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Chimenea

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Well, it's been an interesting few months, but after a busy summer that was later followed by far too much time with doctors this past fall, I'm finally starting to crawl out from under the rock under which I was hiding.

Reading others' posts and keeping up with everyone, even if it was done silently, has gone a long way towards keeping me tied to some semblance of sanity. I have finally started to get myself back in gear with my online activities, and took the opportunity to update our ranch's website to celebrate the fact that we were accepted into the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders Program last week. Ours is the first ranch in Mexico to be accepted into the program.

Though our website is overdue for an overhaul, I added links to the pedigrees of our two new stallions, and posted photos of the studs -- as well as additional ranch pictures and some pictures of our horses that aren't yet on the website -- at an off-site picture site hosted by Google. Our website is http://www.chimeneaqh.com, and the off-site album is at https://plus.google.com/photos/117409907206298901891/albums/5510545135640804289

The health issues have kept me from travelling -- and therefore away from the ranch -- since Labor Day weekend, so sharing these pictures and visiting with you folks in these forums is one of the ways that I cure my homesickness :D

Best to all
 

hillsdown

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Chimenea said:
Well, it's been an interesting few months, but after a busy summer that was later followed by far too much time with doctors this past fall, I'm finally starting to crawl out from under the rock under which I was hiding.

Reading others' posts and keeping up with everyone, even if it was done silently, has gone a long way towards keeping me tied to some semblance of sanity. I have finally started to get myself back in gear with my online activities, and took the opportunity to update our ranch's website to celebrate the fact that we were accepted into the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders Program last week. Ours is the first ranch in Mexico to be accepted into the program.

Though our website is overdue for an overhaul, I added links to the pedigrees of our two new stallions, and posted photos of the studs -- as well as additional ranch pictures and some pictures of our horses that aren't yet on the website -- at an off-site picture site hosted by Google. Our website is http://www.chimeneaqh.com, and the off-site album is at https://plus.google.com/photos/117409907206298901891/albums/5510545135640804289

The health issues have kept me from travelling -- and therefore away from the ranch -- since Labor Day weekend, so sharing these pictures and visiting with you folks in these forums is one of the ways that I cure my homesickness :D

Best to all

Congratulations !!! You should be very proud :clap:

Sorry to hear about your health issues .I wish you a full and speedy recovery and do hope that you feel better soon and can be back out to your ranch again.

Wonderful photos , your horses are beautiful and the scenery is gorgeous .
 

Nicky

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Good to hear from you, sorry about your health issues. Give us some idea of what to pray for for you. And congratulations on your achievment!
 

katrina

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I've been wondering about you!! Hope you get to feeling better.. Anything we can do to help ya out? Take care and keep in touch..


ps
I bred my mare to RF Consortium...
 

Chimenea

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Thank you folks, for your very kind thoughts and words. We have a lot of fun with the horses, and are, indeed, pretty proud to be accepted into the Ranching Heritage Breeders Program.

Katrina, I really like the bottom side of RF Consortium's pedigree; The Continental was a heck of a horse, and the Tee Jay Horses from Duane Walker's program are the kind I like -- big, stout, gentle, athletic, and pretty. Good studs have good mommas, and though I don't know the stallion's dam, she's certainly bred to be the right kind. I've never seen RF Consortium and couldn't find a picture of him online or in the Quarter Horse Journal; if you have one, I'd love to see if he looks the way I think he does.

Regarding the health issues: I ended up needing to undergo surgery last October to remove a big hump that developed and grew on my back over the course of two days. I went into the ER thinking I would get muscle relaxants and some pain medications to make it to a scheduled doctor's appointment the following day, and ended up hearing something like "this has to come out NOW." And then, after a few more pre-operative tests, my wife and I heard "when you come out of the surgery and recovery, you'll be diagnosed with either lymphoma or leukemia." Which explained fairly quickly why -- of the 65 lbs I'd lost in the previous 18 months or so, 40 of them had come off within about four months.

Anyway, the doctors ended up removing two and a half liters (about three quarts) of infected material from my back, through a fairly large entry point below my left shoulder blade. This, of course, left a pretty large hole where the hematoma had previously been, which is still healing today. The recovery immediately following the surgery ended up being fun: six and a half days in an induced coma and four more spent in the ICU, with part of that period spent in what the doctors call "ICU psychosis" (when all the poking, prodding, measuring, and attention that comes from being in ICU leads to not sleeping... I went over 48 hours without sleeping when they brought me out of the coma... and that put me into an interesting state of delirium all its own...). Then another week in a regular hospital room while I recovered further from the surgery and underwent a 1-week round of oral chemotherapy. All told, about two and a half weeks, from initial hospitalization on the 24th of October, to my relase on Nov. 9. About three weeks after being released, the evening of Nov. 28 found me back in the hospital for another week because the surgical wound had developed an infection below the bed of the wound. By the time I left the hospital the second time (on December 6), I'd lost another 30 pounds (in addition to the 65 I'd already lost due to the unchecked leukemia) to the surgery, muscle atrophy from bed and house rest required by the surgical recuperation, and just being sick overall.

The surgical wound has made great progress in the last month and a half, and, at this point, all that remains is for my skin to finish growing back over the area. These things heal from the inside out, so the surgical recovery is hopefully in its final stages. At this rate and if all goes well, the surgical wound should be completely scarred over within the next month or so. And, I've put back just about all the weight I lost due to the hospitalizations and recuperation. I have about another 10 pounds or so to put back before I'm at the weight I should be, and have a long way to go in building muscle mass back up after essentially not being able to use my upper body for any activity more strenuous than pouring from a half gallon of milk in order to keep the surgical wound from tearing back open.

None of the doctors have been able to tell me for sure what the cause of the hematoma really was. They know it was a bacterial infection, and suppose that it grew as large and unchecked as it did because my immune system was, by that time, severely compromised by the leukemia. As to how the bacteria got inside my body, well... there's bacteria on our skin and in our environment all the time; the bacteria travel into our bodies (via aspiration, food, skin lesions, etc.) frequently, but are usually managed successfully by our bodies' healthy immune systems. In this case, my body couldn't fight off the bacteria that made its way inside last October.

Anyway, the diagnosis regarding the leukemia is that, sometime prior to when all this started, I developed a condition called Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), which when all is said and done is probably about the most manageable type of cancer a person can have. If left unchecked for an extended period of time (how many months are needed to qualify for the 'extended period of time' moniker varies from person to person), chronic leukemia will behave much like acute leukemia (acute leukemia is what came to mind for me every time I heard the word 'leukemia' prior to this). That means that the condition will usually kill a person within a couple years, at most, of the onset of this more serious stage. But my doctors and a lot of the literature I've read indicate that if it's caught early enough (which in my case appears to be what has happened), the condition can be managed in a way that a person lives a relatively normal life for decades, and recent medical advances in the field have made the management far less intrusive than in the past. And now, after the initial round of chemo and some adjustments to my medications (made a little more complicated by the fact that my body is not behaving normally yet as it continues to heal from the surgery), the doctors seem to be on their way to getting the condition under control. Hopefully, it will remain in check for a while yet -- I have three young kids and a beautiful wife beside whom I intend to grow very old.

And, the entire thing has been one great big blessing; the amount of prayer and support that has come about because of this has been overwhelming and awe inspiring. Friends that I haven't seen for, in some cases, up to 20 years have gotten back in touch and rallied around me from the start. My family members (immediate and extended) and friends have been around me continually, and they and their friends (many of whom I've never even met) have been praying individually, in groups, in their faith communities, in such numbers that I can't help but choke up when I talk about it. Last August I took a payroll job after having been through a layoff in late 2010, awfully slow work on the self-employment side during the first half of 2011, and having to give our house back to the bank last summer. The payroll job in August came with the health insurance that's paid the bills for all the recent medical treatment. My family and I have always had a very strong faith, and God is the only reason that I've not only made it this far with the medical issues (or life in general, really...), but that the results have been so positive and so rapid.

Without a doubt, this experience has been a much more difficult ordeal for my family than it has been for me. So, this past holiday season was particularly poignant for my family and for me; we had some serious 'thanks' to give for Thanksgiving, a real celebration was merited for my birthday (the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, and the day that I went back to the hospital the second time), had a different type of appreciation for being home as a family for Christmas, and have a lot to look forward to as we bring in the New Year.

As I grow physically stronger during my surgical recovery (we make a little bit of progress every day) and slowly start to get back to normal life, I trust God to keep holding us close as we move forward. We still have a ways to go with my physical recovery, and then it'll be back to re-building professionally (I was laid off from the payroll job since I haven't been able to work) and continuing to work at my most important responsibility: being a dad. So, all prayers are greatly appreciated and very much needed.

In the meantime, I take my life one day at a time and enjoy every blessing He sends us. One of which is the opportunity to be part of a family that ranches; between the work and the health issues of the past couple of years, I've spent precious little time on the ranch (or even horseback with our in-town horses). So, keeping abreast of the goings-on at the ranch through my family, and with the rest of the cattle and horse industry through outlets like these forums, is very much therapeutic, and I thank God -- and you folks -- for the opportunity to remain a small part of your world.

Cheers.
 

Chimenea

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By the way, just prior to this whole thing, in early August of 2011, I finally had the opportunity to visit northeast Nebraska (the Gordon area, specifically) for a few days. At least during decent weather -- my only other previous visit to the area was in late January of 2007, and it was just too cold for us to really enjoy our stay... -19° F before the wind chill, and it was blowing 25 to 35 mph. Anyway, this time I flew into Rapid City and travelled through the Sioux reservation (right past the Wounded Knee site) to Gordon, then spent some time traveling with my host (who for this trip was both host and client) west and north of Gordon.

What gorgeous country some of you folks live in. Seemingly endless rolling hills of grass, fat cattle and horses, and not a thorny brush in sight. Of course, I did get a little shaken one afternoon in South Dakota when I saw storm clouds with tendrils that my host said looked like they could develop into a tornado.... But, no harm no foul, and all we saw as we headed back to Gordon that evening were copious amounts of rain (which I wish I'd somehow been able to drag back to Arizona and Sonora with me...).

Anyway, I think I was fairly close to your stomping grounds, Katrina, and during the planning for the trip I thought of checking in with you. But, the work side of the trip (my host was, after all, my client, as well...) ended up being busier than we originally thought and I didn't have the extra day that I wanted to take to play around a little bit. Turns out I could probably burn up a whole week just playing around if given half the chance, but that's a story for another day. Hopefully I'll be able to catch you on the next trip.

Cheers.
 

katrina

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Oh goodness.... Please take care... You need to keep in touch better not only can we send prayers, I know that we can also cheer ya up till you get back on your feet.
I finally am riding Limit now and we can do counter arching and slow spins. So cool just to tap his next and he spins on that one leg. For a big horse he keeps his feet under him really nice. We also worked on roll backs off the fence and into a trot.. I need to NOT lean and keep my hands not so foreward like I'm pushing him...(It's the cowgirl in me :D :D ) After my coach seen me ride, she said that I'm a pretty rider and that I need to get onto something broke. That even though Limit is coming along fine, I'm wasting a year that I need to be riding competitive now.. Soooo know of any solid pleasure horses?? I'm not quite sold yet, as I've never rode someone's elses trained horse.. I can't explain it...

RF Consortium is in last months and the month before that in the Quarter Horse Journal. Not very good pictures at all. I was disappointed in the pictures.. Joe Butler is standing him and should have some colts in a month or sooo. He is really classy. Really nice head and doesn't stand so much over his pasturns like most show horses. Is a bay... but registered as brown. He has a nice set hock like ya want to see. Big nice shoulder slope. I will get pictures when my mare foals this spring..
TAke care and be sure and keep in touch...
 

Chimenea

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BMR, many thanks. He has definitely gotten us this far, and I've no doubt He will continue to carry us through these oh-so-interesting times :D

Katrina, I gave away my copies of the December and November Journal, and the January issue only has a picture of the other stallion that stands at Limit Up. Maybe I can find him in next month's; in the meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures of your mare's baby. When is she due? Our first horse babies of the year are due next month, both of them by our new racing bred stallion (a son of Feature Mr Jess and out of a Heza Fast Man mare). We've got two other mares bred to outside stallions (both of the studs are paints). And we've bred five mares to our gray Wiescamp bred stud that we bought in Nebraska. Two of those mares gave us nice babies from him last year (even got one of them sold... a really pretty gray filly that is out of a mare we raised by the Coosa son that we stood). Two others are the mares we bought in Nebraska along with the stud, including a paternal sister to the stud. Because the horse that we're linebreeding to is probably the best stallion the Wiescamp family owned at the time of Hank Wiescamp's passing, we're pretty excited to see what results from the cross. The fifth mare is carrying a baby I'm really looking forward to, as the mare is by our old gray horse and out of a three quarter sister to our old Western Impress son. So, big foal crop this year. We're looking forward to seeing how our experimetns play out.

How do you like the pleasure discipline and shows? Sounds like you're having fun with it :). I don't know of any finished western pleasure horses for sale, but I have a couple ideas of where to look. I'll let you know if I come up with something. And I'll definitely stay in touch ... the cheering up you're talking about is very much real, and the prayers are extremely welcome.
 

Angus Cattle Shower

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Chimena, I don't beieve that I have ever communicated with you, but your story really touched home with me. You sound alot like my father, hardworking, honest, proud, strong and faithful. I was born in 1992, and my brother in 1995. My father had a tumor on his brain stem that the doctors had dismissed as a case of MS. However, once they found out what it was he needed to go for immediate surgery. When he went in the doctors told him he had very slim chances of coming out of the operating room, and if he did come out there was a 99% chance that he would be different, something as simple as a twitch or most likely in a vegetated or baindead state. He refused to say goodbye to mom, because he believed it was not his time to go, he had two baby boys (and a daughter in 1998) to take care of, and he had to feed cows in the morning! He stayed in the hospital for two months, and in that time, even on many, many drugs he told all the nurses about his boys, his cattle and even seeding! The drugs made him hallucinate and often he thought I or Sheldon was with him. A few times he freaked out because he was sure that he left the tractor and grinder running outside. He would stay awake at night, pretending to hold his boys and tell them stories, teaching them about farming. Each night the nurse would have to take "us" from his hands and put us to bed for him. To this day he has made a full recovery aftetr a very long, painful and stressful adventure. But his faith in God and love for his family kept him going. This man is who I hope to become one day, although I have alot of work to do to get my life on track. I respect you for the battle you are fighting and the dedication you have to your family and farm. I would feel as though you have been done wrong, or that it shouldn't be you. But God has given you this challenge to overcome and it will better you as a human, and hopefully convince others to do the same. The good Lord will not put a mountain in front of you that you can't climb. You might need support from your family and friends, but you can do it! That mountain you are climbing is only a grain of sand, keep that in mind! You may feel heartbroken, and at times you may feel useless (I know I did after my car accident, I couldnt put my own pants on and needed to ask my little brother to help) but everyone needs help at one point, it will be in different ways and may be very humbling BUT it takes a real man to admit he needs help.

You sir, are an excellent role model for your children and anyone around you. I hope your children and their children consider you a hero, as I do my father.

I pray that the Lord bless you and all of those affected, the doctors and nurses, and everyone that will help on your path to recovery.

I would also like to thank you for putting things into perspective for me. I don't go to church or pray as often as I should but I know God is there for me whenever I need him, and whenever I pray I thank him for the wonderful life he has given me and the beautiful and bountiful area he has blessed us with. If you ever come to Saskatchewan look me up, I'll take you out for some steak. I would love to hear more from you in the future and learn whatever you have to teach me! Im only 19 and I have a whole education to get, and I cant get most of it from a book or a classroom.

Take care and God Bless!
 

Faster horses

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ACS, you are wise beyond your years. That was something to read.
I'm glad your father came through his ordeal in good shape.

Chimena, we are glad to have you back. It's so good that you
went for medical help when you did. I'm glad you are on the up
and up now. Please stick around and post when you can. We
will be praying for complete healing for you. You are so right,
"God is in control."
 

katrina

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Chimenea said:
BMR, many thanks. He has definitely gotten us this far, and I've no doubt He will continue to carry us through these oh-so-interesting times :D

Katrina, I gave away my copies of the December and November Journal, and the January issue only has a picture of the other stallion that stands at Limit Up. Maybe I can find him in next month's; in the meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures of your mare's baby. When is she due? Our first horse babies of the year are due next month, both of them by our new racing bred stallion (a son of Feature Mr Jess and out of a Heza Fast Man mare). We've got two other mares bred to outside stallions (both of the studs are paints). And we've bred five mares to our gray Wiescamp bred stud that we bought in Nebraska. Two of those mares gave us nice babies from him last year (even got one of them sold... a really pretty gray filly that is out of a mare we raised by the Coosa son that we stood). Two others are the mares we bought in Nebraska along with the stud, including a paternal sister to the stud. Because the horse that we're linebreeding to is probably the best stallion the Wiescamp family owned at the time of Hank Wiescamp's passing, we're pretty excited to see what results from the cross. The fifth mare is carrying a baby I'm really looking forward to, as the mare is by our old gray horse and out of a three quarter sister to our old Western Impress son. So, big foal crop this year. We're looking forward to seeing how our experimetns play out.

How do you like the pleasure discipline and shows? Sounds like you're having fun with it :). I don't know of any finished western pleasure horses for sale, but I have a couple ideas of where to look. I'll let you know if I come up with something. And I'll definitely stay in touch ... the cheering up you're talking about is very much real, and the prayers are extremely welcome.

Chimenea,

Wished I'd know you were in my country.. Even a quick cup of coffee somewhere.. Oh well next time... Did you see me in the October journal? Can't believe I made it.. This whole AQHA thing has been such a dream to me.. I am blessed with such a nice horse.. I love him no matter what.. He has taken me places that I only went to in my dreams.
I don't really care for the pleasure horses at all. I am drawn to the english horses.. Weird I know. :roll: My trainer(that sounds so funny) says I could ride english I have the seat. But man at my age the transistion would be alot for this ole brain.. I have zero confidence in the show ring and she just thought that with something well broke I wouldn't fall to pieces like I have with Limit with both of us being sooo green.
I have always like the Wiescamp breeding.. I always go back to the Shanes Blake ad and oggled over him. My mare will not foal till May. Kinda late but sometimes you can't over rule mother nature. :D She called the shots on that one. You get to feeling better and we can always talk horses. I've been out of the loop on bloodlines, but I'm slowly getting educated.. Reining horses I still don't know but, the cutting and halter I'm getting to know...
Take care;
Katrina
 

Chimenea

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Angus, thanks very much for your response. I'm glad you got your father back after his health issues, and that you've taken advantage of the additional time together that you guys have been afforded. As a father I can tell you that, at least in my case, few things are as fulfilling as time spent with my children (my own parents tell me that this is true regardless of the children's ages). I'm sure your own father is aware that you consider him one of your heroes, and that he sees his relationship with you as one of the blessings that he most appreciates. Keep at it, keep trying hard, and keep looking for God's plan for you.

FH, thank you very much, as well, for your prayers and kind words. I hope to be around a little more as my recovery continues.

Katrina, I very much saw you in the October Journal, and found it exceptionally cool :D You can tell me all about the interview for the article, and your other adventures in the AQHA show world, over a cup of coffee when I head out in your direction again (which should hopefully happen sooner rather than later).

The Wiescamp bred horses have been pretty good to us. I know a lot of people don't care for them... and honestly, there are quite a few Wiescamp bred horses that I don't care for, either (that's a subject for a whole other discussion, I think...). But if you can get your hands on the good ones... oh, boy! They can be humdingers. We've been pretty fortunate with ours, and there is a good sized bunch of pretty good ones not far from you, in Gordon.

That Shanes Bake horse is a good example of what the bloodline can do when crossed on high-quality individuals from other bloodlines. Shanes Bake is by Skips Shane (by Ima Cool Skip). Dudley Pillow owned Skips Shane and raised some awfully nice horses with a program based around the Ima Cool Skip bloodlines. One of the prettiest, best built mares I've ever seen is triple bred Skips Shane (by Shanes Gray Bake -- a son of Skips Shane -- and out of a daugher of Shanes Bake that's in turn out of a Skips Shane daughter). In this case, it was line breeding, since it worked :) She is flat out gorgeous, as are most of the Skips Shane and Shanes Bake mares I've seen. They're just really pretty, sane, well balanced, and tend to be consistently nice producers (which is the whole point of high-quality linebred mares). And my feelings about the western pleasure horses seem to be in line with yours... I'm looking forward to what the Ranch Pleasure class, which the AQHA just announced, will become. It's long overdue, I think. Most modern Western Pleasure horses -- even with the recent changes -- don't look like they're much of a pleasure to ride.

Anyway, gotta run to the doctor this morning... hope to catch you guys again soon.
 

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