By Patty Wilber
We have a gopher snake hibernaculum under the cement apron of our garage, and every April, the gopher snakes come out. The most I have seen coming out in any given year was four, but we don’t have a camera watching the crack at all times.
Now I want one.
This week there was a snake half way into the crack, and not moving. It was stuck! It had a hard bulge in its guts that was wider than the crack and it could not get all the way in. Did it eat a rock? (My first, illogical, thought). Of course not. It ate a woodrat (I bet) and the hard spot was the skull!
I suppose I could have left it half in and half out to figure out what to do on its own, but I did not want the dogs to bother it, so I gently pulled it out (it resisted at first) and took it to the hay barn, where hopefully it will find many other rodents to consume!
I failed to take any pictures because I was all wrapped up in saving the snake!
I worked with Heidi and Lucy this week! Lucy is feeling frisky these days and also a little stiff, so she got some body work with Guy Winters, who comes twice a year from Texas. She will get chiropractic in a couple months.
She and Heidi got to work with Darren Miller, also, and Darren thinks they can be competitive in the reined cow horse shows, so that is exciting. They will have to travel to Colorado or Texas if they decide to go. Lucy seems to step up a level every year, and their cow work is looking especially good! Now that FFA is over, and the weather is improving, Heidi and Lucy will be preparing for Appaloosa Youth Worlds this summer (I hope to be going if my treatment schedule allows!) and high school rodeo (starts in August) where she will be doing reined cow horse!
I got to ride! I used Christy’s Pandora saddle, because I am on lifting restrictions for another week. That thing is very light! I rode two horses on Wednesday for my inaugural return to riding. I only walked. But I did trail ride one horse and the saddle stayed in place, even though I felt like the stirrups were too far behind me on the steep down hills! Also the carbon fiber, covered by fleece, was still hard, says my butt!
On Thursday, I trotted and loped on Rip, and even rode Gette (only walk trot) in the Pandora. I also wore two sports bras and added an ace bandage for even more support. Thanks to Denise for that idea!
When I go to Heidi’s on Friday with Rip, I am bringing one of my regular saddles. Jim will load it for me, and Heidi will toss in on my horse! No working cattle, even slowly, in the Pandora! In the meantime, though, I am super happy to have it. I was going a little nuts not being able to ride!
Cancer Treatment Update
I met with my oncologist. I will be going to Hawaii for the birth of grand daughter number three, who is officially due April 7th. Then, just about as soon as I get back, I will begin the last set of chemo.
Every three weeks for a YEAR. Ugh. 3 hour infusions to start with.
Because the original tumor had infiltrated the lymph system feeding the skin, my doc feels it will be best to use a monoclonal antibody with a chemo drug attached. The antibody will attach to the HER 2 receptor on the tumor and then the chemo drug will kill that cell, and the adjacent cells. Unfortunately, the HER 2 receptor is also found on some normal cells, including blood cells, so side effects can include anemia and fatigue. And less commonly, hair loss–mine is just coming back– and more neuropathy, according to the Internet. Maybe it is best not to try to learn anything extra on the Internet, because those side effects were NOT listed on the sheet the doc gave me.
My oncologist said many people feel few, if any effects. Please let that be me!
But back to the Antibody + chemo drug. This image shows how it works, though I will probably be on Kadcyla instead of Enhertu. Enhertu is a possibility, however.
In addition, I will be having three weeks of daily radiation in there somewhere. Hopefully I can schedule that around the Appaloosa Youth World!! Because the cancer was in the skin lymph system, the most likely spot for reoccurrence is in the skin of the breast. Radiation will help prevent that (along with the drug therapy).
I start physical therapy for my arm the day I get back from Hawaii and I am having a little arm pit lymph fluid accumulation that I have checked on with the doctor. It is probably something that will resolve in a few months, and it is not bad. I sent photos. Try taking photos of your arm pit, by yourself.
Even though it’s all a little overwhelming at times, this coming year of treatment will hopefully prevent future cancer outbreaks. The success rate is very high (98% I think the doctor said-the heck with the lower number I found on the Internet), so looking good!!