It’s been less than a month now since I was diagnosed with cancer, but it wasn’t until today that the diagnosis became technical. As of this morning I officially have stage T2C prostate cancer, which means that the cancer has spread throughout my prostate, but it hasn’t yet spread beyond the prostate. I’m told that I have greater than a 90% chance of surviving for more than 15 years, given the therapy we opted for today, which sounds like pretty good odds at this point in my life.
So here I am, outing my Cancer. Beginning next week, Carol and I will be wearing cancer awareness bracelets designed by Good Hope, an organization founded by cancer victims that raises funds for cancer research. The color for prostate cancer bracelets is light blue, and it’s a color that Carol has alway thought looks good on me.
I ask forgiveness for keeping this situation secret up until now. The symptoms became apparent right around the time of my last lecture and my amazing retirement party as were were approaching commencement and other end-of-year celebrations in academe. Commencement has always been an emotional time for me—too many goodbyes to too many great kids—and my retirement festivities had already been befogged by the passing of my mother-in-law. I didn’t want the uncertainties about my diagnosis and treatment options to mar the various celebrations.
Life goes on. Our sailboat is in the process of being recommissioned in Seattle, and our powerboat is ready for the opening of crab season this Saturday up in the San Juan Islands. Construction on the new writer’s shack is right on schedule, and last week I was able to proof the galleys on the new book, due out in a few months. Things will probably slow down this fall when I go through radiation therapy, which will probably be administered five days a week for the better part of the fall quarter. I’m hoping to catch up on my reading, finally.
Please know that I'm in good hands: the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is one of the top treatment facilities in the country. My doctors are great, and they know what to do.
Prayers are always appreciated. A niece has already lit incense for me in her temple, the best man from our wedding has performed Reiki for me, a dear cruising buddy has been wearing a bracelet for me, and candles have been lit. Mom is sending her constant vibes. I embrace it all, and appreciate every gesture that propels creation toward good health.
Journal of Natural Hist. Ed.
Natural History Institute
Center for Humans & Nature