and cons of a fairly radical idea.

As we ramp up the fly fishing skiff adventure, you can bet I will be ramping down the kayak fly fishing. However I can’t imagine a time that I would NOT have a kayak to go to … but the evolution to a skiff just seems natural and timely in a lot of ways. 

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Category: Body-Mind-Soul, Clothing, Fishing Reports, Flats Boats, Fly Fishing for Trout, kayaking, Life Observed, OFF TOPIC, Oklahoma Report, Technical Poling Skiffs

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