As Ethical Musings' followers and subscribers probably know, I have not posted an Ethical Musing since the beginning of September. And from the middle of July, my posts on Ethical Musings consisted of sermons and two articles written for the Episcopal Café.
The paucity and nature of my Ethical Musings' posts point to physical problems that I began to experience in the spring and that culminated in a diagnosis of multiple myeloma in September. Multiple myeloma is a relatively rare form of cancer that attacks the blood and for which no cure exists. Chemotherapy can usually achieve a relatively positive short- and mid-term outlook (6 years or more of enjoying a reasonable quality of life), but multiple myeloma is fatal.
Multiple myeloma is difficult to diagnose. In my case, pain caused by a collapsed vertebra and cracked ribs, along with several other symptoms (hypercalcemia, poor kidney functioning, and anemia), ultimately pointed to the correct diagnosis after some missteps.
After consulting with some Ethical Musings readers, colleagues, and friends, I've decided to resume writing the Ethical Musings blog with some changes. First, I doubt that the blog will appear with consistent frequency, so encourage those interested in reading my posts to subscribe or follow Ethical Musings in one of the several ways identified on the blog page.
Second, having multiple myeloma has somewhat altered my worldview. That is, although the diagnosis has not caused me to change my basic theological and ethical beliefs, my diagnosis has rearranged subjects that interest me. Cancer and healthcare, unsurprisingly, have moved up; military ethics has become less of a focus.
Third, posts will probably be shorter and contributions from others will be more important. Cancer and chemo combine to leave me with less energy; chemo and sometimes the cancer's effects have diminished my capacity for thought. Consequently, reader comments are even more welcome and essential than when I began writing Ethical Musings.
Finally, I anticipate Ethical Musings continuing to evolve in ways that are unpredictable yet hopefully meaningful. The number of followers and subscribers has continued to grow slowly; the number of visitors per page is up significantly, though I do not know how many of these visitors spend much time on each page or whether the page's content has any influence on a visitor's thoughts or life.
I am sorry that I lack the emotional and physical energy to notify all of my friends who are part of the Ethical Musings' community of my medical condition. Moving ahead with Ethical Musings, however, seems like a constructive step forward.