Saturday, January 17, 2015

One down, three to go

Having the flu and then chemo has little to recommend it, so if I were you I'd avoid it. However, I was very relieved to get the green light yesterday to proceed, as I'm anxious to just be done with it.
My current audiobook is Victor Hugo's Les miserables (or in my version, I miserabili), and I must say I feel a certain solidarity with the title characters.

I was the only one in the infusion ward after about 5, hanging out in the luxury suite imbibing the Nectar of the Gods. Talked with one of the nurses about the recent free climb of the Dawn Wall in Yosemite that's been in the news a lot. Actually Jay and I did it first in 1972, without ropes, at night with no headlamps. That 8 foot "dyno" leap (you can see it online) was a little spooky in the dark.

By the way Sarah and Jina absolutely loved Tosca! So we've definitely got a couple of new opera fans.

This weekend I'll just be distracting myself from the chemo-crud with my usual shenanigans. Well, the Seahawks, for one thing! Not to mention the Patriots, in honor of Jan and Jerry (although I have a certain fondness for Indy, and Andrew Luck is fun to watch). Plus a Ph.D. student and I are looking around at Castelnuovo-Mumford regularity for equivariant cohomology rings for a thesis problem. It's cool stuff; let me know if you have any ideas! Plus Italian, of course. I have a new correspondent, Sabina, a 45-year old who teaches Italian in Austria and found my Italian website. She is talkative to put it mildly; to the question "how did you end up in Austria?" she answered with her complete life story including an unhappy childhood with a difficult overbearing father and depressed mother, working in Austria as an "au pair" for a rich, arrogant couple who were mean to her and called her "the Italian" rather than by name, and finally discovering true love (an Austrian), marriage, two children of her own. She sent me her own translation into Italian (from Venetian dialect) of "La locanderia", a famous 18th century play by Gordoni. It's been fun reading it; reminds of me of various comic operas by Mozart, Rossini etc. and indeed I believe was made into an opera but not by anyone famous. Anyway the more distractions the better from this "miserabile" chemo.

The day after Christmas we went to the funeral of Wendy's cousin Scott. Some of you might remember him from Warren and Shirley's wedding; his two brothers carried him in his wheelchair up the stairs. He was diagnosed with MS in his twenties, and died of it at 50. Compared to that, getting cancer at 63 is a walk in the park.

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