We interrupt this blog to answer some of the pressing questions you have asked of late.
With all the drug-induced candor and honesty I can muster, and in no particular order, here are some responses for you:
Q. Why did you choose to make your struggle with terminal prostate cancer public?
A. In spite of the loss of privacy (and the weirdness of putting this ugliness before you), I believe there is something holy, beautiful, and good in being a part of a community slogging through life together.
We are all in the same leaky boat. I just thought it would be of benefit to help each other get to shore by talking about things that don’t often get talked about.
Q. You have a wonderful sense of humor. Do you ever get discouraged?
A. Pretty much every day. I am prone to depression to begin with, so now I finally have a great excuse!
In an upcoming post, I want to talk about despair and the role it plays in terminal illness. Please stay tuned.
Q. Are you a pastor? If so, you seem to be an odd one.
A. I’ll take that as a complement.
I used to be one, until I couldn’t stand the pretense of it anymore (my problem).
Now that I don’t have to be spiritual (because it was in my job description), I’ve made the shocking discovery that I can be honest about the mess I am and still be loved.
I am also amazed to discover that I truly am passionate to love God and others.
I guess I had to stop being a pastor to find out that I was one.
So very interesting.
Q. What flavor of spirituality do you personally embrace?
A. I’m a bit of a spiritual mutt, but am a Christian (and a bit of a mystic) at my core.
Please don’t let that scare you.
I believe being a Christian enables me to be both honest (I desperately need a Savior) and hopeful (I graciously have been given a Savior).
I believe that Jesus Christ is the only hope for sinners like me who are separated from God due to our desire to find life apart from Him.
I believe that He is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one returns home to God except through the loving and gracious provision He made for us by His death and resurrection.
He is my only hope – in this world and the next.
With great humility, I believe that is true for you as well.
If you don’t share my beliefs, I am so very honored that you still find my blog compelling and worth reading.
Q. Speaking of this blog, how many people read it?
A. When I write or when Jen Taylor does?
When I write, it is around 1,500 – 2,000 people.
When Jennifer wrote last, over 3,000 people read her words and a magazine contacted her about an article.
But I’m not jealous, envious, or begrudging.
Not a bit.
Q. I left a comment after one of your posts. How do I know if/when you have replied?
A. First, I do try to respond to all your comments. It may take a little time, so be patient.
That said, the comment section after each blog is worthy of your perusal after it fills up.
You all have deep insights and say amazing things.
I am greatly strengthened by your wise and heartfelt words.
To know when I have responded to you, be sure and check the box at the bottom of your comment that says, “Notify me of new comments via email.”
Doing this will trigger an email to you when I reply.
Q. You seem to have lots of friends. Do you ever get lonely?
A. All the time.
Cancer is debilitating in the loneliness it creates.
If you are healthy, it’s hard to understand.
I can feel lonely in a room full of people who love me deeply.
Q. What is keeping you alive, as you call it, “beyond your expiration date.”
A. Great minds around the world are asking that very question (I hope).
Three years ago I was given “months to live.”
Apparently, only God knows our expiration dates.
I have a terminal disease that is progressing, but my doctors are using the word “miracle” more and more when they talk of me.
Every day I am amazed – and grateful.
Q. What treatments are you currently receiving? I can’t keep up.
A. Neither can I.
Currently, I am on a combination of Zytiga and Estrogen, with some lavender and dill sprinkled on top as a garnish.
Since I am a desperate man, my treatments are, shall we say, unconventional.
So far, so good, though.
My PSA dropped again this week another 20pts.
The lower this number, the more my cancer is being slowed and contained.
Normal is a long way away for me, though – about 280pts south.
Q. Are you in pain?
A. Yes, but I am also on narcotic pain relievers 24/7.
Sometimes the bone pain “breaks through” and things get pretty exciting.
Otherwise, I wander the city in a drug-induced stupor.
If you find me, please bring me home.
Q. What would it be like to be married to you?
Please don’t ask this question of my wife.
Q. Speaking of your wife, is she really as great as you say she is?
A. Even more so.
In my recent tribute to her, I held back on my remarks so as to not have any men camping out in tents in my front yard waiting for me to die.
Q. What about your children? We don’t hear much about them on your blog.
A. I have four amazing daughters, two great sons-in-laws, and three “steal your heart” granddaughters.
Due to privacy concerns, I don’t mention them on the blog.
Think of it as a witness protection program.
Q. Mac or PC?
A. Apparently, Bill Gates would not allow any Apple products in his home (even though his children begged).
Our family is the same way – only the exact opposite.
Plus, we’re in the business.
My son-in-law owns “Florida Mac” here in Tallahassee.
Q. What do you want written on your tombstone?
A. “He needed Christ . . . .”
Next week we will return to our regularly scheduled programming.
Until then, don’t lose heart.
P.S. If you do, call me at 850.694.9211.
At the very worst, we can commiserate together.
© Ed Hague. All rights reserved.