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Back to Life!! - (Journal Date: September 19, 2005)

10/17/2005

Now that treatments are over, I'm starting to feel normal again. The sense of taste is back 100% and everything is sooooo good. I still have swelling of the lower legs and ankles, but the special dress socks and elevating my feet seems to help. I will have a follow-up with the vascular specialist this fall. My hair is all the way back...salt and pepper and some white, but the crazy part is that it used to be straight and now it is wavy. So much so that my daughters like to put their fingers in it and play with Daddy's "S" curls. Of course I haven't cut it, so my friends call me a hippy even though its only 1.5" long. To go from Mr. Clean to Hippy in 9 months is quite a transformation. I will say that is probably the toughest way I know of to get a perm!!!!

Got a chance to take both of my young girls out bird hunting on opening day on Sept. 3. We enjoyed the day together and packed a huge picnic. They really enjoyed watching for birds and they helped locate the downed birds like real outdoorsmen.

A business trip to Minneapolis also gave me and a couple of great friends from work a chance to meet up with my brothers for the weekend. We enjoyed some good walleye fish fry, several ice-cold daddy juices, some texas hold 'em poker, a little golf, and we even went barefoot waterskiing again. Being quite a bit heavier and definitely weaker than I've been in the past, I wasn't too sure if I could still hang with the younger crowd. But determination is definitely an asset that I have exercised through this ordeal.

My brother's Malibu ski-boat was equipped with a boom which made it easy to jump out of the boat at 42 mph and hang on!! I made several barefoot runs each day until my feet were too sore to go anymore. Both of my brothers are professions and they did multiple tricks including tumble-turns and one-foot toe-holds and man they looked great. One of my buddies learned how to slalom ski for the first time. The other buddy was determined to learn to barefoot. After a couple of days of really hard falls(water is very hard at 42 mph), and bruises everywhere, on the last day he got it!!! What a moment of pride and high-fives!!! We video taped the whole thing and I never saw so many crashes and wipeouts!!!! Its a classic comedy...

We went out to eat by boat every night and enjoyed the starlit sky. One night we were treated to an awesome display of northern lights as we just floated out in the middle of the Wisconsin lake at 2:00 a.m. It was wonderful to be back to life, being close to family and friends, and to just enjoy the cool evening breeze, listening to an occasional call of the loons, and hearing no other sounds but the whispering of the pines on the shore.

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