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Riders with Cancer? :(

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  • Riders with Cancer? :(

    Hey everyone;
    I've not been on here much lately mostly cuz I haven't been able to ride since the weather started to get crappy and it's always dark after work!

    Anyway, there's another reason I can't ride right now though; as I recently got diagnosed with Cervical Cancer . I'm freaking out and terrified and know I have a long scary battle ahead of me! I just started treatments last week and spend most of my days feeling like crap .

    However, I am just wondering if there are any other riders out there who have/had cancer and maybe we can support each other?

    If you don't want to post here publicly, feel free to email me at:

    Thanks everyone and go hug your ponies cuz you never know what tomorrow will bring!
    You'd think I'd know better.

    AQHA Clique, Pony Club Clique and Member/Co-founder of the Boot to the Head Clique! (Members NOT wanted)

  • #2
    VWScully, you came to the right place! There are plenty of cancer survivors and people who are still fighting on this board.
    I went through chemo and radiation for about 8 months. I rode when I wanted to, even if it was just walking. It always made me feel better. I was able to keep up with riding semi seriously, but the hard days I gave myself a break!
    I will send you an email, too.
    Hang in there!


    • #3
      I don't have cancer, but can provide support. I'm sure you are really going through a tough time, but try to spend as much as you can with your horses, they can certainly help heal the spirit. Stay strong.


      • #4
        Sorry you have to go through this. On a brighter note, cervical cancer is very treatable!
        I am a cancer survivor. I had a smooth muscle cancer (leiomyosarcoma) in my uterus. Had a hysterectomy. Have regular scans, but have needed no further treatment so far!
        During the time I was actively dealing with it, I tried to do as much normal horsey things as possible. It didnt involve riding for a while (for obvious reasons! ) but I would still visit, groom and do groundwork. Often I didnt feel like doing much but making myself do normal things and keep the bond with my horse really helped me.
        Try to keep busy and occupy your mind and try not to focus on the "what ifs" but on the business of daily life.
        Best of luck!


        • #5
          I am so sorry Life can sure kick hard. Make sure your treatment includes as many horsey hugs and muzzle kisses as you can fit in.


          • #6
            I am a cancer survivor, too, and I rode throughout most of my treatment. I had surgery and chemo and while the chemo made me tired (most days in bed and *fast* asleep by 8 pm!) I maintained the rest of my life as normal - including riding. In fact, I had my surgery (double mastectomy) on a Tuesday morning, went home on Thursday morning, and rode on Sunday. Gingerly, and with the surgical drains taped up with vet wrap, I grant you... but RIDING.

            I was not going to give the stupid cancer any control over my life. I was very aggressive in my choice of treatment and then I went on about my day and truly did not give it another thought. Hair falling out (from chemo) was an excuse to buy a new GPA. New "girls" were an excuse to buy new rat catchers and hunt coats... etc. I also tried to take care of myself in all the usual ways - resting when I got tired, eating well, etc. I am fine now and happy to offer support to *anyone* in the midst of their battle. Please feel free to PM me if you would like!!
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


            • #7
              My friend is a 12 yr survivor of 'Invasive Cervical Cancer' which was almost missed. The cancer she had symptoms with was Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anal Verge. She had Chemo and Radiation simultaneously (Nigro protocol) and then total Hysterectomy and Omenectomy a few months later when Anal tumor ( thought to be hemorroid for 9 mos and undiagnosed) was shrunk and she recovered from chemo/radiation. She was 51 at diagnosis. She had a couple of 'clean Pap tests when she actually HAD invasive cervical CA!! so, second opinions are encouraged and she finally told her Dr. to send her to another specialist because she KNEW there was something wrong!

              She's doing great! Best wishes


              • Original Poster

                that is encouraging to hear cuz I was almost misdiagnosed too; I'm only in my 30s and had my tubes tied and an endometrial ablation last year so my 'wonky periods' lately were considered to be a failed ablation and nothing more. Only when I started to get really bad cramps when I did NOT have a period that my Gyneocologist thought something might be amiss! I got diagnosed with Stage 2b Cervical Adenocarcinoma on Nov. 20 .

                I had NEVER missed a Pap test nor had an abnormal one either so you can see they are NOT infallible especially for certain types of cervical cancer.

                I'm not really able to ride right now due to the fact that I don't have an indoor ring and the winter is pretty bad around here, but I do keep my horses at home and when I'm not feeling too sh*tty, am able to go and do chores and just spend time with my horses. However, my boyfriend does chores when I'm feeling too crappy .

                Thanks again everyone for your support; I really need to know there are others out there who have beaten this cuz it's just really scary for me right now.
                You'd think I'd know better.

                AQHA Clique, Pony Club Clique and Member/Co-founder of the Boot to the Head Clique! (Members NOT wanted)


                • #9
                  VWScully, I'm sorry you received such horrible news.

                  A few months ago I posted a thread as "AlteredTushie." I had just been diagnosed with the same anal cancer anuphillbattle's friend had (no cervical tho). It was so upsetting to me that I went on anti-anxiety meds through mid-October. I'm no longer embarrassed to admit what I had and went through.

                  I began treatment at the end of August when a port was inserted into my chest so that I could receive chemo for 96 hours straight in the first & fifth weeks of my 6-week radiation schedule. The entire saga is recorded in a very open, very detailed thread on another board. I finished radiation & chemo the first week of October.

                  This particular treatment is very concentrated & intense. I was unable to work at all. I've been on disability for 4 months. I've ridden, well sat on, my horse only once in these 4 months, and that was one week after the radiation burns subsided. There were many reasons I missed seeing my critters, but the biggest deterrent was the port in my chest. It was so uncomfortable I could not wear a bra strap or a seat belt, much less groom or ride. There hasn't been a day that I haven't sworn up a storm about it--until today.

                  I got it surgically removed this morning

                  I had a CT of the chest/abdomen/pelvis last Friday and it showed NED, or no evidence of disease! I meet with my chemo oncologist the day after Christmas and I expect to be allowed to return to work.

                  I would be more than happy to be support for you. I know the hell you're going through.
                  I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
                  Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


                  • #10
                    Treat the cancer like a speed bump, do the treatment, get back to life and kiss the MF goodbye! YOU ARE IN CHARGE !

                    Let this be a reminder to all you others - pay attention to your body and do your self examinations and if you think there is something wrong then make sure somebody takes notice.
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._


                    • #11
                      VWScully...sending huge prayers for a complete recovery.

                      A coworker was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer. She had surgery/chemo and recovered completely. She's been cancer free ever since (10 yrs). She was funny, because she was so excited that her hair grew back thicker than before she had chemo.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks everyone;
                        I am doing Chemo and Radiation right now and towards the end of my treatments have to have internal radiation and that is really freaking me out!
                        We are in the middle of a blizzard today so at least I got to skip a treatment today . I have to make it up at the end, but at least I get a bit of respite for a few days.

                        I still can't believe this is happening to me; I keep thinking I will wake up and will have all been a bad dream. I NEVER get sick and now I'm as sick as can be!?!? WTF??!!
                        Still, the more people I can see who've beaten it; the better I feel. Thanks .
                        You'd think I'd know better.

                        AQHA Clique, Pony Club Clique and Member/Co-founder of the Boot to the Head Clique! (Members NOT wanted)


                        • #13
                          Just thought I would share a story about cancer I heard years ago that always stuck with me and might give you a shot of hope.

                          There used to be a show on t.v. about miracles and such. Well this lady was diagnosed with cancer and given a certain amount of time to live. She decided to spend the rest of her days in the saddle. She rode all day every day. Turns out her tumor started regressing. The doc's could only attribute it to the way she sat when she rode cut off blood flow to her tumor.


                          • #14
                            HUGS! Sending hugs! and...

                            Fat sleepy puppies all in a pile, apple pie, bright bunches of flowers, horses crunching carrots and slurping bran, fuzzy foals in the early morning, peppermint tea and candy canes, sheep on a grassy hillside.

                            Hot cocoa, a good book, and a cat all wrapped up in a down comforter in front of a fire. Snowball fights with your best friends. Snuggly flannel sheets, somebody else doing the dishes, unexpected days off from work.

                            All of your tack miraculously becoming clean and organized. Comfortable slippers and sweat pants, preferably oversized. Bubble baths.

                            did I mention hugs?
                            Last edited by gloryeyes; Dec. 19, 2008, 11:08 PM. Reason: thought of more things...
                            "Sir, I think you have a problem with your brain being missing." - Zoe


                            • #15
                              I finished treatments the day before Thanksgiving--boy, was I thankful! My hair is slowly growing back, I gave up my wig a week ago today and will get my port out on the 30th.

                              Mine was breast cancer; I was able to keep up with much of my horse activity, but I also gave myself permission to do only as much as I felt comfortable with. My horses are at home, so I had help for about two dlays following chemo treatments; I could do basic feeding, but having someone to help with mucking was a big help. Radiation caused some fatigue but otherwise wasn't a biggie for me.

                              I feel much better now that the treatment is finished, but my stamina is still a work in progress. But it was nowhere near as bad as I feared, and you do reach the end, finally.

                              Hang in there, keep in touch--we will help you get thru this!!
                              "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                              Spay and neuter. Please.


                              • #16
                                I'm a breast and uterine cancer survivor - the latter was caused by drugs for the former. You'll get through this. Just keep thinking "By this time next year I'll be fine and riding my horse." Life will be normal again - but it's a new, post-cancer normal.


                                • #17
                                  As my friend said, 'Be prepared to start the crappiest coupla months of your life'.

                                  Treatment for cancer is never fun. But cervical cancer is one of the very treatable ones.

                                  You're going to be fine. It's just going to be a little bit of a bumpy ride getting there. But you are ornery enough and determined enough to get back to riding that you are going to be back doing what you love in less time than the average person.

                                  SO! Start with the reading list, the relatives you haven't talked to lately, and the list for your significant other of all the special treatment you need - back rubs, of course, are mandatory, upon request. And don't forget all the special food you'll need to build yourself back up. I hear Lobster, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and prime rib are indispensable as nutritional treatments!!!

                                  YOu also get a free pass to come here any time of the night or day, and find a friend.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by VWScully View Post
                                    Thanks everyone;
                                    I am doing Chemo and Radiation right now and towards the end of my treatments have to have internal radiation and that is really freaking me out!
                                    We are in the middle of a blizzard today so at least I got to skip a treatment today . I have to make it up at the end, but at least I get a bit of respite for a few days.

                                    I still can't believe this is happening to me; I keep thinking I will wake up and will have all been a bad dream. I NEVER get sick and now I'm as sick as can be!?!? WTF??!!
                                    Still, the more people I can see who've beaten it; the better I feel. Thanks .
                                    There are a lot of posters here that can share their experience. I have not been through it, but I offer my support and thoughts. Go with it one day at a time and get through the treatments - give yourself things to look forward to along the way, and spend time with your ponies. Thanks for sharing...your strength may guide one of us someday.


                                    • #19
                                      Hi... I am a two time Hodgkins patient. I have had both radiation and chemotherapy. I was able to ride and continue working full time through most of it. I think the most important this to do is maintain a positive attitude. I know that isn't easy, but I used to think of chemotherapy as roto-rooter in my veins wiping out the bad stuff.

                                      Please feel free to PM with any questions you might have or anything I can help with. Hang in there - as it is said, this too shall passl fg


                                      • #20
                                        Good luck! My family has the BRCA2 gene and I was just diagnosed with the same gene. We are holding out until the magic 40th birthday until I do anything as we are not stopping from having kids. Kinda let fate make a decision for us. Then we'll get them lopped off and do the hysterectomy. I'm going to my sis's over the new year as she's getting the last bit of her surgery done. Hysterectomy and new nippies! So, now her hubby can't call her a fem-bot She still calls them frankentits though.
                                        Anyway, chin up and fight like hell. My mom has survived a radical mastecomy for 30 years. And back then they butchered the heck out of you. Her survival technique is to diagnose early and keep looking forward.
                                        Even duct tape can't fix stupid