TaTa Bang Bang

11 10 2013

 

This post originally was published on Ta Ta Bang Bang’s facebook wall during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October 2013)  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=522953231122915&set=a.418050041613235.99986.377808358970737&type=1&theater
While at the Buckmasters Expo on August 17th, in Montgomery, Alabama, TTBB crossed paths with an outdoor enthusiast that not only shares her love of hunting, but her story of surviving…breast cancer. Her story touched us in so many ways, and we know it will touch yours.

Meet Diane Hassinger, field staff of Ladies in Camo, as she tells her story of being a survivor:

1383138_522953231122915_1177662963_n“Four years ago, the call came that would change my life forever, “You have breast Cancer.” I can’t say that it was totally unexpected, as I had problems for 20+ years, many biopsies, lumpectomies and countless call backs for sonograms and mammograms. In some regards, it was almost a relief that now I could do what was needed to get the shadow of breast cancer off of me.
I have always taken the bull by the horns, and this time was no different. When my original Doctor was taking too long to do his job and schedule an appointment for me to move forward, I contacted a renowned breast surgeon and started the process to have all of my records sent to her, and got scheduled within days. The first visit with my surgeon proved I had made the right decision. She reminded me of-me! She is not good at candy coating things, kind of direct and to the point. I loved her! She outlined my choices, and I chose the complete bilateral mastectomy. While she initially thought I had not given enough consideration to my choice, I explained that I had thought long and hard for the past 20 years that when the time came, as I knew it would, I would get rid of all of the troublesome tissues and get a clean start. Within 2 weeks, I had my bilateral mastectomy, sentinel lymph node surgery and the start of the reconstructive surgery. I had my final reconstruction surgery just prior to Christmas that year. My best Christmas present ever!
At all times I was positive about my decision. My healing was fairly quick and soon my life was back to normal, at least mostly. I still struggle to get back to hunting poundage on my compound bow even today; a lot of the muscles in my chest area were destroyed in order to get all of the cancer. Those muscles control a lot of your pulling ability. Thank God, and Tenpoint, for crossbows!
Within 3 weeks of the surgery, I was salmon fishing and landing large fish on my own. I had to alter how some things were done, but I could do them! Pictures were taken with the fish balanced on rocks, but they were taken! I bypassed archery season that year, but against Doctor’s opinions, I started shooting my rifles and shotguns. My Doctors had no past experience with how the recoil would affect the lymph node areas under my arms. They worried that I would cause lymphedema with the repetitive recoil, and over use of my arms. Now they have a benchmark to use for other women hunters in their care-you can do it!
I am back to hunting, fishing, shooting and traveling. This year alone I have hunted South Africa, Canada and several states for alligator, bear, whitetail and plains game. I have suffered some disappointments hunting, but haven’t we all. But more importantly, I have been successful, not only harvesting some great trophies and food for my family, but also in beating breast cancer to the point that I am living the life I love.
I look at this whole breast cancer ordeal as nothing more than a speed bump in my life. I took care of myself and now I am in the passing lane once again! I am on Staff with Ladies in Camo, working with some of the most amazing women I know. I have been given the opportunity to help women be successful in hunts outside of their comfort zone, and the ability to use and product review many new and exciting products to the hunting community. I have a personal blog www.huntingmotherearth.com which was an outlet for emotions and triumphs during my recovery. Now it is my hunting journal and diary. I found it is extremely important to let those emotions out, and be able to talk to others about your journey. That helps you with your acceptance, and it helps others that are still on their own journey.
Look for an upcoming episode on Yeti’s Ultimate Hunt, highlighting my battle with breast cancer and return to a truly wonderful life. By not allowing cancer to dictate what my life will be, I have created a life that is open ended and exciting. I have many doors opening and opportunities to explore! That call four years ago did change my life, but by taking control and staying positive, it has changed it for the better!”

Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Member
NSSF Member
Ladies in Camo, LLC-Regional Representative
http://www.ladiesincamo.com/
Ladies by the grace of God…..in CAMO by choice.

Personal Blog: http://www.huntingmotherearth.com/

Igloo/Yukon Cold Locker Pro Staff
Twenty Up Productions-Pro Staff
Hips Archery Targets-Pro Staff
Ladies in Camo-Regional Staff http://www.ladiesincamo.com/
Hips Archery Targets-ProStaff
Twenty Up Productions-ProStaff
Igloo Yukon Cold Lockers-ProStaff
Big Bear Scents-Field Staff
Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Member
NSSF Member
NRA-Life Member
Safari Club International
NWTF

 

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Victory Archery Pink Arrow Project Contest-Or “How I lost the contest, but won the battle!”

1 11 2012

In the beginning of October 2012 I entered a contest on the Victory Archery Face Book Page for the Pink Arrow Project. To enter you needed to enter an essay that described what Archery meant to you. It was a 2 part contest, with the top 5 essays going to the second round. I hate popularity contests, but this one I had to enter.  I won the first round completely with 200 votes and a lot of inspirational comments! The second round I started out strong, being over 100 votes ahead of any of the competition. In the last couple of days I fell behind, but only in votes! There are so many people that took time to vote and comment, that I feel blessed. The contest has a few hours left, and I have 322 votes, I am still trailing, but I do not feel like I am losing at all!!  I realize I have lost the contest, but no one can ever convince me that I am anything other than a winner!  Even more important than the contest, was the ability to educate people on what can be accomplished after cancer. These comments touched me so much, that I felt the need to add them to the Because We Care page, because they do!

(Because We Care was a facebook group created to connect me and my triumphs in my battle with cancer with my friends and family.  It was a great source of comfort and encouragement to me.)

My Saskatchewan Black Bear

Archery is therapy to me! I had a bilateral mastectomy 3 years ago, due to breast cancer. I had been an avid bow hunter up to that point, and suddenly it was taken away from me. That was probably the worst part of my recovery, was not being able to shoot my bow. I have been building back muscle that had been destroyed in the surgery, but it has been a slower process then I expected. My Doctors on

the other hand think it is phenomenal what I an accomplishing. This past spring I took this fantastic black bear in Saskatchewan, using my Tenpoint crossbow. I was thrilled to be able to archery hunt, even if it isn’t my compound bow. I am still working daily to get back in form with my bow, but until that time comes, I will be doing my therapy with my crossbow.

  • Phil Cogley congratulations on the bear and beating cancer
    Eve Sunny Love thisMatt Maurice Sr. Awesome Bear and Congrats on Both accomplishmentsSteve Radle Good luck!
  • Diane Baxter Hassinger Thanks, every time I am able to hunt (and even better-harvest!) I am thankful for my victory over the breast cancer. These are real trophies in my world!
    Alwyn Torquil Francis Ladell The crossbow is a sensible stopgap, until you can get back to your compound, and this bear proves it. Best wishes from another cancer survivor (1983/4 and 1995), keep up the good work.
  • Diane Baxter Hassinger Thanks Alwyn! and Congrats on your winning in your battle with cancer!Ladies in Camo You are the BEST and Ladies in Camo is SO PROUD OF YOU!! Good luck!!
  • Diane Baxter Hassinger Thanks that means a lot to me!
    Rachel Butler Brock Way to go!!
  • Tina Knopp Good Luck to you Diane and best of luck in all that you do!
    Tammy Ziems Very Pround Of You Diane Keep the Faith
  • Ashleigh Moore Ashford Way to kick both their butts!!!
    Betty Storman Diane, you are a fighter and a survivor…I hope you win this contest as well!!
  • Gus De Los Monteros You’ve got my vote. Was great getting to share camp with you. Best of luck to you.
    Neil Green Fine bear!!!
  • Michelle Harmes Diane you are awesome!
    Tammie Knopp Good Luck Diane! Diane you are outstanding!!!
  • Paul Blosat never give up is always a good way to live
    Teresa Dyke McCullough Good luck girl..
  • Rebekah Rhodes Diane you are an inspiration! Not just to women hunters but to women AND men in general to keep fighting. A good friend told me last week, “Quitting is not an option!” Thank you for being who you are.
    LeighAnne Phillips I agree with Rebekah, you are truly an inspiration… Keep it Sassy my friend❤
  • Gretchen Steele Diane – I know exactly how you feel.. my bilateral mastectomy was 12 years ago, and it takes time. I started off with lighter draw weight recurves, and although they weren’t enough of a draw weight to hunt with I could bowfish – it’s still archery and and is great fun. Crossbow too.. Keep up the great work! It may be a slow process but it is worth it in the end! I recently did an article about archery after mastectomy – I will make sure you get a link when it is published (should be on the 10th this month)
    Debbie Le Gette That’s awesome Diane! I’m proud of you! Keep at it!! ❤❤
  • Gretchen Hill God Bless you!!!!
    Diane Baxter Hassinger Gretchen please send me the link to your article. I would love to read it! While I personally know some women who have had breast cancer, they are not hunters, and don’t have any insight for me on what to expect. I have scoured the internet, but there isn’t a whole lot out there. I have been writing my own book, so to speak, just pushing myself hard to get back what has been lost. My Doctors are great, but clueless as to when I can expect to be able to do the things I love. I have been a test patient for then in this regard. They have a few answers for the next hunter they treat. I had never bowfished until a year ago, I had a blast, but was terrible at it. The crossbow has been a God send!
  • Carol Robertson Congratulations! You’re an inspiration.
    Lisa Rickenbrode Stroup Wow Diane…I never knew. This is very impressive and encouraging for women who are going through this battle. Kudos to you and I wish you continued good health through your journey. Prayers and blessings for you.
  • Diane Baxter Hassinger Thanks Lisa, I have tried to keep my fight with breast cancer as just a speed bump in the road of life. It slowed me down for a bit, but I am in the passing lane now!
    Mike Grundmann Good luck diane
  • Peggy Garuccio Fantastic! you go, girl. we’re rooting for you!
    Faith Sammons Turner Fighter….WINNER
  • Lisa Rickenbrode Stroup Diane, I haven’t had to deal with anything like that just yet and I admire your outlook. With the statistics being what they are, I’m just holding my breath. You are a strong girl and having a support system is so important. Again, KUDOS to you for continuing to enjoy your life and move forward.
    Carol Nevenhoven Diane, you are one amazing lady…What an inspiration you are to all of us! We should all aspire to be as strong and resilient as you are in the face of life’s struggles. God bless!
  • Dayna Casiglio Martin You rock, Diane!
    Leann Blasko Thank you everyone who voted if you didn’t see yet my mom made it on to round two of voting, she needs some help so if you wouldn’t mind going over to the final round of voting and like her picture again I would appreciate it.
  • https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152201170200089&set=a.10152151932230089.915285.384631705088&type=1&theater
  • Pink Arrow Project Prize Pack contest-2nd Round
  • Pink Arrow Project. Please vote for your favorite by clicking like for their photo!! Good luck!! and thank you for your support!!!By: Victory Archery
  • Teresa Dyke McCullough Good luck!!
    Brenda Faye Watson
  • Alexus Cee good luck I’ll share for you.Alwyn Torquil Francis Ladell Diane, you are doing brilliantly. You are doing everything right.Terry Warvel Good luck!
  • Rodney Allebach Good luck!Heather’Andy Jarvimaki’Howard My mom had a bilateral mastectomy…I vote for you! So glad to hear that you are able to hunt and pray you will soon be able to draw your compound! ..good luck and god bless!Anita Geib Keep on rocking!Walter Blizzard Congrats and I wish you a full recovery,Archery is special feeling when hunting and it will definitly let you know how many muscle you use so I know it will take a little time to get those muscles back in shape but stay focussed and I think you will make it there.Bobbie Carpenter Good luck…your family is supporting you all the way!!
  • Richard Siedschlag nice bear , great pic
    Kelly Amon You rock Diane – Your an inspiration to others! God bless!
  • Teresa Miller Wilkie great photo
    Scott Wells Way to go I know I haven’t been thru what u have but I have had 2shoulder surgeries and a bicep tear repair all on same arm and thank god for crossbows
  • David Dean Rachels Sr GOOD LUCK LADY!Lisa Shackelford Clerkin Best Wishes for you and God Bless
  • Susan Davis You my friend are definately an inspiration to us all. God Bless oh and nice bear..lol
  • Gretchen Hill AMAZING story God Bless you !!!!
    Josie Stienbarger That is so awesome!!! U are doing amazing and u r an inspiration to all of us women best of luck on your continued recovery!! Keep on hunting!!! :/)
  • Mary Ann Hostetler Good luck and what a great photo!!
  • Morgan Yobst Yeah Aunt Diane
  • Dave Hotaling MY Grandmother had half done this last Febuary. So I know how hard it must be. I love archery hunting and though work has kept me from woods I hoping soon I can get a new bow. My old Jennings is from the 60’s I think my Grandpa used it for years. Your a Great Inspiration to others stay focused on what you want and you will be rewarded.
  • Nancy Jo Adams So proud of you and grateful our paths have crossed. You are an inspiration…and a cool friend.
  • JoAnn Herbert You rock!
  • Karrie Dollar Herschberger all i shoot are my pink victory arrows…YOU ROCK
  • Coach to Camo Awesome!!!
  • Bonnie Jones what a bear!!!!!
  • Diane Baxter Hassinger I am tied with Teri for first place, with still 2 days to go. Thanks everyone!
  • Cathy Sayle Wow!! Great story and wishing you continued progress!!
  • Joy L Doyle your quite the inspiration young lady!!!
  • Jessica Jolene Barlow Very Inspiring.
  • Dale Lamb I can’t help but admire and respect anyone like this. She knew what she enjoyed and has been dilligent in her attempt to recover it. Nuttin but love and respect to you.
  • Donald Yoho nice Bear
    • These comments below were posted to my blog:
    • Teresa Dyke McCullough Your a winner in my book, I think your story was the best!!!!
    • Lisa Rickenbrode Stroup As you said Diane, you are still a winner because you are here. Congrats on that and staying healthy. Your zeal for life is amazing.
    • Nancy Jo Adams A winner, an inspiration and a hero and I feel truly blessed that our paths have crossed and I mean that with all my heart!
    • Pam Devore Diane, you are a winner and we dont need a contest to prove that for we know this to be true<3
    • Alwyn Torquil Francis Ladell Remain the winner, regardless of which accolades are or are not bestowed. You had my vote.
    • Lydia Galina · Friends with Sue Tabor and 3 others  Very touched. Thank you for sharing.

    These Comments below were from other people who took the time to share my entry with their friends:

    October 2

    Ladies in Camo SO PROUD of Ladies in Camo’s own Diane Hassinger!! Diane is entered into the Victory Archery Pink Arrow Project Contest. But this isn’t just ANY ENTRY…Diane is not only a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a mentor, a huntress…..oh no, this entry is from a SURVIVOR!! Diane was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a bilateral mastectomy just 3 years ago. She has been on the road to recovery with one goal in mind…SHOOTING & HUNTING WITH HER COMPOUND BOW AGAIN. She has been a superstar, a hero, and I am proud to say MY FRIEND!! Ladies in Camo is so grateful to have such an amazing lady among us…what an inspiration!! Please take minute to go to the Victory Archery Page and vote for Diane Hassinger..You can’t miss her, she is the one with the HUGE black bear she recently harvested in Canada. GOOD LUCK, DIANE…No matter what, YOU ARE A WINNER!!

    Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer shared Victory Archery’s photo.

    Tuesday

    Please vote for this inspirational huntress by clicking on the photo and hitting “like”. Diane Baxter Hassinger is an amazing woman, cancer survivor, and advocate for the great outdoors!





Coping

6 03 2012

Sometimes the pot of gold is right beneath your nose, right at home.

As you may know, my father died 2 weeks ago, followed by the death 1 week ago by the father of my good friend. Life at times is hard, but always worth the effort.

How do people cope with illness and death?  That has been asked of me numerous times in the past few weeks.  You have no choice!  The fact that these people are looking for a way to cope, shows that they will find the way.  I always tell everyone to talk, remember, laugh, cry and most importantly-love.  I am the sort to tackle life head one.  Realize your options and set a course to succeed.  Cope with death as you would cope with life.  The pain you feel now with pass, and with that comes an ability to move on.

Now is a good time to start a project, join a club or a gym, take up a hobby or volunteer, anything that keeps your time and mind busy.  While you are improving your life with these activities, you are also strengthening your ability to deal with crisis’s in your life, you are building personal connections that will help when you need a shoulder to lean on.  Don’t be afraid to lean on someone, your friends will be honored you came to them, and sometimes a stranger will become a valued friend.

Don’t give into the negative, look for wonders and blessings in your life.  Celebrate the life, embrace the future. As always Live the life you love, love the life you live!





Snow

16 02 2012

It has been a rough week here, it seems cancer and other life disrupting diseases are ravaging people I love. I am feeling philosophical, “life is like a box of chocolates”. No, No, No, I mean life is like snow.

As I sit here watching the snow fall, I am at first mesmerized by its beauty, then the dangerous nature of snow and ice creep into my thoughts. Snow like life can be beautiful to watch from the outside. Many lives are being touched, and some destroyed. The beauty at times covers the true challenges that everyone faces. You can present a façade that people cannot see behind, project a picture that distracts from the pitfalls.

As I wait for the snowfall to cease, I am also waiting on the dreaded phone call that lives of people I love have also come to an end. Love your family while you can. Share your love with the people who matter to you. Do what you can to help ease burdens. Share the beauty and the pain. Know that Spring is ahead, and life will go on. Just look into the innocent face of a newborn and you will see our future. The never ending cycle of life.





Archery League

11 02 2012

Ryan and Sarah shoot too!

Last night I had the privilege to help with the Youth Archery League at our pro shop.  My grandchildren shoot in this league, but this was the first I had seen these kids in action.  I was impressed!  Even Sarah my 9 year old granddaughter had a perfect 5, 5, 5X round.  These kids can shoot!  I wish I had had this type of opportunity as a child, but since I didn’t, I will make sure my grandchildren do!

My happiness was tempered by a disturbing phone call I received while there.  My father had been rushed to the hospital with a suspected stroke.  He later was rushed to a second hospital for the possibility of doing surgery to relieve the blood on the brain.  I took my sister down to the hospital in time to meet with the Neurosurgeon with my mother.  He stated that Daddy is not a candidate for the surgery and he would recommend that we let nature take it’s course. No extraordinary means are to be implemented to keep my father alive, so it is just a matter of time.  He is being taken back to the nursing home where he has spent the last 2 years, where he has friends and the staff loves him.  I give the staff all the credit in the world, they have a thankless job and have to deal with everything that we are unable to.  I appreciate ALL they do to make life livable for the patients.  THANK YOU!

Today was my regular day to shoot in the Technohunt league.  I kept our time to shoot, simply because I needed to relieve stress and shooting my bow had always been an outlet for me.  Today, I was unable to focus, and coupled with technical difficulties, I did not shoot well at all.  I am not making excuses, it happens.  I am still thankful that I can shoot and can still enjoy life.  I am sure I am in for a rough couple of days/weeks.  I have had rough days and weeks before, it is all part of life.  It just drives home the point to LIVE the life you love.  You never know when that ability will be taken from you.

Love your family, spend time making good memories with them, live your life with no regrets.





Blessings

8 02 2012

As I was driving out to the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show today, I received a phone call from one of my best friends.  Her father is battling cancer and had to undergo emergency surgery twice.  I had been mentally thinking of all the cool new things I would find at the show, and now all I could think of was blessings.  I AM BLESSED!  Some may ask how can I think such a thing, I lost my son at age 16 and I have battled breast cancer.  Tragic as those things are, I am still blessed.  I have a wonderful family that supports every endeavor I embark on.  I have a wonderful job that allows me the flexibility to go where I want when I want.  I have good health (now).  I have 2 new grandchildren that are a blessing in themselves, plus 3 older ones that have blessed my life for years.  I had a wonderful hunting season and I have been recently recognized for my work with Genealogy.

My friend’s father was mumbling about killing pigs, which apparently made his nurses nervous.  But the truth of the matter is that we have vowed to make his dream of hunting hogs a reality.  The moment he is physically able we will be helping him fill a bucket list dream.  I am hopeful that the excitement of going hog hunting will help make his recovery seem much quicker and help him thru the rough patches.  I am blessed to be able to help him achieve this.

No matter how rough you have it, your life is full of blessings in many ways, if only you are open to see it.  Help people thru the rough patches they are going thru and they will be there for you when you need them.  Don’t give into the negative, look for wonders and BLESSINGS.  As always Live the life you love, love the life you live!





Technohunt League

7 02 2012

I am using Technohunt as a form of physical therapy to help me get back the muscles that were damaged during surgery. Today I shot for the 3rd time. I am happy to say my form, stamina and control are all improving. This has to be the most fun you could possibly have doing physical therapy. Unorthodox, but it should be effective!