By Patty Wilber
This was the last week of school before winter break, so I did spend a fair amount of time on that!
I also saddled Gette for the first time. I over estimated her zeal for being a big kid and saddled her as if she’d been doing it a while. She objected by moving around some and giving me a few dirty looks. “how could u?! it is heavy! it is tight! did i give permission for this? i don’t think so!” Overall, she was excellent considering my lack of finesse in this matter!
I let her wander a round a bit in a paddock, where she swished her tail and humped her back a little but did not have much of a reaction. Then I took her to the round pen and free lunged her. She walked and trotted and BUCKED quite a bit. That surprised me. On the other hand, with the cooler weather, I have seen her play time and vigor increase. This almost always involves bucking, and often involves Lucy, who is also bucking, so I probably should not have been surprised.
The other day a big tumble weed came in the pasture and Gette grabbed it, let it go, leapt straight up in the air, and kicked both back legs out. Then she grabbed it, reared, and then did a nice one-two buck in place. She showed that weed!
After Gette, I rode Lucy and she feels nice and sound. She is getting a new set of special shoes in two weeks and a chiropractic adjustment next week. I am so excited to see how she and Heidi get along in 2023! (We are joint owners!) This could mean Appaloosa Nationals in the summer and high school rodeo in the Fall!
After Lucy, I wanted to ride Penny, but Gette and Lucy had worn me out. My hemoglobin levels were lower than normal (but rising), so less oxygen was delivered to my tissues, making my whole body tire more readily. So, I went in and took a nap!
On Wednesday, I saddled Gette and turned her loose (no bucking) and rode Penny. I did not need a nap (and I had worked in the morning at the college, so hemoglobin must have increased!)
I am into round two of the second chemotherapy regime for the breast cancer, and so far, it is easier than round one, but not without some challenges. Wednesday night it felt like I was walking on gravel when I was really wearing soft socks, and my thumb nails and the tips of my other fingers were painful. Crap. Evidence of neuropathy, and that is the one thing I somewhat desperately wanted to avoid! Brain fog? Whatever. Fatigue? I can deal. But neuropathy? NOOOOOOO. I emailed my oncologist, who is away at a conference, in the middle of night. That may have betrayed a bit of panic, (but she said I could email)!
I went into the second infusion session prepared to get up and run away, but my care team is OUTSTANDING. My nurse, Krystal, gave me neuropathy supplement support ideas (alpha lipoic acid to go along with vitamin B that Denise reminded me was good) and she conferred with the on-call doctor who gave me the option of skipping this infusion or reducing the treatment strength by 20%. Krystal explained the pros and cons. I chose the 20% reduction and then she provided ice so I could ice my hands and feet during treatment (which may help). She set up an appointment for next week instead of the 29th with my oncologist. Then, my oncologist herself called from her conference in Texas and agreed that the plan sounded sound and said that my symptoms, while a bit more than we hoped for, did not necessarily mean my extremities were going to hell in a neuropathy (hand?) basket over the next 10 sessions. I loved how they all listened, responded, clearly laid out the pros and cons, and were supportive.
How nice to be heard and given concrete options!
Krystal is starting a new job on Monday (though there is a tiny chance she will change her mind at the last minute) so that was very likely the last time I get to work with her. I about cried, because while the new job sounds like a great challenge for her, she is kind, talented, knowledgeable and has a gift for explaining things! I am going to miss her!