GroundHogDayComing out from under anesthesia, still groggy, my first thought and exclamation was, “Have I been shot?”

After all, with my lifestyle, I could have been shot. Other than sutures and broken bones and wounds, I had never had surgery before, never even been ill except for once when I contacted chicken pox as a kid—and my hillbilly grandma shooed chickens over my head and cured that.

I was 74-years-old when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer that required a technique called cryosurgery. Doctors assured me I was the perfect candidate for it—in excellent health and in good physical shape. After all, I had just climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and raced a bicycle 500 miles. I should be, in the surgeon’s words, “riding my bike and climbing mountains again” within three months.

That was eighteen months ago. It has been periodically Groundhog Day ever since, with pain and blood. Every time I think I’m recovering and regaining my former self—Groundhog Day!

I hiked into New Mexico’s mountains to study the Decalogue Stone, possibly a relic of the Ancient Israelis or Phoenicians. A couple of weeks later, back in a hospital emergency room. Complications not from the cancer, but from the surgery.

Dan Case and I traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois, where the Mormons launched the greatest mass exodus to the West in U.S. history. Afterwards, Groundhog Day!

I flew to Israel. More bleeding and complications soon after I returned.

That is the way it continues. My health deteriorate as I undergo each new medical “procedure” to correct the surgery. I’ve lost weight, muscle tone, and energy. I rotate in and our of emergency rooms, hospitals, and doctors’ offices. I’ve gone from optimistic and robust to depressed, lethargic, almost fatalistic. Hope only goes so far.

I’ve gone from climbing the tallest freestanding mountain in Africa to barely able to climb off the sofa.

I might have been better off getting shot. After all, I recover a lot faster.

A PERSONAL NOTE TO READERS: Guys, I’m still writing, just much more laboriously. Please forgive me if I don’t respond as readily on social media or email; I’m sometimes too ill and in pain. But I’ll be back. I will be back. Until then, you might wish to check out some of my published books on,, or in many bookstores. Thank all of you for your best wishes and prayers. Charles W. Sasser