Seeing Through the Ice Louis Rhead Ice Fishing
Seeing Through the Ice Louis Rhead Ice Fishing is my meager attempt to assimilate the last two weeks of my life to fishing theme. Some who follow this blog know me and our families tribulations over the last decade. Weve had the rug pulled out from underneath us, but like before we will get up and move forward again. #itsmystorytotell
Ive always been inspired by my Son, who was born 8 weeks early and his journey to enter this life. 3 years later his 7 year battle and walk with his own rare disease, ITP, and its corresponding years of treatments. His strength he has shown to all, his smile, and perseverance nothing short of amazing. His strength through some of his toughest times never wavering, his infectious love of life and all gods creatures heart warming.
Watching, looking and reaching below, the ice fisherman uses a small hole as his gateway to a world below. The world that he is so familiar with at times, yet now seems so unfamiliar. His tools he is so familiar with at times can no longer be used in his pursuit, and he must change and adapt if he wants a shot at what is below.
Two weeks ago I went in to have a routine eye exam that I had been putting off for many years. Like most I hasten to admit or give in to life’s sometimes not so subtle changes to us, that we are in fact getting older. I’ve made the joke a hundred times that I don’t need glasses I just need a bigger phone, and that soon I will be walking around with my computer monitor.
A friend who kindly offered her services convinced me after a whole calendar year to come and see her. The way it unfolded is nothing short of proof that everything happens for a reason. The reasons why though, is often shrouded like the life below the ice and may never be truly revealed. But I want you to know Sarah I am forever in your debt, your little girl wanting a copy of the “Trolls” movie may have saved my life.
What was just a routine visit turned out to be another dip in the roller coaster of life. 2 1/2 years ago my life changed in thirty seconds. My career as a mailman collided with a homeowner who decided to tie his pitbull to the front door handle. This time as it turned out it would take ten days to play out. However like the dog, I never saw it coming, (no pun intended) I had a small smudge in my right eye but I thought it was due to medications or just age. Thankfully the kind person siting on the other end of the equipment had persevered and kept at me to come in and get checked.
What at first would be called a freckle for most, would take a darker shape through the ice for me. Our friends due diligence and expertise noticed blur was not really a blur, and she immediately sent me on to some of the other experts, specifically Dr. Firestone @ the Dean McGee Eye Institute. Just like most would, I spent the better part of the seven days scouring the internet becoming educated on what exactly this suspicious nevus might be. Instead of writing about lures I was reading about eye freckles. The odds of it being something bad, were very slim I read, however like the battle we faced with our son, we try not to pay attention to odds as we’ve seen enough of them broken.
Last Thursday my world that I was once familiar with, like the ice fisherman, I now found myself suddenly on the opposite side. I was told that I was now part of the 5 people out of every million to have Occular Melonoma. As I tried mentally to slow down life it seemed I missed the break peddle and hit the gas. I was now part of the few, less than 3 percent where our non threatening freckle is really a tumor. Again for the second time in just 3 years, just like before, I like the ice fisherman must relearn the life I once knew.
However, unlike the last time after my ensuing spine surgeries, I will not shut the door. I will take strength from my son, family and friends and in doing what I enjoy. I will meet what lies ahead with the same strength my son used on his own walk. Ocular Melanoma unlike its other namesakes is really not like them, only in name. Its propensity to like to spread to the liver will hopefully be cut short by us taking the first swing. We will have our first battle next month as they will sew a radiated device the size and shape of a quarter with tiny beads to the back of my eye, and on the 5th day Surgically remove it.
We, like the fisherman cant stop the ice from coming or forming, we must adapt our ways to continue to enjoy what we do. Having Cancer at 44 is something I will come to terms with, but it may take more then the 2 weeks Ive had.
Louis Rhead expressed his love of the nature, fishing, and all things in between with a passionate pen and grace. One of his pieces can be closely examined by the link below.