Life was altered 3 years ago when I received the diagnosis of breast cancer. After allowing myself just a very small amount of time to feel sorry for myself, I attacked the cancer with everything I could. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy, and came home 24 hours later with tubes and drains still in place. I make a terrible patient, so I focused on not being a patient, but getting back to normal.
The first salmon fishing after my mastectomy, was just a mere 3 weeks after the surgery. Fishing has always been important to me, so I was concerned that I would not be able to handle a fish on my rod. I took it easy at first, especially since all of my Doctor’s had told me NOT to fish at all. Obviously, I don’t always listen to Doctor’s advise either! It did not take long for my competitive side to take over, and soon I had a salmon on the line.
The first thought through my head was “I CAN DO IT”! I fought that fish and enjoyed every second doing so. Life was starting to seem normal again. My daughter Shannon helped me land the fish, but then we had a problem. I couldn’t lift the fish for any pictures. She helped me improvise by placing the salmon on a rock, so all I would have to do is balance it. “I CAN DO IT”. That was the first of many salmon that weekend.
My grandchildren have been fishing since they could walk, and salmon fishing is a big part of their lives also. My granddaughter Sarah and I fished a lot of the stream together, helping each other along the way. She would hook and fight a fish, then I would help her land it, and of course take pictures. She in turn would help me land my fish.
Lots of fish were caught, good memories made, family values instilled in our grandchildren, and of course a big hurdle in my recovery was overcame. As long as I am able I will continue to fish with my family and enjoy our time together. As always “Live the Life you Love, Love the life you live”.
Photo Credit: Diane Hassinger
Quote: Bob Marley
From the archives of Huntingmotherearth.com http://huntingmotherearth.com/2012/04/21/my-first-salmon-following-the-breast-cancer-mastectomy/salmon-2009-3/