Breast Cancer and riding

HOWEN

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Joined
11 September 2005
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191
Evening

I haven’t posted for years! But hoping someone might give me some advice...

Unfortunately I was diagnosed with Breast cancer back in October and currently mid way through chemotherapy. 3 more to go. Total shock to me as I am only 34 years old and from that moment I found out, my life has been on hold.

It’s a hard slog and most days I struggle to even get out of bed.
Once my chemo is done then I will be in for a double mastectomy with reconstruction or DIEP.

I wondering if anyone had been through this and got back to the standard they were at before their world was turned upside down. Also how soon after surgery did it take to get back riding? I have turned my horse for the winter so no stable chores and my friend rides him 4 times a week to tick him over. I’ve been on him for some short hacks on my good days.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

AdorableAlice

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24 October 2011
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10,747
Feel for you, I have just hit 5 years NED after BC treatment, but I only had lumpectomy surgery, chemo and rads. I found riding painful for a good while and still have limited upward reach on the side of the surgery.

I am sure someone will come along and be able to guide you. Good luck with the chemo, I certainly know how you feel and if your bed is your comfort and sanctuary, so be it. I got to the stage mid chemo on the first week of each cycle, where I only went to the bathroom. Even that exhausted me.
 

KrujaaLass

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8 November 2005
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1,118
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Essex
I was 45 at my first diagnosis. Had radio therapy, chemo and part of breast removed. I felt fine with chemo and rads and if I remember correctly I was riding all through my treatment. About 3 weeks after op. Fast forward 20 years and it returned in same breast. Although tumour was minimal had to have mastectomy because could not have radiotherapy a second time. I had DIEP flap construction and it was hard going. Walking was uncomfortable for a while and don’t think I rode for many months, albeit I was 30 years older than you. I hope all goes ok for you. If you need any assurance feel free to message me. Xxx
 

Abby-Lou

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26 September 2013
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508
Last year my mum went through mastectomy on one breast chemo & rads. Felt like we were treading water for a whole year, but she's through it now. Her hair has grown back lovely, she still gets a bit tired and you can tel the treatment has knocked her. She was a brave solider right the way through, the nurses were just fantastic. I wish you all the best getting through the treatment as quick as you can xxx ps you can do it ! :)
 

LadySam

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14 August 2016
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South. Very south.
I was 38 when I was diagnosed. I had my surgery first (big lumpectomy and salvage on the left, lost all my lymph nodes, reduction on the right) followed by 6 months of chemo, rads and Herceptin. I was halfway through chemo and 4 months post surgery when I got back to a sport. Didn’t have access to a horse at the time so I took up dragon boating. Great for the core and especially helping recovery in the upper quadrant where I’d had surgery.

Go back to it when you feel you really need it, but be safe. If your surgeon or therapist gives you exercises to do post surgery, do them. (You’re a rider, you can nail them.)

Everyone is different but if you’re young and otherwise fit and healthy there’s no reason you can’t get back to the level you were before. For me, although I was up and racing dragon boats, it took me a long time for my energy levels to get back to normal. Maybe about a year? Even now I find myself being protective of my energy if it starts to wane. I don’t shred myself for anyone anymore.
 

HOWEN

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Joined
11 September 2005
Messages
191
Thank you everyone!

It’s tough going and no words can really describe how awful this whole situation is. Chemo is like energy hoover and it seems it will take a long time to recover from this.

I pleased that there is light at the end of this very long dark tunnel.
After reading your replies I think It will be this time next year I will be back to full fitness and not this summer like I hoped.

But most of all I hope to be Cancer free!

Ladies make sure you check you boobs and if anything you are unsure about go and get checked. I was going to leave it as I presumed it was a cyst, fortunately my husband dragged me to the doctors and it snowballed from there.
 

jokadoka

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20 November 2008
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447
I was diagnosed in 2011. Had right breast removed followed by chemo and radiotherapy. I had a TRAM flap reconstruction two years later. I had to wear a corset for three months post surgery and was told not to ride for those three months either. No heavy lifting etc either. Don't start doing stuff too soon after surgery, it is major surgery after all. I wasn't allowed to drive for a couple of weeks either after surgery. I went back to my 'normal' level (whatever that may be!) and have now been cancer free and living the good life for nearly 8 years!! You will get there but just take each day as it comes, and don't start doing stuff too soon. Good luck!!!
 

Fransurrey

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27 April 2004
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Surrey
Sorry to read you're going through this. I think you're doing all the right things. Keeping horse ticking over, seeing him when you can and taking it easy are the best you can do, really. Hope the surgery goes well and you're back on your feet asap. I know the surgeon will have gone through this, but do be careful with hygiene around the yard, as your immune system will be utter crap for a while. Best of luck to you!
 

CavaloBranco

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1 October 2018
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66
Back in 1995 they normally did surgery, chemo,radio then reconstruction. It did take me about a year to recover so don't be in a rush! For me, chemo was the worst but I did bounce back, no horse at the time but 2 young children. I felt mentally much better when I wasn't flattened by chemo and horses were and still are the best reason to get up in the morning. Thinking of you x
 

Quigleyandme

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8 March 2018
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230
I'm very sorry about your cancer. I don't have personal experience thanks be but a sidesaddle friend has gone through it. She was very poorly too but was back in the saddle after treatment with no loss of form or confidence. She bought a hunting horse that didn't pull like a train like her previous horse and off she went! Good luck with everything. X
 
Joined
25 February 2019
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Hi. There’s definitely a place for horses after breast cancer. I have had a mastectomy and my care team were delighted that I had a horse. Best feeling getting back on board. Good luck
 

Crazydancer

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26 July 2010
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Wimborne
Sorry to hear you are going through this, I'm another one who is now.... ummmm 11 years (??) on from BC in my mid 40s. Are you triple negative? That seems the more more common type when you are younger..... I was, with the spread already in my lymph nodes. 8 x chemo, then mastectomy and rads. I am quite small chested, and as the chemo had been very effective, was offered a skin-sparing mastectomy - I took that, and had an immediate implant. I was told I could have a re-con if I decided to at a later date, but I feel I lost so much time to cancer already I wasn't going to give it any more!
Don't underestimate the time it take to get over the chemo..... and try as much as you can to stay active without pushing yourself too much. I came out the other end feeling like even walking was an effort, and it did take a good while to get back to feeling 'normal'.
Happy to cover more detail if you would like, PM me if so. :)
 

Tarragon

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31 January 2018
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320
I am so sorry to read this... I cannot imagine what you must be going through.
I just wanted to add have you read Adorable Alice's "Next Equine Project" blog on this forum? It is a fabulous and inspirational read from someone who went through something similar and you might find it a real boost when you are feeling a bit down, plus it is hundreds of pages of posts by now and will keep you entertained for hours.
 
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