Field notes No. 2: Cooper, winter and cancer

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Taking my place in bed

— Update, noon: Cooper just chased and romped in the snow with friend Sara. Think he’s gonna be fine. Just needed to do something besides lie around with me.

— All the world is a bummer when your dog isn’t feeling well. No joy in fresh snow. And his signals, if any, are confusing. We are pals, but only share the same language when it comes to walking, food and mutual protection. Fortunately, our vet, the good Dr. Smith, will speak to us by telephone.

— I get frustrated when the snow depth down here is only 4 inches or so but the temperature is low enough to freeze over the roads, making driving treacherous. I remind myself that the more important mountains are getting a good dump. And 4 inches at our elevation is ordinarily enough for Cooper to romp.

— I have discovered that the most immediately threatening aspect of lung cancer may simply be driving daily into Albuquerque for treatment. I feel far safer once lying under the “machine” or propped up in a recliner with an IV in my arm.

— And chemo was all the easier this week because I had a new Larry Calloway piece to read: “A long time on the Colorado Plateau. What happened there anyway?”

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