Living with Cancer

The diagnosis that transformed my life came five years ago today.

I was vacationing, driving east on I-10, toward Tucson, when my cell phone broke the monotony of interstate pavement. It was the urologist who had done my prostate biopsy; we had played phone tag for several days, the apparent lack of urgency giving me a confident calm. I took an exit ramp, pulled to a stop and, old newspaper reporter that I am, began taking notes.

“There’s a little bit of cancer,” he said. 

Those words came back to me today, fully 10 years after I first posted them. This time, I was marking 15 years, not five, of living with cancer — they had, after all, unexpectedly found cancer hiding in my lymph nodes at surgery. Thus, 15 years of treatments, 15 years of periodic check-ups, and, inevitably, 15 years of fearing what those check-ups might reveal. Good news? Bad news? A mere muddle? In my 15 years, I’ve heard them all.

I know ‘scanxiety’ well, that feeling cum fear that your life can abruptly be challenged by one scan, one blood draw, at one appointment, on one day. That all your effort, all your diligence, all your sacrifices will be for…naught. Will it be today? It’s real, scanxiety is, and too many non-cancerians don’t fully appreciate that. It’s like chemo-brain: No one ‘gets’ it until they’ve got it.

But…

But there’s really no alternative, is there? 

There’s no real choice with cancer, when you’re living with cancer. Check-up scanxiety? Just one more of life’s impositions: Like growing old, it beats the alternative. 

So another toast: Here’s to 15 more!

About Bill Curry

Stage 4 prostate cancer

7 Responses to “Living with Cancer”

  1. Hi Bill: Congrats on making it through another year to 15!. Your comments are spot on for all of us who are now more than a decade out from Dx and Tx. I’m only at 12.5 years…) YEs, there’s always twinge of nervousness when the PSA results show up, but as you say, I am beyond grateful to be able to “enjoy” that anxiety—especially compared to the alternative!

  2. Cousin Bill, What great news you have to share. I always look forward to hearing your news and pray that it continues to be good!! Medicine has come a long way in 15 years and I hope, with our new generation of doctors, that we keep on going until there’s NO MORE Cancer.

  3. Such good news, Bill! It has been a long and winding road — so great you are still running along it with verve & insight. Congratulations to the Grandpa 😉

  4. Always so grateful for your good news! Bravo!

  5. Hey Bill – always good to hear from you – you continue to do such a service to many people by sharing your experience. You are the picture of why we have hope and enjoy each day we experience.

  6. D. Keith Humphries Reply March 26, 2022 at 9:19 am

    Hi Bill – Great to celebrate 15 years and going forward. Look at all you’ve experienced over the 15 year journey – Grandpa + several times over

  7. Congrats! Such great news ! Love you, Hazel

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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