Well, with the daylight hours dwindling down and “Project Pumpkin”… err, I mean “Project Horse Trailer” needing to be completed, I’m not quite spending as much time driving the horses these days.
They’re still getting worked. Chewie went out last weekend for 2 drives, including a 4-miler, and both he and Luke have been worked in the arena. I’ve also started working lightly on some liberty work with them. I do liberty work with Luke every winter, so it is not new to him, but Chewie is just learning, and was using Luke as a guide. First step is to merely follow me where I go, stop if I stop, run if I run, turn if I turn. Etc. Chewie cantered behind me to keep up. Silly dude. What a good boy.
He’s also being started on Spanish Walk and bow and he doesn’t even know it. We do carrot stretches before every drive. His neck pops! Must feel good. And I’ve started introducing a “courtsey” bow. Getting the treat from between the front legs by bending the knees. He’s doing it little by little. Eventually that will turn into a bow on one knee. And I did the first training session of Spanish Walk the other day. Chewie just thought it was another stretch and he was getting treats again. Eventually that will turn into the Spanish Walk. Should be fun. Chewie doesn’t have a natural tendancy to paw, so he may be hard to teach a Spanish Walk. It really is easier to “divert bad habits” into something positive, than teach a whole new concept.
The horse trailer, Project Pumpkin, is nearly complete. The interior has been repainted, the divider, chest & butt bars have all been padded with orange vinyl and cushioned with foam. The outside is now orange with black trim. It is pretty much complete. The only thing left is to add graphics which are on the way from eBay, and we’re even dolling up the brand new tires with fancy shmancy hub caps that closely match my husband’s truck.
I was admittedly a little reluctant to paint the trailer orange when my husband said he wanted to, but now that it’s almost done, I am really glad we did. It looks great, and it’s different. Which is nice. Don’t always need to have “stock” colors and fit in to the crowd. It’s fun to have a little fun. And I’m really happy with how the trailer looks. I know this is kind of a tease, but pictures won’t be posted until I get the graphics done. Hopefully in a week!! Then I’ll have a complete start-to-finish gallery.
So, the trailer looks good, the horses are good. Dixie seems to be doing OK, but she is really fat. I need to get her on a 3-day a week round pen plan, I think, in lieu of winter driving. She always gets huge in the winter, but this year she’s bigger than normal, I think. Jesse is doing well, too, although I am not sure he’ll get more than 2-3 drives the rest of this year. I am happy to say all is going well….
And then it all falls down the hill again, doesn’t it?
The lump. The lump in my leg that the first doctor to look at 3 weeks ago said was a lipoma and it was nothing to worry about. Go home. End of story. The lump that the next day another doctor glanced at during a check up for a totally unrelated reason said it doesn’t feel like a lipoma and I should have it ultrasounded. That lump.
Well… what a mis mash of doctorial opinions this has been, and what a road I’ve now been started on.
I had the ultrasound done on 10/12. Here is an image of the lump:
Obviously the tumor is the big black circle. So upon ultrasound on 10/12 the hopsital doctor doing it said he was concerned there is some ivolvement with the femoral artery. He said this isn’t a lipoma. Then, the head radiography guru looked at it and said there wasn’t anything involving the femoral artery, but it isn’t a lipoma and recommended an MRI.
So, I called back the general doctor, you know, the one I have no faith in, who said it was definitely a lipoma and requested an MRI. He instead referred me to a plastic surgeon to see about removing the lipoma since it is “on my mind.” He said he would never have sent me for an ultrasound if the other doctor didn’t suggest it, that he only did it as a courtesy because of the other doctor’s suggestion, and that it was not necessary. He said I definitely will not need an MRI and he was not going to refer me for one. He said the surgeon will not want on either, since this a simple lump and a simple surgery and would be removed for primarily cosmetic reasons. Just so you know, this GP doctor has been around for 20 years. He’s not a newbie. But he still maintained that I won’t need an MRI and this is just a lipoma and nothing to worry about. So left with no other choice, I await my appointment with the surgeon to see his feelings on the lump.
And that appointment was yesterday.
And guess what… the surgeon referred me for an MRI. So I had to wait TWO WEEKS to have something done that I could have had done in the interim and just brought the MRI directly to the surgeon and saved a lot of time.
The surgeon does think there is some involvement with the femoral artery although he’s not sure to what extent, hence the MRI. The surgeon also thinks that this lump is sarcoma cancer. He said dependant on the results of the MRI, he will be referring me for surgery at Loyola University for cancer care. The same hospital my husband had all of his cancer surgery done.
Can I just scream? Stress? Go insane? Needless to say I’m pissed with the GP, and dependant on what transpires in the next week or so, I’ll be writing him a lengthy and strongly worded letter of insult… err… I mean complaint.
I have an MRI in a few days. I’ll get the results shortly thereafter and sit down again with the surgeon. He said if it is something other than what he thinks it is, he will do the surgery himself, but if it the cancer he suspects, or there is some kind of involvement of the atery, he’ll refer me to the “big guys”.
So now, my head is abuzz. I may have cancer. How did I get it? How weird is it that I have the same cancer as my husband? I did a little reading on the American Cancer Society website about sarcoma, again. I recall doing that back in 2009 when my husband had his surgeries, but I revisited it all again.
Sarcomas are not common in people. There are risk factors that can cause them, including exposure to chemicals and radiation. I was an equine vet tech for 10 years. I took hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of xrays. A lead gown does go down to the knee almost, but still… did I get exposed to enough radiation in that time to develop cancer? How come other people who work around radiation a lot longer than me don’t get cancer? My radiation badge never showed I was exposed beyond allowed limits, so is it just my typical bad luck-nothing-can-go-right-or-stay-right-very-long life?
I guess so. Awesome. Just awesome. My head is rattling with all the possible outcomes of this. Everything from not wanting to have surgery to dying, and of course, the “what happens” scenarios that are popping into my head… everything from my husband to the horses, my precious, wonderful horses. What happens?
Honestly, though I’m just trying not to think about it and not get worked up. Everything now is just one step at a time and we’ll go from there. So the next step is the MRI. Other than that, there is no step. Although the surgeon said there is a 99% liklihood I’ll need to have this thing surgically removed. So it does look like surgery is for sure. Everything else is still up in the air.
My husband said I shouldn’t worry. Since this is in my leg it is nothing near in comparison to what he went through. That honestly, doesn’t really relax me in the least. I’m still worried and nervous, so I’ll just take it one step at a time and see what happens.