Well, i suppose I should begin with a hot day in July. It was the fourth, and we had planned to go to the Cocoa fireworks display in the park and I wanted to get a nice run in prior. It was a good start, and the last thing I remember was "this is gonna be a good run:" I awoke to paramedics wiping me with an icy cloth and a number of soccer moms surrounding me. Thank you, ladies, for saving my life. My first thoughts, of course, were: do i have any underwear on and are these shorts too loose?  So I went for a ride in the ambulance and we decided the whole disaster was caused by dehydration.
    On Thanksgiving of that same year I remember being at work and complaining to my co-workers about feeling especially bad. Throughout the day, walking on rounds was difficult. By the afternoon, friends were offerring me a ride home, I looked pale and weak.  I called my family, who was already at Thanksgiving dinner that I was going to take a nap instead as i was way too tired.  An hour later I was in the E/R, a ghastly white doctor announcing that I was suffering from heart failure.  A measure of heart failure, a BNP count, was above 800 and of great concern. (Since then, my BNP has topped 30,000). I was put through a series of tests and diagnosed with "Ideopathic Cardiomyopathy", or enlarged heart with no known origin.  It seems an unknown virus may have done the damage to my heart; no one knows. 
    Over time, I got back on my feet, back on the rugby pitch too, as a matter of fact! One year to the date (December 3) I scored a try against the Silver Knights of Ft. Lauderdale at a match between old boy sides! I was 36.  In the season that followed, I was called on the field twice more; once playing flyhalf for Treasure Coast against a very solid Red Eye squad. I did great, ask Cuneen. He was my coach that year. I was also asked to play for West Palm Beach Bs against a Red Eye b side. (Isn't it fantastic how a paragraph of rugby made it in so soon?)
    So I proved the doctors somewhat wrong with my feats of athleticism!  But I had to go off to work on boats.  In July of '07, I started feeling rough again. I'll spare the details...rectal cancer.  Hospitalized again & diagnosed October 12, 2007.  The rugby team was away at all Florida Day that weekend. I know because they hand delivered a game ball to me in the hospital. Signed by the team. Nice. I still cherish it.
    We watched the World Cup final at my house that year. 
    Radiation and chemotherapy did their job, and I beat cancer like a rented mule.
    Returning to work in February was a bit of a struggle. Salty foods and interrupted sleep was a bit harsher on my spirit and health as before I suppose, and In July I was air-lifted from Intracoastal City to Lafayette General Hospital with CHF once again.  I met the most amazingly beautiful lady in that hospital. She was a fellow and worked under the staff cardiologist. She recommended a bi-ventricular pacemaker and commented that she wish we could've met under different circumstances. Wow - I remember that! 
    So I flew home the next day after sadly parting with my boss at a great marine company, Aries Marine out of Lafayette. If you're a sailor and need a job, look them up. Don't "dick around" though; you'll get run off the ship f you don't tow your load, pard

    Capt riptide

    surfboards to supertankers. Rugby, Little League, & Heart Transplant.


    June 2012