My year can be summed up in one word: heart. Cardiac may be a better term, as my year was filled with issues related to the parts of the hospital with the other C-word in their names: Cardiac Lab, Cardiac Rehab, Cardiology, etc.
The condition of my heart first came to my attention on Jan. 2. The pain in my belly that was first diagnosed as intestinal flu and then as pneumonia, became a full-fledged heart attack on the day after New Year's Day. I related the story in my blog here and here. These blog posts came after the fact, as I was busily being ill for the first two weeks in January. During recovery, I had plenty of time to bemoan my fate and to ponder it. After generous doses of meds and rehab, I went under the knife again in July for an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, a device that goes by the initials ICD. More recovery and exercise followed. Finally a clean bill of health was issued by my docs in the fall. They don't issue an actual Clean Bill of Health, although a cardiac patient is issued a dazzling arrays of bills for service.
The Cardiac Year.
The original Big C -- cancer -- played a big part in my year. Not for me, but for three of my siblings and several of my friends. Cancer runs in our family. My mother died of ovarian cancer at 59 and my father from prostate cancer at 77. My eight siblings and I all have been diagnosed with various forms of skin cancer, the legacy of growing up Irish on Florida beaches. My brother Dan was diagnosed with melanoma in his early 50s, but the docs caught it in time. Same with prostate cancer, which was treated and dismissed a few years later. Then leukemia came calling. This is the big leagues of cancer. Dan received big-league treatment at Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center. But it came to naught, as Dan passed away just a few days shy of his 61st birthday. I wrote about this, too, but the words do not seem to assuage the pain. Some farewell posts for my brother here and here and here and here.
The Cancer Year.
Amidst the pain comes humor and its first cousin, politics. I had some fun with our conservative opponents this year. They are such easy targets, especially in this age of viral videos that reveal to all the world their knuckleheaded intentions. I had a great time documenting the comments of the legislature as it discussed a civil unions bill. You can revisit that event here. No aircraft carrier bill on the docket this year, but we can always look forward to 2014.
Some attempted humor on other topics here and here.
The Year of Living Crazily.
To sum up, Cardiac, Cancer and Crazies. The year of the Big C.