Surgery + 4 (and More)

Cumberland Gap, TN, KY & VA

Cumberland Gap, TN, VA & KY

It was four years ago today that I had surgery for prostate cancer, and in nine days I’ll begin “salvage” radiation for prostate cancer. Surgery, hormone therapy, now radiation. This strikes me as a lot of treatment in a relatively short period of time — and I spent more than half of the past four years on hormone therapy! All courtesy of the two tiny tumors they found in my lymph nodes after surgery.

The much-awaited phone call came Friday with the date and time to begin rad treatment at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. I’m thrilled to get this on the calendar at last, and I’ll be even happier to get the actual treatment underway (remind me of this when the side effects kick in).

Yes, it’s my fault we’ve put radiation off for so many months. Too many travels planned too many months ago, but all the doctors were comfortable with the delay. I’m cutting it close, though: We’ll get back to Seattle on a Monday afternoon, and I’ll report for radiation duty at 9:00 the next morning (Sep 20).

My cancer is microscopic for now and shows up on no scans. So I just have to hope that it resides precisely where the radiation will hit, but there’s no guarantee of that.

As we say all too often in the cancer journey: It is what it is.

About Bill Curry

Stage 4 prostate cancer

3 Responses to “Surgery + 4 (and More)”

  1. Bill, I think you are doing it just right. It’s big being on the cancer journey & still keeping in mind the other journeys you want to be on. I admire your balance and perspective. Hope to see you soon. Will be thinking about you on the 20th. and looking forward to upcoming posts.

  2. Bill, as you know my journey has been shorter, however not necessarily sweeter. In a sense neither of us (nor any other cancer patient for that matter) really knows how long they have been ‘with disease’, to use a quaint old term. As you well know, your illness probably started years before diagnosis.

    I often think of my friend Randi who is a 14+ year Hodgkin’s survivor, and most of us would think she is ‘cured’. She has been in complete remission since treatment without a single concern. Randi confided that she still vomits the day before every Oncology recall visit. Clearly she is still ‘with disease’ although she lives as full a life as one could possibly imagine. I have never heard her dwell on the past, but it is blindingly clear that it will never leave her.

    A long time ago you taught me something I’ll never forget: you don’t need to like a bad card dealt you, but at some point you must accept it. This battle is not won by refusing to acknowledge the demon. Perhaps this is our final cancer ascent-we are all going to be on this journey for the rest of our lives-the difference being only how actively we are treating the disease. Survivors all live with their disease-regardless if we are doing hormones, chemo, radiation, surgery, or just on recall visits. Kinda like 9/11-none of us will never forget. Perhaps we just need to just accept the proverbial monkey on our back as part of the package.

    I’ll always be with you for anything you must do, and don’t forget it. Seems that friends and supporters make the journey more of a stroll than a struggle. You are doing well and keep it up.

  3. Hi Bill!

    What an appropriate post on this 9/11. Your battle reminds me of fighting terrorists … the CA cells that may be intermingled with the many “good guy” normal cells. The CAs don’t wear uniforms, or wave flags that say “Here I am.” The terrorists are outnumbered, but if we fight them long enough, and hard enough, the good guys will ultimately prevail.

    I admire you (and Becky) for continuing on with your lifes as best as possible. I hope we’ll have the guts to follow in your footsteps if/when our time comes to do the same. —J & K

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