Round 2 and the Cancer Buck

As we prepare for Thanksgiving time with family, it really makes me think of how grateful I am to have so much support from all of you. I am truly blessed.

I'm feeling good this week, and it seems like each 3-week round will follow a similar pattern: week 1 is pretty nasty, week 2 gets better every day, and week 3 is "normal". That means that I am feeling good or close to good a little more than half of the time - hey I can't complain about that!

The round 2 infusion was November 9 and it probably did hit me a little harder than the first time around. From a psychological standpoint, it was easier to stay away from cold liquids etc, but it started wearing on me in different ways. My appetite started to change that first week to the point where only certain things sounded good. For example, one day I went to the fridge (chock full of food) and started gagging upon opening the door... so I went and got a slice of pizza at Caseys. Certain smells are starting to make me gag/queasy as I think my mind is associating them with the chemo infusions. It's fascinating if not a little annoying. 

From a physiological perspective, my cold sensitivity was worse, which is no surprise in part due to the colder temps - the biggest thing is tingling and numbness in my fingers, at first it was all day but, like most other effects, it wore off a little bit each day. I also noticed that the nausea was a little more pronounced this time around. 

Despite my cold sensitivity, the weather allowed me to get out in the timber and bowhunt the weekend after my treatment. Yes the cold still bothered my fingers and I didn't feel 100%, but I knew the window for me to sit in the treestand was getting shorter by the day. This year's bow season had much more meaning than the typical year. I had the opportunity to watch a nice buck the week before bed down about 60 yds from my stand, and it was just him and I watching the sunset and being in peace with God and the beautiful world around us. It was a great moment. Because we shared that moment I decided to pass on him, not knowing if I'd get another opportunity this year.

I got to the stand shortly after 6:00 am on November 14 and it was still very dark. As the pre-sunrise colors started to warm the sky I began to feel like this would be a good hunt. There had been a lot of rut activity in the past few days so I was optimistic I'd see deer. Shortly after full sunrise I noticed two does in a field behind me. I had forgotten my binoculars at home so I couldn't really scan through the trees to see what else was in the field. I decided to try to rattle and see if there were any bucks around. 

One of the does snuck out to the side but the other came my direction, followed by a little basket-racked buck. Shortly behind him was a decent 8 pointer. Following the two bucks was a definite "shooter", but I couldn't get a good look without my binoculars, and he was closing in on my stand area quickly.

Yes, this buck will forever be known as the "Cancer Buck." 

12 Comments on “Round 2 and the Cancer Buck

  1. It was good to read your blog Ryan and see how you are focusing on the good God continues to bring into your life along with the challenging. Keep looking up because I truly know He’s keeping his eye on you and holding you in the palm of His hand. May Thanksgiving bring you and Chrissy more and special blessings you’ve not realized before. Sorry we won’t get to see you but remember you’re still much in our prayers. Love ya, Karen

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Ryan!
    What a great moment you, nature, gods presence, and your “cancer buck” you had.
    Thanks for sharing!
    I believe your strength, and positive out look fighting cancer along with your faith will beat this!
    Much love and prayers your way!!
    Jeremy & Angela Peters

  3. Nice looking buck…..I know you cheered the Hawkeyes on to victory yesterday in Lincoln! You are inspiring to the heart to see you get up everyday and kick ass!!

    ✌WISCH

  4. we are a little late to the party…thanks to Aunt Jayne for telling me how to get updates. So proud of your great attitude and may God continue to keep you safe…
    love you guys to the moon and back

  5. Bristle!!!

    Hey Partner – good to see that you were able to get out and enjoy bow season – nice Buck!!
    Know that many of us in Peoria are pulling for you buddy! Not a doubt in anyone’s mind that you’ll handle this next chapter just fine!

    All the best and Merry Christmas!!
    Curt Pavelka

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