Illness - Update
(Fravia's searching ramblings, march 2009  Note 1)
(Martio mense existis gauisus!)

fravia & richard @ fravia's a week ago

"Lenz" 2009

(please note that this is just a rambling, meandering snippet of searchlores, and you probably don't really need to read it)

...9 March 2009: Woah! Another half year, six months (a small nice eternity when you fear you might die), have now gone "vorbei" and my sites haven't meantime been updated, for reasons explained in illness.htm.

Yet another winter is gone and it's almost spring again! Der Frühling! Der Lenz! And I am still alive and, when not exactly kicking, at least still able to work and think, notwithstanding the chemotherapy-related sideeffects: slowly getting deaf, losing hairs (and even pieces: for instance a tooth, like Steve McQueen in Papillon Note 2) and -more generally- being compelled to say goodbye to my former-life beauty.

In fact I don't care much: I read a lot, spend time with my kids, write a lot, and delve more and more into GNU/Linux (a real panacea for seekers Note 3). I am also happily working on my searching stuff (at the moment on "linguistic related" seeking techniques), I'm trying to reverse the (nice but heavily commercialized) Microsoft *.lit format (pilfered by the MS-clowns from open source html protocols) in order to port it -as native as possible- to GNU/Linux... and might even open a small "ramblings of mine" section on searchlores, just for the fun and "hubris" of it. Ah, and I also play a lot of nice tactical ans strategic games and simulations (only in order to test the most recent -and amazingly powerful- wine implementations, ça va sans dire :-)
MUCH more important is that our seekers have not been idles either, as testified by the most recent developments in being able to find -and relatively quickly gather- ANY (patented or not) google book IN ITS COMPLETE FORM (mine de rien Note 4)

Regarding my own troubles, and FWitisW, my specialist dutch professor seems recently slightly more upbeat (for once). Says the new experimental cures seem to work and seem to have stopped the nastier metastasis, even slightly reduced them.
Note however all those "seems": nothing is confirmed, nothing is clear. Specialist cutting edge medicine still looks more like amatorial piano playing than a science, while life and death swing like a pendulum(Note 5) and fortnightly magnetic resonances and pet scans only show part of the broader picture... they would prolly need to open my belly twice a month to really sniff what's going on inside the liver: so... panta rei and I'm blowing Schop's soap bubble(Note 5 again) as long and as large as possible... while duly keeping my fingers -and toes- slightly crossed(Note 6).

...and in fact, these "seems" finally (end April 2009) amounted to nothing :-|

Over these months many friends have come visit me, a slightly embarrassing pilgrimage at times, yet I am happy to have met them again (or in some cases ex-novo), both if I will die in a matter of months or in a matter of years... I still don't know for sure which of these potential prospects fortune will deal me... O Fortuna, velut luna statu variabilis, semper crescis aut decrescis, he!(Note 7)

On a related venue, I wrote the following to a couple of Italian reversers (Italian is quite a handy language whenever you need to melodramatise... or de-melodramatise

Ehi, amici!

Non fatemi mica gli stracattolici piagnotti, per cortesia.

Non bisogna mai dar troppa corda al destino, senno' quello si monta 
la testa e crede davvero di poter fare quel che più gli aggrada, il
birichino. Il che non è mai detto. Né detta è mai l'ultima parola. 
Si vedrà... Chi vivrà vedrà, hahà :-)

Se/quando la morte poi arriva, la si guarda in faccia alteri, per 
farle capire che non si ha paura, come si fa da che mondo è mondo 
con le pantere (e con le zanzare).
Darsi un contegno, suvvia: "Maristella, non dar troppa corda a quel

E via, via, son cose che succedono a tutti prima o poi (con rare
eccezioni, storicamente alquanto dubbie): tout passe, tout casse, 
tout lasse. E poi chissà: l'ultima frontiera? Magari è 
interessante, certamente sarà assai poco banale.

Ricordate dov'eravamo prima di venire al mondo? Li', proprio li'
torneremo, voilà. Tutto quel grigio: un posto calmo, quite cosy. 
Questo, l'adesso, è solo uno starnuto tra due eternità, 
probabilmente dovuto ad eccessive dosi di pepe :-)

Immagino inoltre che dandosi un universo infinito e un tempo infinito 
(se infiniti poi davvero sono) si possa comunque verificare -grazie 
alla matematica delle probabilità- una qualche forma di metempsicosi 
su scala plurigalattica: un lungo sonno senza sogni, e poi -zac!- 
la medesima -o pressoché- composizione di neuroni ecco che si ripropone,
deus ex machina, e si va ad affrontare magari un altro round di reversing 
in un'altra, differente, concomitanza d'eventi.
Grazie a dio senza ricordi (altrimenti sai che noia alla lunga), ma 
sempre come alle giostre: "altro giro, altra corsa", sperando il prossimo 
giro avvenga su di un pianeta con meno imbecilli.

Nel frattempo, carpe diem! Godiamocela: beviamo e leggiamo e giochiamo e 
studiamo e fotografiamo e scriviamo e cantiamo e passiamo lunghe serate 
a guardar le stelle, se possibile circondati di amici ed amori.
Sempre beninteso "ridendo in faccia a monna morte ed al destino", 
come dicevano quei minchioni dei futuristi sfiorando "le onde nere 
sulle torrette fiere nella fitta oscurità" andandosene "pel vasto mar" 
(noi anche per certi versi, ma, costretti purtroppo a svendere la nostra 
amata vertue, oramai solo giocando -grazie a wine- a silent hunter III 
con i brin nella variante "mediterranean" :-)

Ma ogniqualvolta possibile è meglio abbandonare i pallidi schermi ed 
uscire: assapporiamo i crepuscoli a spasso per i centri storici con le
nostre compagne, facciamoci accarezzare dal vento e dal sole sulle spiagge,
cerchiamo conchiglie con i nostri figli. Ce ne sono di bellissime.
                                fravia+, (march 2009)

Back to portal -- Back to illness

 ! Notes

Note 1
I wonder if it makes any sense to publish some "ramblings" of mine like this, filling them with some small web-searching examples, tips and links that could even be useful for the educated seeker.

Note 2
McQueen had stomach cancer, btw, and died in Mexico following surgery to remove the tumour.

Note 3
Panacea, the "all-healing" was nonetheless than one of the 3 daughters of Aesculapius... and sister of Meditrina and of the moon (and sanitation/cleanliness) goodess Hygieia (the word "Hygiene", duh)... O Fortuna velut luna again, he... also I must admit that when you'r often inside a clinic -and even among nice nurses at times- you tend to learn your basic medicine-related mythologic stuff thoroughly :-)

Note 4
"mine de rien"... hard to translate this in english: "as if nothing had happened" maybe, since Germans would prolly use "als ob nichts passiert wäre", in Italian it would be "scusate se è poco", in Spanish "sin parecer" :-)

Note 5
Backward and forward between hope and deceivement, surely not only "between pain and boredom" as my beloved Schopenhauer thought.
However Schop was on track more often than not: "Finally, the alertness and activity of our mind are also a continuously postponed boredom. Every breath we draw wards off the death that constantly impinges on us. In this way, we struggle with it every second, and again at longer intervals through every meal we eat, every sleep we take, every time we warm ourselves, and so on. Ultimately death must triumph, for by birth it has already become our lot and it plays with its prey only for a short while before swallowing it up. However, we continue our life with great interest and much solicitude as long as possible, just as we blow out a soap-bubble as long and as large as possible, although with the perfect certainty that it will burst".
I can confirm this, kinda.

You know what? Make yourself an incredibly nice present: read the Parerga & Paralipomena (and of course learn also how to search and find the full text on the web, or to bypass googlebooks' silly page limitation scripts :-)

Note 6
This dates back to when crossed fingers were used as a gesture to ward off witches and others considered to be or possess evil spirits. It is also seen as bad luck to cross your fingers on both hands.
Some believe that the gesture originates from pre-Christian times and, in many early European cultures, two people were required to use their index fingers to form the sign, one to make a wish and the other to support it. It was believed that the cross was a symbol of unity and that benign spirits dwelt at its intersecting point. To wish on a cross was a figurative way of securing "the wish at the intersection" until it came true.

Note 7
Carmina Burana, Goliardic song, Codex latinus monacensis, circa 1230. Carl Orff, 1937, "scenic cantata".

O Fortuna,
velut Luna
statu variabilis,
semper crescis
aut decrescis;
vita detestabilis
nunc obdurat
et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem;
dissolvit ut glaciem.

Sors immanis
et inanis,
rota tu volubilis,
status malus,
vana salus
semper dissolubilis;
et velata
mihi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum
dorsum nudum
fero tui sceleris.

Sors salutis
et virtutis
mihi nunc contraria;
est affectus
et defectus
semper in angaria.
hac in hora
sine mora
cordae pulsum tangite!
quod per sortem
sternit fortem,
mecum omnes plangite!

O Fortune, like the moon, continuously changing state, you are always growing or waning; our hateful life now is brutal, now plays a game and pampers our feelings.
Fortuna, you'r capable of melting Poverty and Power as if they were just ice.

Fate, allpowerful and empty monster, you are a turning wheel, uncertain and malevolent, our well-being is vain and always likely to disappear.
Fortuna, covered in shadows and veiled you plague me too; now my back is naked and I have to endure your wounds.

The chance of health and virtue are not mine any more: a man is always liable for, and bent by, Fortune's wickedness.
And now, without delay, touch the strings! Because through fate fortuna pancakes the brave! So join with me in lamentation!