By Patty Wilber
The Monday forecast predicted a high of 49 F early in the day, with rain in the afternoon and snow in the evening, followed by cold and snow Tuesday and Wednesday, so I figured I better ride before all that hit!
I hauled Gette and Rip to a public arena about 10 miles away. Gette stood tied to the rail. Meanwhile, a colt owned and bred by Gette’s breeder, Heather McLevin, and in training in Canada, appears to be sliding up a storm under saddle. I have only sat on Gette, but oh well. We will get there. I rode Rip. It was warm and sunny and lovely!
Rip and I are working on steering and forward. He is low key like Lucy, so I get to practice encouraging forward movement. Lucky I had Lucy to prime me for that and Les Vogt just had a nice Facebook post covering this. Basically, ask with a cluck and if you get nothing, slap with the reins to backup the cluck. Do not spur them (use boot tops as the cue instead) and do not nag. Spurring leads to a disgruntled horse and tail wringing. Nagging leads to the horse ignoring the cue. I do tend to babysit (i.e. nag)…and yes, want to use my spurs. But the cluck and back it up with boot tops and the rein, is working.
Good thing I went when I did because by the time I got home and unpacked, it was not raining as predicted. It was snowing, and the temperature was in the 30’s.
Monday night it snowed and was windy. We lost power for a few hours. Tuesday it snowed some more. I did not even try to ride. It snowed Tuesday night. It snowed a little Wednesday and the high was 23F. Riding? Nope. It snowed more Wednesday night. I think we got 8-10 inches total, but it was hard to tell because we had so much wind, the snow really got rearranged
We collect snow on our barn roof so it can melt off into our water tanks. We were afraid that with all the wind we would hardly get anything, but we actually got drifting on the north side. It has been too cold to melt off much, yet. It did slide though!
We are talking New Mexico in February so I predict the snow will be confined to the shady spots and we will be wallowing in mud soon. High predicted to be nearly 50 F by Sunday.
On both Wednesday and Thursday morning I had to wrap a horse leg and it was under 20F. We are sweat wrapping it, and that means a Fura-Zone plus DMSO mix and latex gloves. Ugh. Thin latex gloves in 20F, for a person whose hands get cold easily. Well, weird thing, my hands actually warmed up during the wrapping and did not feel cold. It must be the Wim Hoff breathing and 30 second cold showers!
Breast Cancer Treatment Update. I had the second to last Taxol treatment Thursday! One more to go! My blood values are ALL in the normal range except my total white blood cells (WBCs) which are 3.8 x 10^3 per cubic millimeter of blood and should be 4 x 10^3. I was really pleased and was thinking I am pretty special, but no. Most people start getting improved values toward the end, according to the oncologist. I looked it up and found that WBC levels usually reach their low point at three to four weeks in and then start to improve. My infusion neighbor is a runner and is also on her second to last Taxol. Her values are all good, too! I think that’s because we are BOTH special! That’s my story and I am sticking to it!
I get an MRI and meet with the surgeon next Tuesday (2/21). My oncologist is hopeful that we will find the cancer has been chemo-ed to death as the tissue all feels normal to her. My oncologist communicates daily with my surgeon, but she did ask me to email her personally after the surgery to let her know how I was feeling, which was nice!
I meet with the oncologist again April 3rd, by which time we should have the pathology report from the surgery (March 23rd). I will be getting a lumpectomy and a lymph node biopsy. The lymph node they need to take is probably in the arm pit and that part sounds like it is a bit harder to recover from than the lumpectomy. I wonder if they can just skip that part? Probably not, but I will check! The pathology report will dictate the radiation and maintenance chemo drug choice. The oncologist still feels were are looking at a cure. Having the Her 2 receptor does mean the cancer is more aggressive, but apparently it is a good marker to have because there are many drugs to attack that marker and thus wipe out the cancer.
Progress is being made!