Ever since I started writing here at Fishrocks, I’ve tried to be as honest as I can about my journey with prostate cancer. All of it, from the frustration of failing finances, (oooh, alliteration!), to how I’m feeling physically and the side effects of the medication on my crumbling body, to what it feels like to have a chronic, incurable disease that zaps my strength and on some days challenges my will to live.
Some of the posts have been easy to write, flowing out of me like a fast moving stream running down a mountainside into a clear, cool, refreshing lake. Others are a study in frustration, they start and stop repeatedly and resist moving along, are hard to edit, and frankly, don’t make a lot of sense. I self edit everything I write, slowly going over each blog checking for spelling errors or missing words. If I think a sentence or a certain phrase doesn’t sound right, I will turn it over and over in my head until I’m satisfied with it.
I’m looking forward to someday turning this all over to someone who can help me turn it into a book. I would love to have an editor look at what I’ve written and make some changes that can succinctly state what I mean, to get to the heart of what I was really trying to convey, or cut out a bunch of stuff that really didn’t need to be there. Most of the people that you read, like newspaper columnists, or sports reporters, or novelists, have editors that help refine what is written. I don’t have that luxury. What you see is what you get, even after I edit. I’m sure someone in the business could edit this thing more effectively than I do.
I put a picture of Zoey at the top of this blog because she is an important part of the editing process. She sits next to me while I write, and then when I go back through the blog looking for errors, I read them aloud to her. The poor dog has heard every word I’ve written over the past couple of years, so every once in awhile I have to reward her with a trip to the beach.
Over the past two and a half years, I’ve written 69 posts. The one you are reading now is number 70. I’ve written about music, religion, and politics, but mostly I’ve written about dealing with advanced prostate cancer. This hobby of mine has helped me get through all this cancer crap. I’ve tried to be funny, I’ve tried to be honest, I’ve tried to give you an idea what it’s like. When I look back at all of them, I get a sense of pride, and I sort of marvel at the raw honesty that they convey.
I have a few favorites. The One Poop Rule will always be close to my heart, because it not only told you guys what I was trying to do with the blog, but was also funny. That’s been one of my goals with this thing.
The Bag Chair is also one of my favorites because it let be delve a little into the world of fiction, it had a spiritual feel and it also let me mourn my own passing. I wrote it mostly while I was running my machine at work, thinking about a little league baseball game and my fictional grandson hustling out a triple. I realized while I was writing it that if my grandson was 11, I would probably have a second grandchild. When I thought up the idea of a granddaughter, someone who I would never meet, I cracked. So there I was, on an ordinary Tuesday morning at work, thinking about my fictional granddaughter playing in a playground next to my fictional grandson’s baseball game, and the tears started. I had to walk away from my machine, go to the bathroom, lock myself in a stall, and cry for about 5 minutes. I came home that day and wrote it all down, stopping to grab tissues every couple of paragraphs. It was definitely the most emotional blog I’ve ever written, and, to be quite honest, the one that hurt the most.
My all time favorite? Heaven can wait. That blog captures my hopes and fears better than anything I’ve ever written. As a Christian, I should know what the future holds for me. But, I’m a born skeptic, I can be brutally cynical, and my brain can go places I would rather it not go. When I finally get to heaven, I’m gonna have a lot of questions.
So, this is Fishrocks at 70. It is my plan to keep writing. Hopefully, it is your plan to keep reading.
Thanks for reading.