The Column, No. 129:

January, 2020 Update

For starters, I'd like to thank all of you for your expressions of sympathy regarding the death of my sister last year. Eunice and Duane Wakeman did a wonderful job raising five children, and Sue was the best of the bunch.

Several readers have asked, “What is going on at Guns & Shooting Online?” . Well, January of 2019 Chuck Hawks sent out the bombshell news that he had Stage 4 pancreatic and liver cancer, and that he didn't expect to be around that much longer. Normally, I am not comfortable discussing dire health challenges such as this, but I've spoken with Chuck several times, and he wants people to be aware. Chuck Hawks lives in Creswell, Oregon, so from my headquarters in Northern Illinois, it is isn't like I can easily just drop by to check in with him.

I am happy to report that, with very aggressive treatment, Chuck's progress has surpassed all initial expectations. As many of you know, high level chemotherapy can destroy your energy level and side effects like a bit of fogginess, extreme fatigue, and neuropathy of the hands and feet are not unusual. That's where Chuck is right now, working with his doctors to find the best balancing act between continuing to treat the cancer while restoring his quality of life at the same time. Chuck of course, has the goal of getting back to his writing and editing, and is also planning a hunting trip. Hopefully, things will continue to progress in a positive manner, but these things take time.

Del Ramsey of MMP sabots has undergone extremely serious surgery and is on the mend. Del's son, Jason, has kept us in the loop. Del Ramsey along with my friend, the late Tony Knight, have made countless, immeasurable contributions to the Art and Science of modern muzzle-loading, and we can all be grateful for that.

I realize that is article is a bit of a downer, and I apologize for that. However, I need to recognize the passing of one of shotgun's finest, Neil Winston, who was one of the best we have ever had. Neil was a remarkable individual, to say the very least.

Finally, many of you have asked about Buddy, my long time German Short-Haired Pointer. Although Buddy was diagnosed with inoperable cancer some 2-1/2 years ago, he wasn't ready to go. He hung in there for a long time, reaching 15 years of age, but he is no longer with us. All dogs go to heaven, of course, and that's where Buddy is.

On January 13, Cheri Coleman wrote, "Today is Chuck's birthday, a fact he typically ignores! Anyway, he had an appointment today for a consultation and an infusion. We got the results of last week's CT scan as well.

Good news! The cancer numbers are continuing to go down. The scan showed the pancreas looking "normal". The sticky point now seems to be that his blood cell counts take a serious dip after an infusion. With the goal being avoiding the need of a transfusion, the decision was made to reduce the potency of the "recipe" of his weekly infusions. So now he's on a schedule of three weeks on one week off.

Spirits are good, appetite is good, the Ducks won the Rose Bowl and now he's watching the "Natty". With two cats in the game how can he lose?

Thank you all for your care and concern. It truly means a lot to him."

I'm just back from the 2020 Shot Show, and the 2020 calendar is already filling up with numerous trips, events, and hunts, and it looks be be an exciting and productive year.


Copyright 2020 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright 2019 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.