Tuesday, August 31, 2010

411 On The Last Five Months...

I had really good intentions to blog more. But all of a sudden five months have gone by and I have not written anything. I know a few of you have asked, what are you up to? Here is a quick 411 on the last five months.

In April I hit my one year post-chemotherapy anniversary. Honestly, it scared me and I was more nervous for those scans than I have been in awhile. The scans were fine. Dr. A decided to keep me on an every three month schedule for scans but did tell me I could have my chemotherapy port removed. When she found out I was conditioning my horse for a twenty five mile competitive trail ride she suggested I wait a month before having the port out. Dr. A is also no longer my oncologist - she received a grant to study sickle cell anemia and Dr. B (his last name really starts with a B!) and my nurse Andrea will oversee the next four years.

I took John to his first twenty five mile competitive trail ride in Leverett, Massachusetts on May 1st. My friend Megan (who I have been riding with since I was a teenager) helped me condition John for these events and we travel with her too. He loved it and I loved it. He scored 99 (out of 100) points and won rookie horse. I won the rookie rider award and we were both hooked on our new sport. We went home with several things to work on (his behaivor at the vet it and pulsing down at the end of the ride were a problem).

In May the first scheduled and cancelled port surgery also came and went.

In the meantime I was working Secret, still schooling dressage and bending and Remi learned how to longe, wear a backpad and crupper and go over the ground poles.

In June we did our second 25 mile competitive trail ride, this time at Green Mountain Horse Association in Vermont. Those are some intense trails! I was glad I had spent time training on the power lines! GMHA runs a great ride and again we had a lot of fun.

The second scheduled and cancelled port surgery also came and went in June.

The editor of the The Massachusetts Horse magazine gave me the opportunity to write feature articles for the magazine this summer. I wrote my first article, "Ongoing Story" in June about a Quarter Horse mare named Sabrina. I really enjoyed this opportunity and my second feature will appear in the October/November issue. Pick up your copy at Equine Affaire in November!

July was a travel month. I flew to Montana and participated in First Descents again! I cannot say enough good things about First Descents and had an incredible time whitewater kayaking at Glacier National Park with some familiar faces and many new faces! I will blog more about my week with First Descents later. I also spent a couple of days in North Carolina visiting family in July. July was also my fifteen month scans and a very informative appointment with Andrea. I learned a lot about my cancer journey that day!

August has been busy. Secret went to the 4-H Fair Horse Show as a warm up for Massachusetts Morgan. She had never been to a show before. I will post a longer update about her horse show experiences soon. A week later, John and I were in Rhode Island for another competitive trail ride. This one did not have stalls so he spent the night outside in an electric fence paddock with Megan's horses next door. I was worried about how he would handle it, but he did great! Three days later Secret and I were off to the Massachusetts Morgan Horse Show to compete in dressage. And another three days after that, my port was finally removed (a longer update on that will appear soon too!)

In case you were wondering, I am still working full time too :) It has been a busy summer.

Fall has a few exciting events on the horizon! Mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Fun In The Forest Trail Ride to benefit First Descents! It will be held on October 16, 2010 at the Silvermine Horse Campground in the Natchaug State Forest. Email me at stearnsiejr at yahoo dot com for more details.

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