Darrell Huckaby is a retired educator, renown columnist, accomplished author, Southern humorist, lay speaker in the Methodist church, and one heck of a good storyteller. He also has Stage 4 metastatic prostate disease, cancer, for which there is no cure.
YEA THOUGH I WALK is Darrell’s story of his battle with that disease. It’s a tale that all men over 40 (and probably their wives, too) should read. Every year, 28,000 males die of prostate cancer. As Darrell points out, it’s not, as people erroneously label it, “the best kind of cancer to have.” It’s cancer, and in men over 75 it’s the leading cause of death.
Darrell doesn’t pull any punches in the book. He tells it like it is and maybe, at times, throws out more information than we’d like. Still, it’s information that we, as men, need, as uncomfortable as it might make us. And I’ll admit, parts of the book made me squirm. Many of us will face prostate cancer in our lifetimes or, barring that, will certainly know someone, perhaps several someones, who has.
The book resonated deeply with me. My father died of prostate cancer, and I’m disconcertingly close to that zone (over 75) where it’s the number-one cause of death in males. (Ah, something else to look forward to in my “Golden Years.”)
Darrell, as I said, is a master storyteller. YEA THOUGH I WALK isn’t a handbook on prostate cancer. It’s one man’s story of a journey through the Valley of the Shadow. It’s alternately gripping, funny, sad, informative, and–ultimately–uplifting.
If there’s a fault in the book, it’s Darrell’s tendency to digress, something he readily acknowledges. In truth, the book is as much a memoir as it is a tale of survival. It’s Darrell reflecting on his life, his almost-death, and the multitude of people who have mattered to him.
YEA THOUGH I WALK is a walk we all should take, hopefully without the cancer, but certainly following the footsteps of Darrell Huckaby.
NOTE: I’ve met Darrell a couple of times at the Southeastern Writers Association annual workshop on St. Simons Island. He gracious, articulate and very, very funny. I hope you all get a chance to hear him speak sometime. He’ll make you laugh, no matter how serious the topic he’s speaking on.
Many of you probably already know Darrell. He’s a long-time newspaper columnist, radio personality, and inveterate Georgia Bulldog fan. Maybe that’s why I got lost in some of his digressions–I tend more toward Huskies than Bulldogs.
But I still love Darrell.