The Back Road: So long readers

The Back Road: So long readers

Andrew Malekoff

This will be my final column after having had the pleasure of writing for Blank Slate Media for the past seven years. I would love to continue on a routine basis but personal life intervenes.

I have written here, about my 15-year struggle with cancer and comorbid diseases including Graft Versus Host Disease, that have plagued me.

Currently, it has become necessary for me to put my self-care and family well-being ahead of some of the other important and pleasurable matters in my life, writing this column being one.

While it is too detailed to cover in this space, I encourage readers to learn more about Graft Versus Host Disease.

GVHD is a possible consequence of a stem cell transplant. In brief, a stem cell transplant affords one a new immune system – a donor’s cells replace your own.

The new stem cells are armed to attack and kill the host’s cancer cells. However, there is the risk that the donor’s cells will also attack other organs in your body (skin, joints, eyes, mouth, liver, lungs, etc.)

That’s GVHD. It is a pervasive and debilitating disease that can require much attention. I strongly encourage you to learn more about this lesser-known disease that could affect someone close to you.

Writing this column has been a pleasure; having the opportunity to weigh in on the day’s happenings, offer some historical perspective, and express an opinion, and, perhaps, hope for the future.

For most of my years, I never considered myself to be “political” per se. Writing this column, though, changed that somewhat. It is no surprise, for instance, for my readers to see my strong opposition to the troubling national push from democracy to authoritarian rule.

I have taken great issue with the whims of a corrupt, power-hungry, dangerous, and violent cult leader who tells lies, spreads misinformation, and has pledged to crush the U.S. Constitution.

If my writing can change even one vote, it will have been worth it.

I enjoyed sharing personal stories of my childhood and teenage years that I thought readers might enjoy and relate to. One of my personal favorites is “Childhood fragments and a search for meaning.”

( which includes my encounter at an amusement park with a nun in a bumper car arena.

Many of the sad subjects of the day were ingrained in my writing such as mass shootings, racism, mental illness, addiction, book banning, antisemitism, voter fraud and suppression, violence, and more.

If I could leave you with one central message as I depart from this role, it would be to follow your heart. The decisions you make in the days and years to come will be critical to shaping our future and the futures of our children and grandchildren.

Choose wisely and get out.

Many thanks to publisher Steve Blank for his faith in me, and the staff at Blank Slate Media for their support. Although I am “retiring” from writing this weekly column, Steve has invited me to write occasionally, if the spirit moves me. In the meantime, so long.




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  1. Dear Andy, you have played an important role in my life hiring me out of college to work as a tehrapist, and I have been learning more and helping people ever sinse. Be well please. Be as well as it possibly is possible! People of the Agency always remeber you and love you!

  2. Best of luck sir! Although I haven’t met you in person, your group work journal articles and your column writings have helped guide me in some hard and confusing moments in my roles as a mental health social worker, parent, and person. Stay safe and healthy! All the best to you and your family!


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