Heck Cancer

It happened again, this time at the gym. Karen inquired, sincerely — not one of those ducks and drakes how-ya-doin’s — about my health, about how things are going for me, and it was with some reluctance that I confided that my October cancer check-up was “as good as it gets”: no evidence of disease. […]

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Waking NED, Divine!

My quarterly PSA tests have always exerted a gravitational pull on me well beyond their intrinsic strength. That’s because they tell me how well I’m doing in fending off my Stage 4 prostate cancer. Call them my report cards. And yesterday’s test had no more, no less gravity than any of the 22 other PSA […]

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Keeping Abreast of Cancer

Cancer is a disease of the body, but it also afflicts the mind. In the body, it grows at the expense of normal cells, healthy tissues and functioning organs. From the mind, it steals. Steals security, normality and a presumed sense of well being. I’m not alone among cancerians when any random ache, any inexplicable […]

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Hope

As a young reporter for The Washington Post, I had many memorable times in Washington, D.C., but this past weekend (Sep 7-8) was my most special time ever in the city. I was honored (and humbled) to participate in the Milken Institute’s “Celebration of Science” as a guest of Dan Zenka and the Prostate Cancer […]

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Waiting

I’d be lying if I said I had looked forward to yesterday’s quarterly cancer check-in. The day dawned with dread, heavy dread, born of a certain conviction that my blood test would confirm an increasing presence of PSA — and, therefore, evidence of cancer on the advance. My only jot of hope lay in how […]

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News (If It’s Real)

Last Monday was my quarterly check-in with the oncologist, and I had hoped that my PSA test results would come back “undetectable” — no evidence of disease. Not so. The oncologist conditioned the results with (a totally appropriate) “if it’s real.” One data point does not a trend make, especially when this particular data point […]

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Diagnosis + 5

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 […]

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The New Normal

Today marked three months since my completion of salvage radiation. “Has it been three months already?” they asked me at the check-in desk in Radiation Oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.  I was reporting for a routine, follow-up visit with my radiation oncologist to attend to any lingering side effects since radiation’s end (none […]

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