As I write this: Webby aka Noah Fence is in surgery getting his new liver

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potrokin
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Dec 24 2016 10:12

Thats great to hear smile

syndicalist
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Dec 24 2016 15:27

Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead com

Battlescarred
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Dec 24 2016 15:57

Excellent news.You are a phoenix rising from the flames!
The point of life is life. Goethe.

potrokin
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Jan 30 2017 21:33

Hope Noah is ok. Not seen any posts from him here for a while.

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Noah Fence
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Feb 3 2017 09:18
potrokin wrote:
Hope Noah is ok. Not seen any posts from him here for a while.

Thanks for your concern. Physically I'm doing really well but struggling mentally with all the stuff I went through. Progress is being made but I had no idea I'd have this problem.
I haven't been posting but am still lurking.

cactus9
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Feb 3 2017 18:33

I hope you get well soon, mentally, physically and even spiritually if you go for that kind of thing. I guess it's kind of like being hit by a car. Anyway I miss you around being nearly as funny as me. Get well soon, take care of yourself.

potrokin
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Feb 3 2017 19:14

Nice to hear that you are still about Noah and I hope you make a full recovery.

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Noah Fence
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Oct 22 2019 20:34

Three years today since UV posted this. I set off on a memorial walk this morning - 101 miles in four days on the North Norfolk Coast Path. Did 28.4 miles today, incredible really, before my ops I could only walk maybe half a mile with the aid of stick.
Anyways, it’s been a very thoughtful day and I remembered this thread and have just read through it. Thanks again for all the kind words. Life has been incredibly difficult since my transplant, as is common, the whole process of being sick, coming to terms with death and then going through the trauma of three bouts of major surgery, horrific hallucinations etc has meant a prolonged period of deep depression. I’m not far off completely recovered now though and very grateful for my good fortune. It has to be said - the NHS absolutely smashed it!
Anyway guys, look after your health and thanks once more for all your messages. They really meant a lot to me at a time when I really wanted to die.

Oh yeah, one more thing - this morning after the first seven miles I met up with Steve Ignorant of Crass fame who took me to his house and fed me with beans on toast! 54 years old yet still the unlikeliest of things keep happening!

freemind
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Oct 23 2019 04:55

Best wishes comrade!

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Cooked
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Oct 23 2019 19:43

Great to hear you keep getting better! Were those beans on toast planned or just a happenstance?

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Noah Fence
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Oct 23 2019 20:40
Cooked wrote:
Were those beans on toast planned or just a happenstance?

I guess that depends on your spiritual perspective! From mine I would say they were a consequence of the fact that the cafe where we had agreed to meet was unexpectedly closed.

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rat
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Oct 23 2019 21:43

This is great to hear Noah Fence.
I walked 14 miles last week and I felt a bit knackered for about 2 days.
I'd have loved to eaten beans on toast with Mr Ignorant. He's a decent character.

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fingers malone
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Oct 23 2019 22:44

It's great to hear this.

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Sike
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Oct 25 2019 01:56

It had been about a week since I visited the forum and when I logged in and saw that there were new messages in this thread I feared the worst, but happily my fears were unfounded and it's really great to hear that your now doing so well. All my best, comrade.

BTW, the furthest measured distance that I have ever walked in a single day was a just a little under 24 miles during a backpacking trip with some friends in the Sierra Nevada mountains out in California.
It was brutal.

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Noah Fence
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Oct 26 2019 16:30
Sike wrote:
BTW, the furthest measured distance that I have ever walked in a single day was a just a little under 24 miles during a backpacking trip with some friends in the Sierra Nevada mountains out in California.
It was brutal.

Well, mountain walking is another level of difficulty so I’m not in the least surprised at the brutality of 24 miles!
My first day was hard work but not really a problem. The following three days were, well, brutal! Much tougher than I was expecting both physically and mentally. The final four or five miles were excruciating.
Had loads of support from the Ignorants with a barrage of encouraging messages coming all day every day and then seven miles from the end they met up with me and rallied round with sausage sandwiches, oat cakes, green tea and blister plasters! They’d also offered to rescue me at any point if my injuries(of which there were several) got the better of me. Kindness to a fault to a virtual stranger.
All in all a difficult but rewarding experience. Confession time though - due to blisters created on the first day, I fell short on miles on the subsequent days. A grand total then of 88 miles. Still, there’s always next year.

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rat
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Oct 28 2019 17:01

Excellent comrade! Well done!

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Hieronymous
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Nov 21 2019 16:54

I'm really happy to hear that you, Noah Fence, are on the path to health. And I also want to thank you for being both an inspiration and a supportive comrade when I went through two bouts of surgery myself, although mine were much less severe.

In 2016 I went through laparoscopic surgery, in which my recovery was as successful as expected. So much so that within 10 days I was able to go on a 10-mile cliffside hike along a nearby seashore national park.

Desiring to never have to go through that again, I started a vigorous health regime based on weekly hikes that involved ascents of significant elevation. But the demands on my aging body (I'm a couple years older than Noah) caused a hernia while climbing up the side of a steep ridge, so almost exactly year after my operation I underwent the knife again to repair the hernia.

But I continue to hike every weekend, from 5-15 miles each time. My health has never been better. So I just want to affirm that Noah is on to the right approach, since being in nature has so many therapeutic aspects. For me, that means fresh air, the scent of conifers (I live in California's coastal redwood belt), views of the vast Pacific, perennial creeks cascading down ravines over mini-waterfalls, pure water from natural springs, and a friendly "hello" from nearly every fellow hiker I encounter on the trail (unlike the alienating urbane anonymity of where I live and work). I really find these outings to be healing physically, mentally and spiritually.

Over the last few years, my hiking practice put me in contact with the tradition of clockwise circumambulation of mountain peaks (pradakśiṇā in Sanskrit), so on each equinox and solstice I join other hikers and partake in this tradition at a nearby peak (Mount Tamalpais) where we start at dawn near sea level and for the rest of the day hike 17 miles, circling a coastal peak of 2,571 feet, and return to where we started to bring closure to our odyssey. We follow a Himalayan ritual of stopping at various points to pay homage to the mountain. This custom has helped keep me alive and healthy.

Black Badger
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Nov 22 2019 00:13

Noah, i sent you another PM

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Noah Fence
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Nov 29 2019 17:59

That’s great Hieronymous! Thanks for your comment. Keep walking comrade!
I found that there are lots of people that enjoy walking, possibly as much and as frequently as I do, but there are a section of those people(myself included) that can be put into the class of ‘Walker’, for them it is something they have little choice in, there is a drive which compels them to walk however inappropriate the timing may be, however rotten the weather is. Along with all the elements you mention there is another dynamic at play which is very tangible though wholly indescribable. There are writers that give it a good try though and when I read them the affinity is very strong.

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Hieronymous
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Nov 30 2019 18:54
Noah Fence wrote:
. . . for them it is something they have little choice in, there is a drive which compels them to walk however inappropriate the timing may be, however rotten the weather is.

Noah, thanks for more words of inspiration!

In the U.S., this is the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend. I was obliged to attend a sequence of traditional feasts with co-workers, friend/comrades, and family. So much so that I couldn't get out for my walk. I started to get stir-crazy and desperately needed burn off all the rich food I've been scarfing down, so I decided to do a short (5-mile) pre-dawn hike this morning despite the temperature being slightly below freezing (27°F/-3°C); granted, in California we are wimps when it comes to coldness). I wanted to be on the trail before a forecast "atmospheric river" (called a "Pineapple Express" in my region) rainstorm hit.

The other advantage of starting so early is that there are so many fewer on the trail, meaning more solitude, opportunity to take in bird song, and -- at least here, where I live -- chances to spot wild critters (domestic dogs being walked scare them off). Soon after dawn this morning, while walking atop a coastal ridge with the ocean spreading out to the horizon, I came across a healthy young coyote foraging for food. There's this sense of satisfaction beyond words in these encounters. It just makes me feel more alive to see that we haven't completely fucked up the ecosystem and animals higher up on the food chain have survived.

Now, with the skies pouring down rain, I am starting the 3rd day of my holiday weekend in such a good mood. Hiking or walking does that for me every time.

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Noah Fence
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Nov 30 2019 22:29

Brilliant!
Where you are sounds fantastic but although there are many way more spectacular places in the UK, there is nowhere I would prefer to walk than the wonderfully subtle Suffolk countryside where I live. I walk the same lanes and paths repeatedly yet they are rarely the same from one day to the next. Even if the weather is exactly the same as the day before, my mood or life events will alter my perception and so create a different experience. In my family we call it the ‘gasoline rainbow factor’. You’ll need to be very familiar with Catcher in the Rye to get the reference!

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Sike
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Dec 1 2019 12:21
Noah Fence wrote:
Brilliant! Even if the weather is exactly the same as the day before, my mood or life events will alter my perception and so create a different experience. In my family we call it the ‘gasoline rainbow factor’. You’ll need to be very familiar with Catcher in the Rye to get the reference!

I should read that book someday. Also, can't believe it's been over a month since I've visited Libcom. During that time I turned 50 and had a small basal cell carcinoma (5 mm) removed from the bridge of my nose. Very minor surgery really, but still weird lying there fully awake while a doctor slices away at my nose and then goes a away for close to hour to test the margins of the slice to see if more will need to be cut. I got away with two passes of the scalpel, a few stitches, and a small scar.

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Hieronymous
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Dec 4 2019 04:21

Sike, best wishes for healing from your operation. Damn, the ravages of age and how it requires us to go under the knife (literally, in your case; mine was a robotic micro-blade two times). And Sike, where in the Sierras did you go backpacking?

Noah, I looked up that passage from Catcher in the Rye, since the only thing I can remember about reading that book 25 years ago is that Holden hated the artifice of movies. I can vaguely recall really, really liking the book, so much so that for decades I hardly ever watched films.

Yeah, the "gasoline rainbow factor," about how he would go on the same routine school visit to a museum, but each time he'd "be different in some way" that he couldn't explain.

I get that. My adventure the other day (in the post above) was a non-routine hike that's a 15-minute drive and 10 miles from my apartment.

Today I did my routine 6-mile walk in a light rain, beginning from my apartment and heading directly into the "Southern Wilds," a wooded area of San Francisco's historic Presidio -- which served as a military base from 1776 until 1994 (and is now a "national recreation area") -- and I covered the normal terrain, which -- like you point out about your walks -- was definitely a different experience vis-à-vis my psychological state, mood and perception. My walk is a ritual that includes passing through sites relevant to local working class history, the first one as I enter a national military cemetery and pay homage at the tombstone of Howard Sperry (buried there because he was a WWI veteran), one of the two martyrs of the '34 general strike.

Towards the end of the walk, back in the city at the fringe of the Presidio's woods and a natural lake, I pass by the former apartment of Dow Wilson, the recording secretary of Painters Local 4 who was shotgunned to death in 1966 at age 40. Wilson refused to perform the role of union bureaucrat by not wearing suit and tie, sporting a beard and casual clothes, and peppering speeches with profanity and quotes by Shakespeare and other poets. At the helm of the union, he militantly led successful strikes, broke the color line and helped integrate the union in defiance of the international union leadership. For all this, union higher-ups colluded with trustees from the employer-run insurance fund (which they'd been embezzling from, as Wilson had recently uncovered) and ordered his execution in front of the union hall. I always pause before the duplex where he lived, look up at his family's unit, and honor his martyrdom. I met his daughter Rebecca Wilson once, who told me that the Communist Party in the 1940s kicked him out for being "too anarchist." She wrote an amazing memoir, called A House with No Roof, about his assassination and how his tragic end affected her family, as she was only 3 when he died. The fictional version of her father's life, John van der Zee's Blood Brotherhood, was recommended for its historical accuracy. She also told me that his enemies constantly berated him as a "beatnik" because he was so freethinking, literary and radically anti-authoritarian, which allows me to end my walking pilgrimage on a light yet somberly poetic note, as well inspiring me to see that Dow Wilson lived -- and died -- by principles worth emulating.

Damn Noah, you're really getting me worked up and I can't wait for my next walk or hike.

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Noah Fence
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Dec 2 2019 18:57

Sike, you point out that your surgery was minor, which I guess is considerably better than it being major, but I think the most significant element of these situations is actually confronting your mortality. For some I guess this can be very scary, but for others(including myself) it is not uncommon for it to be a very freeing and exhilarating experience. Not that my experience was an altogether good one - I suffered a fair amount of pain and debilitation for several years, but the existential element was both liberating and fascinating. My experience closely mirrored that of Wilko Johnson and his documentary film, The Ecstacy of Wilko Johnson paints a great picture of it. Trailer here https://youtu.be/iaQRbpRYqU8
My experience after my cure is another and almost opposite story, but thankfully, after three difficult years, all that seems to be behind me. Phew!
Of course, many others have neither experience, how about you?

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Noah Fence
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Dec 2 2019 19:07

Hieronymous, the gasoline rainbow factor also applies to books - since I first read it in 1983 I’ve read Catcher in the Rye well over fifty times! I’ve slowed down a little now and just read it every December.
I repeatedly read the work of Russell Hoban, Charles Bukowski and Irvin Welsh, and have read A Clockwork Orange almost as many times as Catcher. A different experience every time with all of them though with Russell Hoban there is often wild variations in my interpretations. His book Kleizeit is an absolute fucking masterpiece which tackles the subject of middle age and declining health in an absurd, hallucinatory and hilarious way. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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Dec 3 2019 05:46
Noah Fence wrote:
Hieronymous, the gasoline rainbow factor also applies to books - since I first read it in 1983 I’ve read Catcher in the Rye well over fifty times! I’ve slowed down a little now and just read it every December.

Wow! I'm impressed. As I said, from what I remember it's a great book.

Noah Fence wrote:
Charles Bukowski

Novels? Poetry? Short stories?

I really loved Ham on Rye and Post Office.

Ever read John Fante, a fellow traveler of Hank's in hardscrabble L.A.?

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Noah Fence
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Dec 3 2019 07:06

Anything by him really but particularly the two books you mention. And ‘Spark’ is one of my favourite ever poems.
I read one book by Fante which was just fantastic, it was called something like Wait Until Spring? I should read some more. Any recommendations?

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Dec 3 2019 15:28
Noah Fence wrote:
I read one book by Fante which was just fantastic, it was called something like Wait Until Spring? I should read some more. Any recommendations?

Fante is the only writer whose entire oevre I've read. In my early twenties, while browsing in a book shop, I discovered his books serendipitously. I was attracted to the rough paper binding of the original Black Sparrow Press books (they also published Bukowski), as well as the title of the first one I ever read, Dreams from Bunker Hill. I pulled the book off the shelf because my grandfather had lived in that part of downtown Los Angeles as a young man, when the hillside was covered with grand old Victorian mansions that had been subdivided into small tenement units and he filled me with stories of the vitality of the community living there. Mike Davis' City of Quartz details how redevelopers' wrecking balls and bulldozers wiped that entire working class district off the map, scheming to create a gleaming new financial center (which largely failed).

So I'd suggest reading all the fiction Fante wrote. By the way, he died in 1983, so several books were published posthumously. Here's my list:

Novels (by year it was written):

    The Road to Los Angeles (1936, published 1985)
    Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1938)
    Ask the Dust (1939)
    Full of Life (1952)
    The Brotherhood of the Grape (1977)
    Dreams from Bunker Hill (1982)
    1933 Was a Bad Year (1985)
    West of Rome (1986)

Short stories

    Dago Red (1940)
    The Wine of Youth: Selected Stories (1985)
    The Big Hunger: Stories, 1932–1959 (2000)

Fante is one of the few writers whose books I savor and delight in reading every single word as I follow the saga of Fante's alter ego, Arturo Bandini. Highly recommended!

Battlescarred
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Dec 3 2019 19:53

I agree, a fine writer, as Bukowski realised, and was influenced by.

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Dec 4 2019 10:30
Hieronymous wrote:
Sike, best wishes for healing from your operation. Damn, the ravages of age and how it requires us to go under the knife (literally, in your case; mine was a robotic micro-blade two times). And Sike, where in the Sierras did you go backpacking? .

Hieronymous, thank you, and although not sure when your surgery was best wishes to you on your recovery as well.

The backpacking trip was in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Southern Sierra's. I was in my late 20s and a jogger, so cardio wise the uphill was a breeze. What was hard was that my legs were not conditioned for the downhill as I had not done any real hiking before that and my knees suffered badly for it.

Noah Fence wrote:
Sike, you point out that your surgery was minor, which I guess is considerably better than it being major, but I think the most significant element of these situations is actually confronting your mortality.

Noah, I guess that is probably much more so when the condition is more immediately life threatening, such in your case for instance. Having previously read about the risks posed by the various types of skin cancers I was already somewhat familiar with Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and when given the diagnosis was fairly confidant that my life was not in any danger. Although if left untreated Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) can eventually cause significant localized damage it almost never metastasizes and spreads to the lymph nodes or vital organs. I think that the chance of BCC metastasis is less than one percent.

What did concern me was most was not knowing how widespread the malignancy was, or if it had invaded the surrounding tissue (cartilage, mucous membranes, neural tissue) because apparently with BCC what is visible on the surface is sometimes just the tip of the iceberg, and the cancer can send out roots within the skin and spread to an area up to about five times what is visible from the outside. Also, the lesion had been on my nose for several years already when the diagnosis came in. During all that time the lesion remained only about 3 mm in size and really didn't look like anything special, just a flat whitish spot, and not like any of the skin cancer pictures that I had seen online and so I discounted as just another skin blemish from age until my dermatologist pointed it out during a visit for unrelated issue.

So not knowing exactly how much of my nose would have to removed and the extent of the reconstructive surgery that would be required post-op was kind of disconcerting. However, once the surgery was over and I was declared cancer free the affected area proved to be quite small (about 8 mm) and limited to the cutaneous tissue with no invasion of the surrounding structures. The surgeon was able to close the wound with some simple sutures and I was out of there the same day and had the sutures removed one week later. I'm now well on my way to recovery with what seems as though it will be minimal scaring.