No News Is…No News

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Life is good: Curry Reunion, Memorial Day Weekend, 2014, Cincinnati: Seven (of many more) first-cousins, yukking it up. Our family matriarch, Aunt Betty, is in red.

In the written record here over the past three years, you can find a pattern to my regular cancer check-ups: January, April, July, October. Then repeat the next year. JAJO. So you might ask, where’s the report on my April 2014 check-up and PSA test? Is something wrong? Am I OK? Or as I was asked several times at a Curry family reunion over Memorial Day weekend, “How are you doing?”

In a sentence, my oncologist gave me a bye on an April check-up.

I had, in fact, “graduated” to semi-annual, as opposed to quarterly, check-ups, after two years of being no-evidence-of-disease. And then a smidgen of PSA was detected in my January blood test; but at 0.03 ng/mL, that level wasn’t sufficient to warrant regressing to quarterlies, wasn’t enough to shout “biochemical recurrence!” In fact, “we don’t make anything of such subtle differences in a test that is not perfect,” my oncologist said in response to my alarm at January’s (barely) detectable PSA results. (Remember, the presence of PSA and its amount tell me how well I’m doing in my cancer journey. In four words, more is not merrier.)

And (my reasoning here, not my oncologist’s), an April test, whatever its outcome, most likely wasn’t going to provoke any change in treatment or its timing. Waiting until July will give us much greater clarity into what’s going on with my cancer, whether it’s actually recurred, and, therefore, what — if anything — we need to do next.

I’ve walked the road of recurrence before, for a year starting in July 2010, and every cancerian knows the marrow-deep fear of recurrence: One more therapy has been exhausted, is no longer an option, and still the embers of cancer continue to smolder on. For me, I’ve now had surgery and radiation, and they are treatments available to me no more. Thus, if January’s test results do indicate recurrence, I’ll move on down the line for the next in what is a finite number of treatments.

So in April, I escaped the anxiety that accompanies any impending cancer test and the wait for its results — only to know instead the worry of waiting, the prolonged posing of a nagging curiosity:

“Is my cancer back?”

About Bill Curry

Stage 4 prostate cancer

6 Responses to “No News Is…No News”

  1. Hi, Bill! I met you at SCCA on May 28 when you spoke. Thank you for that, and for writing on your blog again. Your sharing is a gift to me, as someone who has newly entered the post-treatment monitoring phase of the cancer journey. Delighted to have met you – you give me hope! Wishing you the best – glad you are smiling!

  2. Mary Gordon Dubill Reply June 4, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Bill,

    So glad to hear. Your news is good and your stories ‹ as always ‹ riveting. Keep sending the good news.

    Mary Gordon Dubill

    From: My First Cancer Reply-To: My First Cancer Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 5:55 PM To: Mary Gordon Dubill Subject: [New post] No News IsŠNo News

    WordPress.com Bill Curry posted: “Life is good: Curry Reunion, Memorial Day Weekend, 2014, Cincinnati: Seven (of many more) first-cousins, yukking it up. Our family matriarch, Aunt Betty, is in red.In the written record here over the past three years, you can find a pattern to my regular “

  3. Vicki Shepard Powers Reply June 3, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Couldn’t be happier to hear your news. The fact that you continue to make me smile in all circumstances continues to amaze me. Your gift of words could be because maybe, just maybe, you are reaching people you don’t even know about … ! ! I look forward to hearing all the good news about your journey. Thanks for keeping in touch and my best to your family. Take good care of you. Vicki

  4. Thank you for continuing to share your blog. I am sure you enjoyed the reunion with your extended family and last weekend with Liana, who loves Mr. Bill. We will see you in July.
    My friend with ovarian cancer is up and down with numbers too. But you both have a positive attitude and “mind over matter” is powerful. Carol P

  5. D. Keith Humphries Reply June 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Bill and Becky:

    Thank you for including me on the updates. Nancy and I think about you both often but respect your earlier wishes. I am as well as I could be given the accident and the age. Nancy is having recurring neck pain issues – but we are addressing those with a new Dr. for her in Prescott and she may see her surgeon later this week in Scottsdale, where we are spending the week at our Westin Vacation Villa (I.e. Timeshare). Right now we have Diana Raymond, ex UAL pilot and widow of George, also ex-UAL pilot, visiting for three days, ( in her own villa) unexpectedly. Oh, well, our plans to totally escape and relax are delayed by a few days!

    By the way – my own minor cancer, the chest melanoma, seems to be no longer an issue after two years.

    Our best to each of you.

    Keith and Nancy

    D. Keith Humphries from my iPad.

    >

  6. Hang in there. You’re doing great!

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