Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Chalkier than normal

So, on a horseracing discussion board where I hang out -- ok, I'm an administrator --
there is a Breeders' Cup contest that is as simple as it comes... largely because Josh has offered to do all the math! You pick two horses you like in each race. The betting goes like this: "You will play $10 win and place on each of your selections, plus a $1 two-horse exacta box, plus a $1 pick three and pick four on all applicable races (using, of course, your two selections in each leg), plus a $2 AB/AB daily double in the third and ninth races.

That's all there is to it. And most cash on hand at the end of the day, of course, wins."

Well, once I was convinced to play -- no money is changing hands -- I made up my list. A lot of sentiment: I am not convinced that Riskaverse is going to love the going on the turf course tomorrow. I am not convinced Dr. Pleasure, at the age of 2, will overcome breaking from post position 14, but he's my beloved Beautiful Pleasure's first kid, so I have to root for him. It's also very unusual to see a John & Donna Ward trainee show up in the Juvenile, so I do wonder what they have planned for him.

But in the Sprint, I had to go with Lost in the Fog. That's partly sentiment, too. I hear how this is a more talented field than any other he has faced, and that's true. And at even money, ain't no way to make money on him. But this is a horse who hasn't done a damn thing wrong. He has won at multiple tracks, on both coasts. He's like Smarty Jones in that Smarty kept marching forward and winning, and people kept predicting he would lose his next race. Lost in the Fog isn't getting the respect his record -- 10 wins in a row, including one at Belmont -- deserves. So I've picked him in the sprint.

And in the Mile, I have to go with Leroi --Leroidesanimeaux. He's been impressive all year long, would love to see him top off the season with a win here.

Stellar Jayne, please, in the Distaff. Not just because she's a pretty gray. :-) I wouldn't be disappointed if Ashado repeated, though. She's off to the breeding shed, as are Wonder Again and Riskaverse. The BC won't be the same next year without this trio of classy dames.

In the Classic -- it was hard, I was splitting my rooting interests between Rock Hard Ten and Perfect Drift, but not that Rocky has scratched I can concentrate on Drift who certainly has an almost perfect post position. Here's hoping fourth time is the charm -- he's improved in each Classic in which he's run.

Most of all, I just want everyone to come home sound. I hope it really is a fantastic day of racing.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Vacations and emergency rooms

Well, Provincetown was lovely, as always, even though the weather did not allow for sitting on the beach, reading. It didn't rain much during the day, but it was windy and just not nice weather. What was pretty cool was that a friend of a friend had a show opening at a new gallery down there on Friday night, so we went and introduced ourselves. There was another artist there who is a columnist for the local paper -- Jeanne McCartin -- who had interviewed Melissa a few years back, so they reconnected, too. It was a little colony of seacoast New Hampshire-ites there in P'town.

But Saturday afternoon, I noticed my left eye was sore, and Sunday morning, it was swollen almost shut, so we left a day early -- a day on which the sun was actually shining, waaahhh! -- and drove back to Portsmouth. I ended up at the emergency room with a pretty severe eye infection. Luckily it's in my blind eye anyway, but my eye was very swollen and the muscle that enables my eye to move side to side is involved.

I had a very good emergency room doctor, who called my opthamologist, and he prescribed steroid drops. The drops worked wonderfully well, within a few days. The muscles in the eye are still sore so I'm not driving yet. Hopefully, I will be some time next week.

But I had been so excited by the prospect of a vacation, a real one, time away from home without doctors, and where do I end up? Same thing happened in August, in Saratoga, when I had what's called a "hypotensive" event -- my blood pressure was way too low and I about passed out while we were visiting a local farm. It's making me wary of vacations!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hunh. Getting mad seems to have helped.

I had chemo last Friday, and like half the other sessions, I had to start by going to radiology and having them access the damn reservoir. In fact, three of us -- Dr. Pierce, Dr. Bonnem, and myself -- seem to have come to the same conclusion independently: the selker reservoir moves. Not a lot, it just shifts under the skin, so that the point of access is never the same. So tattooing the spot wouldn't help. I was on the verge of suggesting to Dr. Bonnem that before my next treatments, we make an appointment with radiology, so they'll at least be expecting me.

Well, Dr. Bonnem came in and said that since the cerebral spinal fluids had come back clean the past several times (I think the was my 7th or 8th treatment), since the protein and glucose were doing what they were supposed to, there were no white blood cells showing up, presumably because there's nothing there to fight, and since he had sent the last sample of CSF to the pathology lab, and they had found NO TRACE OF TUMOR CELLS, we would make this my last chemo. Instead, I'll go in every three weeks for a check-up. They can draw the CSF from the reservoir, and yes, I have an appointment first with radiology. I consider myself lucky to have the damn reservoir though, since it obviates the need for a spinal tap.

This leaves me free and clear for our annual October trip to Provincetown! I am still a little unsteady on my feet on uneven surfaces (like dirt, sand... sigh), but I am still going to the Beech Forest and hang out with those ballsy little chickadees who are a kind of role model for me, they're so tough.

Right now, as of this moment, I consider myself cancer-free. Titless and cancer-free, as Melissa and I were joking when I had my mastectomy. Much more fun even than being footloose and fancy-free!