Decisions, decisions…

April 4, 2011, Blood Draw

Spent this afternoon at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance — quarterly blood draw and Radiation 101, my very first consultation on the possibility of rad therapy to my pelvis. There’s a lot to chew on:

There’s good reason to believe the offending cancer is in my pelvis, but no certainty. There’s good reason to believe my cancer is microscopic, given my minuscule level of PSA (0.11). There’s some chance this could be a cure, but a greater chance that it’ll resurface somewhere else later. There’s some chance of long-term side effects Down There, but many of them can be treated.

Bottom line: The rad oncologist says he’d do it. So does my oncologist, knowing me as he does.

I’ve talked with cancer buddies who’ve confronted the radiation option. The decision to go ahead with it (or not) seems to turn on the hinge of values and attitudes, not on the  chance of success or the possibility of nasty side effects. Kristina put it this way: “I told myself that at each stage of my cancer, I’d do whatever I could.” And she wanted to send a message to her cancer: “You give me any trouble, I’ll come after you.”

While percentages and probabilities are derived from really large groups of people, for any one of us — you or me — the results are either 100 per cent or 0 per cent: It works or it doesn’t.

The flip of a coin.

About Bill Curry

Stage 4 prostate cancer

4 Responses to “Decisions, decisions…”

  1. Thanks for the update Bill. Unless I missed something it would appear that both your Radiation Oncologist and Oncologist suggest treating your pelvis essentially ‘on spec’. Much as this may be microscopic disease and not detectable with any imaging, did the subject of trying to identify the exact location of disease with some imaging studies come up? It may be that with your PSA so low and the fact that nodes were found in your pelvis before, there is little value in pursuing any imaging.

    At any rate this doesn’t help you make a decision, and I wouldn’t presume to try and advise you. Just know that you have a friend pulling for you and perhaps that will help you find the clarity and strength needed to proceed and make a decision. I will likely be in a similar spot before long and perhaps will be able to benefit from your deliberations. Best wishes.

  2. I say fight the good fight. Regardless, just know we’re all out here thinking good thoughts and standing by if you need anything. (I have a small dog I’d be happy to lend you, not exactly a therapy dog but he’ll keep you too busy to think about much else)

  3. My heart goes out to you. What a scary place to be. Yet you are more alive right now than anyone around you because you are so tuned into your existence. People usually drift through life unless they are really threatened. Whether the treatment is right for you or not, who knows? However if you go with it you might feel more engaged in the battle for your life. Perhaps that in itself has value to you.

  4. Yay, Bill! 0.11 is a tiny increase, isn’t it. Yay, yay, yay! Must be that iron-man work out routine and great attitude! Big hugs to you, Becky and Steph. Patti

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