Hay, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged but it’s the beginning of a new month – and a very important month. So, I’m compelled to put off rolling in the mud for a little while and tell you something I’ve never shared before.
Many of you may know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. What you don’t know is that last year, during her yearly doctor’s visit and mammogram, the PR Girl was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She was terrified but she wasn’t surprised. Her mom is a survivor and she always felt like she was waiting for the other “shoe to drop”, as they say – whoever “they” are.
In January, she had surgery. She wasn’t out at the barn for about 10 days but thanks to my schedule and good timing, we didn’t miss a visit that month. While she was gone, her friend and assistant PR Girl took good care of me. (I always like it when she takes care of me. I get extra treats.)
When the PR Girl returned, she cleaned my stall, set out my food, and took care of me as always. We went out on our regularly scheduled visits and I remember her asking me to “go easy” as we walked down the hallways. So, I did. I walked extra slowly.
Then about six weeks after surgery, the PR Girl had to start radiation treatment. That went on for 6 ½ weeks. Coincidentally, the treatment center was close to the barn. So every morning right after treatment, she came to the barn and continued with chores, therapy visits, and all the paperwork, marketing and business stuff that she does for me. (You know…having tiny hooves and no thumbs make holding a pen or typing just a little difficult. And I’m not cleaning up after MYSELF! Please. That’s why I have the PR Girl.)
It wasn’t easy for her. In fact, she’s told me that she was surprised that it took the mental and emotional toll that it did. She thought just because she didn’t have to have chemotherapy that it would be easier. And she knows it was…but still, she wasn’t prepared for how it made her feel – both physically and mentally.
She didn’t tell very many people. Just her family and a few close friends knew what was happening. But their love and support helped her through that hard time. And don’t forget me. I helped, too.
I tell you this story for a few reasons.
The PR Girl is a very private person. She wasn’t sure she was brave enough to tell her story. That’s why I’m telling you. She doesn’t want people to feel sorry for her. But she wants everyone to know that it’s so important that women go for their yearly exams. PLEASE! She discovered this during a routine visit. Thanks to amazing doctors, who first saw something that was non detectable except by a mammogram, and because of an amazing surgeon, she is here today – to take care of her family – and me!
And without ME – where would you guys be, right?
Second, the PR Girl learned firsthand something that she already knew in her heart. Animals heal. Ponies heal. She says that I helped her get through a scary and difficult time. All of the jobs I do – therapy visits, my bullying prevention program – and all the work associated with them – barn chores, taking me to my different visits and appearances, and all the office work – is what kept her busy and moving forward.
But it was more than that. It was a connection – one that she already had with me and just like the one that I share with everyone I meet on my therapy visits. I offered her unconditional love and support. No words. Just actions. Pure love. It’s why we both work so hard to educate people as to the healing powers of my equine friends and it’s what we work so hard to share – in person and virtually.
Sure. She’s still worried. Sometimes she wonders if the worry will ever go away. And when she had to go for her six-month mammogram, she was really scared. But she got a good report. She goes back again in January – and will be going back every six months for the next two years. She’s already started worrying about her next visit but I’m here to take her mind off it. And that’s the point of this story.
The PR Girl and I have learned that everything happens for a reason. She found me – after searching for a year for just the right horse. She knew I was “the one” the moment she called about me. Neither of us knew then where we would be now. Our journey together has been nothing short of amazing. She feels blessed that she could take her professional skills and marry them with her love for horses. She never planned that my life with her would be like this. Things just unfolded.
And here we are – going through this adventure together, helping where we can and trying to do our share to make the world a little bit better. That’s why I’m sharing her story with you. We hope that it may help you in some way.
Sure, sometimes the road is bumpy but we’re all in this together. So. share the love and don’t forget to make sure the women in your life get their checkups.
Oh! And hug a pony. It’s good for your health.
‘Cuz that’s how I roll.