The Happy Horseplayer – Feeling Thankful

Sometimes we think of the big winner, the huge payoff or the score that continues to elude. But for this Happy Handicapper, there have been some really big goals on the table to chase down and cash in. – It was on Sunday, November, 26th that I started back at Turfway Park. I was going to work in the racing office and handle the photo finish and timing at night for the races. It was good to be back at the track and be around my race track friends. – That was until I started feeling a little green under the collar.

There was sweat rolling down my neck and the window was cracked open to keep me cool. I started feeling weaker with every passing call for entries, as I wanted my first day to be good. I’d been waiting for this important day and had nothing on my mind except starting back to work. – As the morning passed I started feeling worse. Sweat was saturating my collar and even my cohorts had taken notice of my condition. – One of my pals walked into my boss’ office and told him I was feeling pretty bad. “Maybe I should call it a day as we were just about done for the morning.” – I agreed and stumbled my way to my car. It seemed like a mile stroll that was fifty feet at best. – It felt like pneumonia, but who knows. I’m going home to watch football and rest. – That was the plan as I waited for my son to walk to work.- I knew my weakness was at a fever pitch and driving was going to be out of the question. I was waiting for him to leave so I could call for my first ambulance ride. It was my first as I always felt I could drive or get a ride. But on this day my condition was pretty sorry. – He walked out and I watched as he got 100 feet up the street. I went back and called for my ride and my mother and brother. I was sick and I was starting to worry.

As I said, seeking the big score was always on the mind of many horseplayers. But on this day, I just wanted to get to the hospital. – As the ambulance sped in with lights blaring and I was rolled into the ER, the panic began to set in for me. No more big score on my noggin, but just survival. – I was sick and knew something was wrong.

After a long wait in the triage room, a savvy doctor saw the flying sweat rolling off my face and asked me to stay for the night. ” I think you’re sicker than you think young man. We’ll do a complete work-up and we’ll have some answers in the morning.” – After asking the family to go home at 3:00 am, I told them I would call in the morning. It was a long night getting probed and prodded going through the gamut of tests. By morning, there was a team of doctors standing next to my bed. It has been a 5 1/2 week venture of sweating in bed and battling fevers. – The prognosis was not good. – It was leukemia.

Mostly I tried to battle through and blog, but that became too taxing. I was so weak and had to put that on the back burner. I kept my computer and tried to watch the live racing action during my time in bed. But even that became tough. I spent my hours sleeping and not eating very much. – Racing had become a secondary thought, and weakness and battling through my condition was my new goal. – I was told I would be taking 4 cycles of chemo to battle the disease and my prognosis was overall good. That my friends was the new big score. – I’m three cycles in, and by the end of March, I will be taking my final cycle. I’m sure there will be plenty of blood checks to keep me in check. – I’m looking forward to calling the races at Belterra Park in April and working in the racing office. – Funny thing, we are moving along at our usual pace and life looks to be on a normal run. We start to think of our “big scores” in different wins. – For this Happy Horseplayer, this has been one of the biggest wins in quite awhile. I can stand for some prayers and good vibes, and for you, I wish a clear path and appreciating what matters the most. – I’ll be blogging more and covering the sport I love. – Be sure and drop back and catch some hot picks, stories, and free Winning Ponies E-Z Win Form selections. – Best of luck from the HappyHorseplayer!!