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❤️‍🩹 More Answers to Your Questions Regarding Alex

❤️‍🩹 More Answers to Your Questions Regarding Alex's Health

Hi!

I hope you’re doing well! It’s a stormy Saturday morning here in the Highlands of Virginia, where the delicate sound of thunder mixed with the pouring rain is my soundtrack as I’m writing this missive. My office is on the third floor of Alex’s house, just by a window facing east where the sun usually rises, with a view on the backyard. The office light is already on, it’s only 10am!

I really like those stormy days up here in the mountains! I don’t know if it’s because we’re a little higher in altitude, or simply because of the area, but the sound of thunder is always so loud, so near, and I can see the lightning bolts literally separating the day sky in two different parts. It’s an amazing spectacle that I find peaceful, oddly enough. Leonard and MacKaye clearly do not share my point of view on this as they really hate that kind of weather for its very loud and surprising sounds and lights, but mostly, knowing they won’t go outside for a few walks at different times of the day! Sad day for almost everyone here today!

Last week’s missive created loads of reactions which I was delighted to read again before I jumped into this week’s missive! Some people even told me they were finally happy to read some truth as they never believed my “way too positive” perspectives regarding Alex’s “must be a little worse than what I’m hearing” reality. This made me smile… Because you’re right!

I don’t like to think I might be worrying you, and I honestly thought until I came here for only two days between Austin, Texas, and Tangier, Morocco, that we would be seeing each other again at concerts in Europe this summer… But unfortunately this won’t be happening. As you all wrote to me, this is for the better, and no one would’ve loved seeing Alex collapse while on stage under the warmth of the summer, and his unique passion driving him when he hits the stage! Wisdom 1, Craziness 0!

Following last week’s missive, I received many other questions, so I thought it would be cool for me not to wait too long before answering a few of those. Thank you all so much for answering my emails, I always love spending some time reading your kind words!

 

“HEY JEFF, I HAVE A QUESTION”
SESSION #2

Q1: Hey Jeff - How can I go through another year without seeing Alex perform live?

I really liked that question, especially knowing who sent it. I knew it was to make me laugh and to know how much those past concerts we all shared, in the end, really meant so much that we truly miss each other. I started to laugh at first when I read that and shared it with Alex which brought an outstanding conversation regarding how blessed and fortunate we are to connect on such a level with so many people around the world.

Alex calls his post surgery era another opportunity at living life to the fullest. This question goes both ways, as I witnessed even more how the decision we took to postpone everything – even if it was wise and the thing to do – clearly leaves a deeper wound than even I thought of in the first place into Alex’s new heart. He shared how he missed being connected, whether it’s through concerts or at the merch booth for hours after the show, or meet and greets like we recently did in Paris and Tokyo, or even through postcards and social media messages.

This connection is above and beyond on both sides of the aisle and all our thoughts are now all focussed and driven by how we’re all honestly craving to connect again in an even deeper way, even if we’re not physically together. It’s coming!

Q2: Hey Jeff - You said, Alex cannot sing. Can Alex even speak (properly)?

During the entire months of February and March, Alex couldn’t really speak for days sometimes. Following a very long surgery, almost twice the amount of time expected, Alex had huge tubes in his mouth and throat, so, this truly ruined his voice for weeks, to a point where we got worried and called the doctor around mid-March. It then started to get back to “normal”, which we got excited about, only to then leave again, then come back, then leave. This was such a hard phase; you feel like you’ve reached a new level in the healing process only to wake up the next morning feeling worse than last week.

For the past week, his voice has been more stable, and yes, he can speak properly. This is a huge relief for him of course, and us all around him. He needs to be careful and not use it too much as it still hurts his chest when he coughs or sneezes. But we can talk for long enough to have amazing conversations without him feeling that he’s overusing his throat. Still a long way to go before hitting the pre-surgery vocal level though.


Q3: Hey Jeff - In the picture, Alex seems to have lost weight. Is he on a special diet?

He isn’t on a special diet! He’s been generously encouraging and supporting my losing-weight journey, embarking on a ketogenic diet since the fall of 2019. I lost around 50 pounds during those three years of diet, and it kept me away from my really bad junk food habit as I couldn’t eat any kind of bread-related food or sugar.

Alex didn’t need to lose weight really, it was simply him being the best friend there is in the world once again and encouraging me. Especially as I travel a lot to take care of the career development side of things, meals are pretty much always on the run and beer is always way too easily accessible... Yes, I haven’t drunk a beer in three years…! (I had one in Paris after opening up for The Pineapple Thief since my dear friend Ben, The Long Shadows’ guitar player, is too good a convincing person.)

If there were trophies to be won for the worst hospital food in the western world, I think all of Quebec's hospitals would occupy the entire top 100. The dark side of public health services...! I don’t want to get into politics here, but I was happy to know Alex left the keto diet, since eating a pink circle shaped of something so-called meat in mayonnaise three times a day wasn’t really a great path to leading out of the hospital quickly!

Thanks for sharing how worried you are about it. Alex is under loads of medication still, and not eating a lot is part of the side effects of those.


Q4: Hey Jeff - What books is Alex reading and what music is he listening to right now?

Alex isn’t reading any books thus far as he doesn’t have loads of energy due to his medication. He’s keeping all of his energy to write a book, which he faithfully does on a daily basis even if it’s just a few sentences. He’s very excited about this project and I read the 150 pages he wrote thus far and I can tell you that this book will be the best thing Alex has ever written in my opinion!

Regarding music, it depends on the day and this can evolve as the day goes by. Alex is always listening to music non-stop. From the moment he leaves his room early in the morning we can hear music coming out of his iPad all over the house. I’m hearing a lot of Swans these days, which is a mentally healthy sign coming from Alex! I love to hear Michael Gira’s voice screaming all of his heartfelt rage. Especially knowing Alex, this means we’re getting a little closer to having him walk into the studio, even if it’s just to listen to something, or to hum something else on top of a part he likes from what the brothers, Sef and Ben, have been working on lately!

Keep that in mind! Swans = healthy for Alex’s soul!

Q5: Hey Jeff - Where can we send Alex a gift?

This is the one thing Alex truly loves the most: receiving something in the mail! It’s honestly a fascinating thing to witness, it’s like if fireworks and a marching band would start spreading the most colorful and joyful spread of life right between Alex’s hands! So please, feel free to send even the smallest or shortest of all letters here:

Alex Henry Foster
P.O. Box 1022
Covington, Virginia
24426
USA


Thank you so much again for sending all those questions regarding Alex’s back to life journey. This is so rich, inspiring, and above and beyond! Truly means the world!

Let’s be great to one another!

Your Host and Friend,
Jeff

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