Today is my 55th Birthday. Really, not a big deal, except it’s easier to remember how old I am when it’s a number with a 0 or a 5. This one is kind of a milestone in that I’ve had quite a run of bad luck (healthwise, anyway). I had breast cancer surgery and radiation in 2011, but then in 2012 I did the most endurance rides I had ever done. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite fit enough and tore a ligament in my left ankle. Of course, I did that the first ride of the season. Remember I said that I did the most endurance rides in a year that I’d ever done? Well, I just rode faster, figuring Less Time in the Saddle = Ankle not killing me. I did get several Top Ten awards that year and also had ankle surgery in September (I think it was). The whole idea was that I’d come back stronger than ever….The Best Laid plans and all that. I did several years of very short rides and then moved up to Introduction Rides with some friends, doing some mentoring and such. At least it gave me a feeling of purpose! In 2015 I did my first Limited Distance ride in 3 years. I finished, but it really wasn’t much fun.
Galen and I at Mt. Adams in 2015. He thought we should be going MUCH FASTER.
So, I thought I was back. That July, after getting 100+ bales of local hay from the field on a hot summer day, I wanted a beer. My kids were inside the air-conditioned house, waiting for it to cool down before helping unload. I just wanted to be done and sit with a nice, cold beer.
So, I started unloading the hay myself.
I never did get that beer.
So, another 6 months plus of Physical Therapy and I started riding some. I took new riders (to trails) out on the trails and felt that I was really making progress. I got up to 2 hours of riding without much pain.
Then, in September of 2016, I went in for my 5 year mammogram, expecting to hear “You are all done! Congratulations!”. Instead, they found a small lump (again). Sigh. So, another partial mastectomy and breast reduction (can’t be unbalanced from side to side you know!) and 4 weeks of radiation. My husband and I did take time for a lovely cruise for our 30th wedding anniversary. I finished radiation on January 12th. Now it’s February 17th and I’m finally almost feeling like myself. I’ve put in a few short rides in the arena on Andy (he is very undemanding, unlike an orange boy I won’t name!) and I can feel myself starting to think about hitting the trails again.
Of course, this could be so much worse and I really am whining. I’m hoping to get back on the trails soon (Galen agrees) and plan on doing some breeding this year. The rest will have to wait and see.