Field notes: Milestones

spaceport
GENESIS by Otto Rigan at Spaceport America. (Photo courtesy of Otto Rigan)

— This morning is the last of Round 1 of lung cancer treatments — the end of a coordinated radiation and chemotherapy plan to first shrink the tumor and then get rid of it, hopefully, with surgery. Apparently, I won’t know much about the effects of Round 1 until late April and CT scans. There are hints, professional and self-generated, that it has gone well, but the tumor was big and in a tricky place and lung cancer is tough to treat.

— I can report this about the initial phase of treatment that began Feb. 12: I feel good. In fact, I have felt increasingly better as treatment has progressed. Yet, I am reminded this morning that cancer is its own deep universe. A tumor 1 centimeter in size can contain a billion cells. That sounds like a lot of potential meteoroid matter. More chemo might be called for.

— I was little jarred yesterday by the announcement of my retirement from the Albuquerque Journal, where I have worked for the past 33 years. Of course, I knew it was coming, but it is something else again to see it in print, in an email to staff. The Journal was the last and long stop in a 41-year newspaper career, but, in a time sense, it has come and gone at warp speed.

— I’ll choke up if I talk about all the kindness the Journal’s ownership, management and staff have given me in the end. So, moving on….

— I think this newly installed sculpture at Spaceport America by Otto Rigan is fabulous. Well done, you all. Even if Virgin Galactic never gets a celebrity-loaded space tourism flight off the spaceport runway, the architecture and art alone would make it worth the drive to the middle of nowhere. I especially appreciate this photograph since I napped through the planetarium show on a trip to the Museum of Natural History and Science on Sunday with sister Hope, nephew Will, sister Susan and her partner, Dick.

— Hope and Will depart for Salt Lake City today to see sister Winifred, before returning to Montana. We had a great visit that I will remember always.

— And sister Hope left me more to think about, even after a series of conversations  running to midnight, ranging from poetry to horses. She doesn’t like Western movies: “Bad horsemanship and too much gunfire,” she says. Guess I’m going to have to pull my wanna-be Resistol down and drugstore-cowboy up if I’m going to keep on watching. Hope is the real deal.

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