Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Really Did It

I rode Chevy today! The first time in a month. It felt so good! Tarra rode with me and she finished the ride on Chevy while I walked around on Mystic. The plan is for Tarra to ride him the rest of the week before he goes to the trainer. He hadn't been ridden since Thursday, although he was lunged on Saturday. I could definitely tell that he was not as tuned up as normal. Hopefully with the consistent work this week he will be ready to go!

Then I came home and spent 30 minutes currying my mud ball. I finally gave up but you could actually tell that there is a bay pony under all of that dirt. I want to have him clean for his farrier appointment on Friday. I think it's a losing battle but I've got to try. I think he is gaining weight which is great! I switched him to a new grain earlier this month, so I hope it's helping. It's harder to tell with all of his winter fuz. I always say "Fuzzy wuzzy was Roz" in the winter, because he grows a total shaggy coat! When I get my hands on him I can feel his ribs but they do have some covering. He's really probably close to an ideal weight. There is no reason for him to be packing extra weight around.

Begging for more cookies. Can't you see that he is starving?! :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait

That seems to be the story of my life right now. One minute I feel like I'm in a whirlwind and the next I'm trying not to be too impatient as I wait. Patience is not my strongest point...hahaha. I feel like this is kind of like the calm before the storm. I'm waiting for surgery on Friday and hoping it doesn't cause me too much of a problem because I actually have weekend plans. Then I know waiting 3 more weeks for chemo to start is going to be hard as well. Not that I'm looking forward to it by any means but I know I can't move on until I do it, so now I just want to get it done. I'm starting to hat shop now, and I plan to donate my hair to Locks of Love. They make wigs for kids who have hair loss due to some chronic condition. I figure if I can't use it someone else should! I'm just thankful it's long enough to donate. It has to be 10 inches which it just barely makes.

I'm also impatiently waiting for Friday to see what the farrier says about Roz's feet. They were looking pretty decent for his first barefoot month but have kind of fallen apart a bit in the last month. I was checking them out tonight and I kind of think he has a false sole in one of them. I've never really dealt with that but it sort of makes sense because he has been in shoes with pads for the past year and half... If he does have a false sole then I think his feet may actually be okay, if not, I think he's falling apart. He seems totally comfortable so I'm not too worried but I'm hoping the farrier isn't too shocked on Friday.

In all of my spare time I've been gathering ideas for the pas de deux that Tarra and I plan to do next year and drooling over Cardi babies. That is definitely going to be my next horse! Isn't this guy cute!? http://www.warmbloods-for-sale.com/HorseDetail.asp?HorseID=29817&UserID=3126
This one too! http://www.warmbloods-for-sale.com/HorseDetail.asp?HorseID=33962&UserID=4397 Of course I have been drooling over Cardi himself showing Grand Prix. http://youtu.be/FweBwOVWeTk

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Did It!

I tacked Chevy up all by myself tonight. That may not sound like much, but for a person who could barely get her arm above her head 2 weeks ago, it was pretty good. The hardest things for me to do (even still) are to put his halter on, and pick is feet. The hoof picking isn't too bad but I'm afraid my arm could get jerked so I end up holding his foot with my right hand and picking with my left, or just sitting his hoof on my leg while I do it. I had no problem carting my saddle around on my left arm, getting it on him, or getting my girth tightened. Hopefully surgery next week doesn't eliminate all of that progress. The pony was a bit wild starting out due to some activity in the field next to the arena. Tarra opted to lunge him for a bit and by the time she got on he was well warmed up and nicely forward. They have several good transitions into and out of the canter and he looked great. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Try It Again

I have another surgery scheduled for November 2nd. I met with my oncologist today and the test on my tumor (oncotype) came back with a high likelihood of recurrence. Surgery on the 2nd is to take the additional sample of skin and muscle for the biopsy and also to place a port. Once that is done we will wait 3 weeks before the start of chemo. I need 8 treatments, 2 weeks apart. The first 4 doses are a combination of 2 drugs, the last 4 rounds consists of just one drug. The way I have figured it out, I should be done with chemo by the end of March. The doctor said I can continue to work and ride through out my chemo but I will definitely be tired.

We will have to postpone my reconstruction until I finish with chemo. I had my first expansion appointment yesterday and it wasn't bad at all. They fill it with 50mL of saline once a week. It's really strange because almost my whole breast area is numb. They gave me lidocaine before they poked me with the saline but I honestly couldn't even feel the lidocaine much less the 50mL they put in. How weird is that? My muscle does feel a bit sore today but nothing bad.

Tonight I went up to the barn and got to watch Tarra ride Chevy. I brought him in and got him mostly ready for her to ride. I think he was happy to see me. We were joking that he is going to need therapy when this is all over since he keeps getting handed around. I had only had him for 2 months before my surgery, so we were just getting in to a routine. I feel bad that he is getting shuffled around. He was really good tonight and I can see some definite improvement in his trot/canter transitions.

I've had to remind myself today of some of the positives in all of this.


  • That this is happening in the fall/winter months. I feel like I would be sad missing out on so much summer fun. 
  • I have health insurance which goes right along with my job and wonderful co-workers who have been so supportive of me. 
  • I'm thankful that I have already been considering cutting my hair...now I can get rid of all of my split ends! I've also heard that sometimes your hair comes back in different, like curly, or something fun like that. 
  • I have a wonderful team of doctors taking care of me.
  • I only need 8 chemo treatments, it could be worse. 
  • I have excellent friends who are riding Chevy for me while I'm out of commission. 
  • And finally I have wonderful family support. 
I'm sure there are SO many more things that I should add but I'm tired and can't think straight anymore. :) 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jumping Camp

Chevy gets to go to jumping camp for the month of November. I'm so excited to see the progress he makes with a month of concentrated jumping, with a talented rider. There will be more information on that once he gets started. Here are a few video links of Chevy jumping before I bought him. Pretty cool, huh?!
Free jumping
Jumping

Tarra and Mystic competed at their last dressage show of the season today. They wore pink for me, and breast cancer awareness month. They rocked it with a 71% and a 73% at First level. Pretty darn impressive. We have always planned to do a pas de deux and have decided that it IS going to happen next year. Our plan is to do a first level pas de deux. We've never done one before but I'm sure we can figure it out. My plan is to take Chevy first level come next spring so I think we should be able to put in a respectable pas de deux towards the end of the season. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

One More

We got our 5 negative tests prior to (and one during) surgery...but we were informed by the Oncologist on Friday that there is one more test that will determine whether I need chemo. Honestly, this was a little bit of a letdown since I was pretty sure we were past that point already. The test we are currently waiting on is called oncotype and it's a genetic test of the tumor itself. Ideally, it will come back with a low likelihood of recurrence. If that is the case then there would be little benefit to undergo chemo and we would move forward with the plan for 5 years of hormone therapy. However, if it comes back as being likely to reoccur then there would be a much larger benefit to doing chemo. I'm hoping and praying those results come back with a low likelihood of recurrence.

Isaiah 40: 28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Getting There

I continue to heal after my surgery on the 2nd. I am definitely starting to feel like I'm ready to hop back on a horse, which is sorta bad since they want me to wait for 6 weeks....only 4.5 to go! I had an appointment with my surgeon on Tuesday and they were very impressed with how well I am healing. They think it has something to do with me being 24. Hahaha. My lymph node came back "officially" clear from the pathology report, and the margins were clear as well, although they were very close. The surgeon wants to take a section of muscle and skin when we go back in for my actual implant in a few months. He is fairly certain those areas will come back clear as well but it's better to be safe than sorry.  My drain came out today and that was a welcome change, I even got to drive myself to the doctor. My skin is really really sensitive right now and the tug from the drain was driving me crazy!!! Also, with the drain out I can start showering again. I am so excited to hop in the shower tomorrow morning. Yah! I have an appointment with my Oncologist tomorrow and then I think we should have the long term treatment plan and be ready to get going with all of this. 

In all of my spare time I decided to start cleaning some video footage off of my computer. Of course I go distracted and ended up putting together a few of my favorite clips from the last several years. I think it has moments that will give everyone a laugh, Tarra especially. 

Here it is!

Reports from my Chevy's "Training Crew" say that he has been pretty good this week. He pulled a shoe, but thankfully Tarra was able to get that fixed today. He has been doing a mix of lunging and riding. Since my drain is out I hope to go see him Saturday. It's been almost 2 weeks! The poor guy probably thinks I got lost. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Too Smart

Rozzy Ridge is just way too smart! When my dad went out to feed him yesterday morning he was grazing on the front yard. I guess he accidentally forgot to latch the gate Saturday night.  Oops! Roz snorted twice, turned around and trotted back through the barn and out to his pasture. Once there, he turned around and began to nicker for his breakfast just like normal. My dad told me that Roz couldn't have been out long because he hadn't even pooped! A while later my mom opened the blinds in my bed room and there was some horse poop right outside my bedroom window. I guess he was just coming to visit me. Too bad I was asleep. The bad part about this is that Roz is quite clever and is good at opening unlatched gates by bumping them with his nose. I have a feeling that little rascal checks that gate every morning to see if he can get out for a early morning stroll.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Negative x5

I spoke with the surgeon yesterday, my lymph node was clear! That is the final result for that, and it won't be changing. Clear margins are still up in the air. The tumor was close to my skin on the top, and close to my pectoral muscle on the bottom. He didn't have the written report yet, and wasn't willing to commit on the margins, other than to say that they were close. Even if they aren't clear he's not sure if they would do anything further surgery wise or not. We should get more information when I have my post op appointment on Tuesday. I should also be seeing my oncologist next week sometime and will get more information regarding further treatment.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I got to go home last night! It was so nice to sleep in my very own bed last night and I slept very well. All of the doctors were really impressed with how well I am doing. I guess they didn't expect that. I got a nerve block in 3 different spots in my back before surgery, and this is something new that they have been recommending. They really think it helps patients as it stops the pain before it even has a chance to start. My pain has been controlled on a fairly low dose of pain medication so that has been really nice. I also think that normally they do mastectomy's on older women which is probably even harder on them than it was on me. The physicians assistant agreed with me, that often the older women have other medical problems, where I am completely healthy. The next big hurdle is waiting for the pathology report to come back. My tumor was really close to my pectoral muscle with a very thin layer of fat separating it from the muscle. It wasn't attached to the muscle or anything like that, but there is a chance the cancer cells extended into the muscle. We are praying that is not the case and that margins will come back clear.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

All Things Considered

I'm sitting in my hospital bed as I type this. I am feeling pretty well. My lymph node came back clear during surgery!!! Now it goes to the lab to be examined further, and there is a 15% chance that they will still find cancer cells. I have experienced very little pain so far and was up walking around several times during the night. Thank you for all of the prayers, love, and support!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mystery Solved

Well....unfortunately Chevy got a black spot by his name tonight, but I actually think I may have figured out our jumping problem. Tarra was jumping him tonight while I walked around on Mystic. He jumped just fine 5 or 6 times over a couple of different cross rails. Tarra was telling him how she was going to solve his jumping problems and I had just finished telling her she was going to jinx herself when she ask him to canter and he took off bucking. She fell hard and hurt her hip (among other things). Of course I'm feeling pretty down about that, especially since I really can't do anything about it right now. From what I can tell, I actually think that our problem is him getting a wild hair when being ridden outside. Occasionally he doesn't try anything but most of the time he does. Sometimes it's the very first fence you jump him over, sometimes it's after you have been doing it for a while.