Thursday, March 29, 2007

Onward Through the Fog

It's been over a month. Surgery was painful but successful. Chemo is annoying but a valid commitment of good spring riding weather . . . if it assures I won't have to do this again. I'm willing to buy that premise.

So the next phase of the taming process has to be in the form of my unhappy recognition that I'm not 19 anymore. In fact, I'm not 49 anymore either. The zipper track running from my sternum to my pubic bone doesn't concern me. I was never a fan of bikinis, and there comes a point when any sane woman simply yields to the badges of age and forgoes minor pride. I still look good in clothes, which is more than sufficient.

But healing at this age isn't the piece of cake it was back when I was busy dislocating, fracturing and concussing body parts with abandon, assured that in a day or so I'd be riding through the pain and life would go on. Nearly five weeks post-surgery, this morning I pushed the 10-pound permissible envelope and lifted two 6.6 pound hand weights. I lifted them quite a few times in various directions. I carefully isolated my abdominal muscles to avoid strain and lifted and lowered and raised and twisted. This "workout" lasted perhaps five minutes before I was out of breath, out of energy and plumb out of guts.

How does this bode for hopping back into the saddle in the immediate future? A few months ago I was scaling the side of a hay wagon tossing bales as I went. Today I scaled the side of my bed with a Percocet in hand and took a nap to recover from the exertion. Only five weeks out of commission, and this is my condition. Where will I be five months from now after chemo has laid me up for two weeks out of every month?

The horses stare at me when I wander outside, wondering, I'm sure, where I'm going that doesn't include them. The farm hands are doing a fine job of keeping them alive, but the fussing and cuddling is lacking. Oh, there's attention being paid, but it's not the same.

Or maybe it is. Maybe it's even better. Spring is upon us. Zip is merrily feral. The others, kinder and less opinionated, are just happy to be at their endless pasture buffet. Duke isn't speaking to anyone. Come fall there will be a massive rebonding program instituted. I'm game. Hopefully they will be as well. They have no choice. One doesn't battle the "C Word" only to be thwarted by a bunch of recalcitrant equines now, does one?

Moving on . . .