"So how do you feel about all of this?"
Lindsay and I are down at the park for her morning run. The black skies and cool temperatures of yesterday have been swept away by strong winds and white clouds now race across blue skies.
The fluid in my lungs has slowed my pace and I can hear a slight rasp to my breathing as I walk. So I adjust my gait to match the distance I want to travel.
I click off Lindsay's leash and she surges forward down the pathway with an ease and freedom I can only admire. We weren't out for long yesterday and today I want her to have a good run.
But she stops at the top of the small rise ahead of us, waiting for me to catch up, tail wagging with evident pleasure. And suddenly there is another dog beside her. It's Molly, the little Scottish Terrier with her plaid collar and little bell.
"Well, it's the Bloggerman," says the plumpish woman coming up the trail toward me. Her rangy husband walks beside her carrying a long and hefty staff. He's been reading about coyotes in the area and isn't taking chances.
We stop for a chat while our two dogs say hello.
"I've been reading your blog, bloggerman. I'm surprised to see you out after that bad news. I'd be at home whimpering under a blanket. I can't imagine how you must feel."
"I'm feeling fine," I tell her.
She looks at me suspiciously.
"Really?" she prompts.
I try to think about how I can explain it to her. "I feel fine, I do. I feel calm, I feel relaxed. I'm sleeping the night through. I'm not obsessing about this."
"Well, okay, I guess that's good then, I suppose." She puts an uncertain smile on her face.
"I suppose. Except those aren't my real feelings. Those are the drugs I'm taking. I haven't got the faintest idea how I'm really feeling."
"Ah," says her husband, suddenly smiling, with a "gottcha now" look on his face.
"I get a little anxious around dinnertime, but that's just the Dexamethasone wearing off. I take a little hexagon pill with dinner and I'm fine again. And Ocycocet just keeps me in a mild fog all day. The Oncologist has suggested I experiment with cutting back to one pill every four hours in stead of two. I'll feel the pain a little more but I'll be more clear headed."
"Ya," her husband goes on. "But maybe drive yourself crazy with fear and worry."
"Tough times, bloggerman." says the woman, suddenly turning away with a catch to her voice. Then she looks down at Lindsay, "You look after this guy, okay, Lins? You look after this guy."
Lindsay wags her tail.
And we head off on the rest of our morning walk, my breathing now accompanied by the slight percussion sound of a rasp.
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