Saturday, November 22, 2014

End of the free ride?

Well, I guess it had to happen eventually; my free ride seems to be over. After an amazingly easy first six weeks, the chemo seems to be           
catching up with me. Feel like crap pretty much all the time. Nothing to do       
though except keep moving forward. I'm almost halfway through now,             
unless they decide to stop it after four cycles. Yesterday two nurses in       
the infusion ward were talking about a guy who stormed out after ten           
minutes, saying ``I can't do this any more''. Not sure what he's doing         
about his Picc. I can certainly imagine getting to that point.
On the bright side, it's still fun to see Sara's boundless enthusiasm          
for her new opera adventure. Now she's bought tickets for all three of         
the remaining operas of the season (Tosca, Semele, Ariadne auf Naxos)          
and has recruited several more opera neophytes from the urology clinic         
to go to Tosca with her. And on the even brighter side, Abby and               
Victoria are here! Not to mention of course the always entertaining            
little munchkins who so unfailingly brighten my day. The latest game           
I've invented is to tell Kaia or Finley ``I think your ear is loose;           
it's about to fall off!'' Then I make a big show of tightening it up           
again. Like all of my jokes, no matter how lame, this is received with         
great hilarity. The only problem is that of course they want me to do it       
again and again and again, with noses, fingers, toes...and with Kaia,          
you can't deviate from the script one iota; she wants you to it exactly   the way you did it the last time.                                              
And then there's mathematics; if only I could explain how awesome it's         
been lately! Even with my bad case of the blahs, I've been enjoying            
mathematics more than ever (it has the side benefit of taking my mind          
off this constantly upset stomach that is very annoying). For many years       
I've wanted to properly learn the theory of ``spin'' (it goes back to          
physicist Paul Dirac, but by now is thoroughly integrated into pure            
mathematics). Now I'm finally doing it; even yesterday in my                   
uncomfortable state in the infusion ward I managed to read a few               
sections of the beautifully written text ``Spin geometry'' by Lawson and       
Michelsohn. It's a great feeling when the pieces start to fall into            
place (a modest version of the ``aha'' experience). Can't wait to talk  about this in the seminar next quarter.                                        
Well, that's probably more than you wanted to hear about spin, so I will       
sign off for now. At least I have a break until Dec. 5!   
p.s. Sorry about the weird line breaks. Blame google!

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