I am very honored and excited (and even a bit relieved) to be included in Nancyspoint.com’s 2020 Summer Blogging Challenge (https://nancyspoint.com/are-you-ready-for-my-2020-summer-blogging-challenge/).  The main reason for these positive feelings is that Nancy is a wonderful writer, blogger and human being.  So if I can in any way be associated with Nancy and her work, then bully for me.  Plus, since we now seem to be doing everything virtually these days, hopping from blog to blog seems a great – and COVID-free! – way to share with and learn from others.  Thanks for organizing this again, Nancy.  You truly are the best.

Now, to this year’s interrogatories:

  1. Who are you?  Tell us whatever you want about you and your blog.  I commend Nancy for starting with the existentialist questions first – so that hopefully they allow us to focus (and get the hardest over with at the outset).  I remain largely who I was at this time and event last year – luckily the father of two still terrific sons (who are each, however, a year older) and so fortunate to be married to a wonderful and beautiful woman.  A doctor, of all things!  My mother is so proud.  And, in a bit of a constant from last year, I still have cancer.  Leukemia to be more precise.  But, in another bit of continuity, I am also still alive.  So I will take the good with the bad.  I continue to blog – although not as much as I would like (this is foreshadowing of an answer to another question so read ahead only if you generally like spoiler-alerts) – because, to be blunt, cancer always gives one more nonsense to have to deal with.  And I can only complain so much to my family and friends about it, particularly when I can’t even be within six feet of most of them. 
  2. What has been your biggest blogging challenge during this pandemic, and how have you been tackling it (or trying to)?  This one is pretty easy – the biggest challenge to my blogging has been being able to find a computer that was not being preempted by anyone’s “virtual classes”, homework or gaming.  The way in which I have coped with this challenge is by not coping with this challenge.  I just watch endless coverage of the pandemic.  (I like to see how many doctors’ predictions come true.  Bad news (and another spoiler alert):  The epidemiologists are usually pretty much correct.) 
  3. What is something you’ve accomplished with your blog that you’re most proud of?  This one is a bit tricky, but I think I will go with being able to connect with others who are both afflicted by cancer and who have access to a computer.  Having cancer can so often be such an isolating experience.  It is thus beyond reassuring to know that that which I am enduring is not unique. 
  4. Share two of your best blogging tips.  (1)  Keep blogging, even if you don’t feel like you have much to say.  (2)  Find someone better at blogging than you to inspire and guide you.  I recommend Nancy.
  5. What is one of your blogging goals this year?  I would really like to be more consistent with my blogging schedule this coming year.  I started off well, but then I got ill, and then there were the holidays, Super Bowl, a family cruise (which in retrospect seems pretty risky) and then this whole pandemic thing.  Excuses, excuses. 
  6. When things get hard, what keeps you blogging, even if not regularly?  I wish I had some morally compelling response to offer here, but really when things get hard I often throw in the towel.  I figure I already have cancer and in-laws, so there are only so many fights I am willing to wage simultaneously.  But usually what gets me motivated finally is getting frustrated with someone or something.  Or both.  Plus people, myself included, do many, many dumb things and someone just has to comment on them.  So that usually makes me feel better if I can publicize these failings. 
  7. What is a dream you have for your blog?  I really would like to be able to connect with more people.  I never set out to be a blogger, but I do have many things to say, regardless of the worthiness of saying them.  So I would like to be able to infiltrate the minds of many others. 
  8. Share a link to a favorite post you’ve written that you want more people to read.  I have so many profound blog postings it is almost cruel of Nancy to make me chose.  But chose I must, so I have selected the following:  https://itsinmyblood.blog/2019/09/17/thats-a-lot-of-cancer/.  In a fit of unprincipled cheating, this post also includes a link to another of my posts so I thought I could squeeze in two posts without anyone noticing. 

In all seriousness, Nancy, thanks for organizing this.  I have struggled to write this year – quite a bit, actually – but this gave me inspiration and, dare I say it, even excitement, about writing for the first time in too long.  Thank you. 

This post originally appeared on It’s in My Blood on July 10, 2020. It is republished with permission.