Not only is cancer a physical battle, it's a mental battle as well. In that case, I'm sure I had it relatively easy since I'm generally a pretty positive person. However, there were many days that I had to talk myself through. One of the most notable times was on a field trip down to the Oregon Horse Center. I was a tag along with Tarra and April, while they schooled the indoor trail course. It was 5 days after my first chemo treatment and I felt like crap. I had been very nauseous after that first one and I remember riding in the truck, chewing gum, and telling myself that I was going to make it.
Another very distinct memory was probably my 6th chemo treatment. I got to the office before all of my support crew and I remember going in to the chemo room for them to access my port and draw blood. I had this overwhelming sense of dread and I just wanted to cry. Instead, I took a deep breath and started chatting to the nurses, telling myself I was okay and I could do it. I'm telling you, the mental game is real and it can be a struggle.
|Roz and I on the beach two days after I was diagnosed. Equine beach therapy was definitely needed.|
My parents were incredible; attending doctor appointments, helping with my horses, assisting with medical bills, and feeding me all sorts of cancer fighting food.
|Last chemo - We had a party!|
|She is a gift from God!|
|Wearing pink in my honor - October 2012|
My other barn mates were all supportive, cheering me on, asking how I was doing, and helping me in any way that they could.
Some experiences in life are difficult but you just have to keep marching through. There are days when you don't think you can go on, but you continue to put one foot in front of the other and eventually you end up on the other side. Although I hope cancer is an experience I never have to go through again, I made it! I'm happy and healthy 3 years post diagnosis, and I'm doing the things I want to do. I gained some serious perspective throughout the ordeal and I'm doing my best to encourage others facing a cancer diagnosis. Enjoy every precious moment you are given...that's what I'm trying to do!