How To Define “Rotten Year”? Just Say 2018

I’ve now been hangin’ around on this planet for going on 76 yrs, and over that span I’ve witnessed some good years, some bad years, some great years, plus a handful of what could reasonably be called crappy years. Then came 2018.

Yes, I know. April 30 is only 120 days in, a scant 1/3 of the year, but when one considers all the nasty crap that’s happened so far, one big question emerges from the muck: what more  Bad could possibly happen? Scary scary!

2018, a Backward Glance at the first 120 days:

1. Donald Trump is still our “President” aka POTUS (acronym for Piece Of Totally Useless Shit), and in result the country’s slide into the pit beneath the downhill slippery slope has picked up speed. Bigly. No need to go into great detail, since most everyone is already aware of the travesty. Suffice to say, though, that Trump’s craziness — his deeply embedded egomaniacal narcissism, his intense hatred (and obvious FEAR) of ALL non-lily white races and ethnicities — when combined with the FACT that he LIES every time he opens his yap (if he ever speaks a word of truth, rest assured it was completely accidental) along with the FACT that he’ll do whatever it takes to screw up every positive aspect (all three? of them) of global human culture and will happily work to destroy the biosphere and everything in it in the process … etc. I could go on and on and on, but what’s the use? The conclusion has been obvious since day 1: if we don’t get rid of him, and SOON, we’re ALL doomed to what … to be an intimate part of an emergent “shithole country”?

2. Onward. Late last year, I was diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer, after which I spent all weekdays in January plus the first week of February “enjoying” 28 episodes of chemo/radiation therapy. Then there was a six week stay-home-and-get-over-the-side-effects sojourn, followed by visits to, in order, an oncologist, a surgeon, and the radiologist. The recommendation of the oncologist and the radiologist was surgery. Remove the entire of the tissue where the tumor was, plus surrounding tissues and lymph nodes, etc. That would be a cure. Problem is, because of the tumor’s location I would be wearing a shite-bag for the rest of my life. I didn’t like that option, so on my second visit to the surgeon I said no. In return, he came up with an alternative plan that involves mostly monitoring via blood tests and regular (3 month) endoscopies. That’s where we stand as of this day. I’ll learn more in late July, my next scheduled visit.

3. The worst event of all occurred on Friday, March 9, 2018. Our dear little cat friend, Shadow (age 9-10) had been, for a couple of days, getting more and more lethargic. She’d sleep most of the day, getting up only to have a long drink and/or to use her litter box, then back to her sleeping corner. On day 1 we thought it was probably a fur ball. She’d eaten breakfast, then an hour later threw it up, then retired for a long nap. On day 2, she ate no food at all, just continued the lethargy noted above. On the morning of day 3, we decided it couldn’t be a fur ball, must be, instead, something that warranted a trip to the Vet. At the Vet’s office, we had to wait for the better part of an hour while he finished with his current patient. Shadow spent the entire time on Deb’s lap; she was awake, but lethargic. No movement, not even when the previous ‘patient’ — a German Shepherd — walked past within a foot or two of her.

So then we went in. First the Vet weighed her (she was down several pounds from her last visit some 18 months prior). Next he examined her, asked us what we’d noticed; then he drew some blood and, with a second syringe, he drew some urine from her bladder. After fifteen or twenty minutes in the lab, he came back with the terrible news: she was severely diabetic, her blood sugar was about as high as it could get. He explained our options. We could send her off to a 24 hour treatment center where they would use injected insulin in an attempt to get her blood sugar down; might take up to a week, but if successful the injections would have to be done daily for the rest of her life. The second option was the bitter one; put her to sleep. Now.

Tearfully, we chose the second option. For Shadow’s sake. She would have hated the other one. The Vet gave her that final injection, and two minutes later she was gone. With my right hand, I gently closed her eyes for the last time.

Later that afternoon, the following materialized:

Shadow-Dickinson Scan

Those words are by Emily Dickinson, from the third stanza of her poem (J-255):

To die — takes just a little while —
They say it doesn’t hurt —
It’s only fainter — by degrees —
And then — it’s out of sight —

A darker Ribbon — for a Day —
A Crape upon the Hat —
And then the pretty sunshine comes —
And helps us to forget —

The absent — mystic — creature —
That but for love of us —
Had gone to sleep — that soundest time —
Without the weariness —

A most able tribute, I thought. Spoken from the heart.


So that’s it, my personal summary of the first 120 days of what appears to be, at least imho, a historically crappy year. Whereto from here? What’s next? Wish I knew! Maybe A Summation?

Dead v stupid

Yeah, that works.



10 thoughts on “How To Define “Rotten Year”? Just Say 2018

  1. Frugal, I’m so very sorry, about your own health news as well as the news about Shadow. You know that all of us can empathize, and are truly saddened by your loss.

    I’ve been keeping an eye on our two oldest: Missy Lou, who’s 13, and Fitzgerald, who is a little over 10. Both have been losing weight, and Fitz has been throwing up fairly often (although he did finally throw up a hairball a couple of days ago) and he’s been sleeping more than any time I can remember.. For now I’m hoping (with Fitz, anyway) that it’s just the crappy weather. I’m not quite so hopeful with Missy. 😦

    • Thanks Jane.

      According to our Vet, Shadow’s weight loss along with her substantially increased daily water intake were both little clues that often point to diabetes in cats. I googled cats and diabetes, and a link noted that statistically, one out of 200 cats is diabetic. Had no idea prior — if only we’d have known, we might have spotted the problem a lot earlier.

      Hope Missy Lou and Fitz recover and stay that way! Give them an ear scratch for me, 😉

    • Thanks, Dycker. The toughest of the three to deal with was (and remains) #3, the loss of Shadow. Funny how it is that little critters so easily become more important than self or even country, but that’s the way it seems to work.

      • Those critters stick with you long after they are gone. We often talk about our Cleo and Jake (but not in front of Scout – we aren’t assholes :))

  2. My good thoughts go out to you frugal.
    Enjoy each day in the moment. All things pass, including us. Be kind to those you love. Just because they love you.

    • Thanks, RUC. So far, the only moments I’ve dreaded were the chemo/rad moments, and you’re right — they’ve passed, every damn one of them! Rejoice!

      Quite the opposite of the passing of best friend Shadow, but there is, indeed, virtue in fond memories.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s