Bill’s Story

Site created on January 9, 2018

Welcome to our Caring Bridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement.  We will also be sharing what we hope you take as valuable information, we can all learn new things along this journey.  Some will be frank, personal and maybe embarrassing but we as a family will be using this as a platform to educate and inform all of you what Prostate Cancer is from our journey and how to be on the lookout for the signs.  We don't want anyone taking an unnecessary journey. Get things checked out, be your strongest advocate!  Thank you for visiting.

 About late October/early November of 2016, Bill went to his Primary Care Doctor out west, with concern of blood in his semen at times. Not always, just at times. It was treated as possible small blood vessels breaking during activities, no large concern, let’s keep an eye on it.  Bill left Washington state and went back to Kansas City, MO where he is working.  With continued concern on Bill's part, he pushed to see a Urologist, unfortunately with his work /travel schedule etc... and several months to get into the doctor’s schedule, out west, this was about late June/early July of 2107. Although the prostate had "texture", some spots felt soft, some hard during the digital exam, but not overly large for age (61), diagnosis was a probable infection, we'll do a 30day antibiotic run and re check.  Bill returned to Kansas City.  Symptoms never changed. By now it is August of 2017.  Bill sought another Urologist in KC.   He received a referral from an executive at his place of work that spoke very highly of Dr. Magera in Liberty, MO.   Upon calling, Bill was seeing Dr. Magera the next week!

They discussed the last 8-10 months and started blood work with PSA testing. Follow up CT scans showed nothing in the kidneys, liver etc...another month, more blood tests, late September/early October of 2017, blood is now present in the urine along with continued presence in the semen, but the Dr. wanted to check out the bladder.

With close internal inspection of the bladder, it was given a clean bill also. This is now late October into November 2017.  Another blood test, PSA has been 3.1, 3.0, 3.2, not all bad for 61 years of age, but this last test spiked to 4.8. With this spike (50%) Bill went to the doctor and insisted something was wrong.  Dr. Magera discussed doing a genetic marker test.  When Bill inquired as to what that would do, it was a probable test with again sketchy outcomes.  Talk of a biopsy of the Prostate commenced, after Bill heard of how the biopsy was done I'm sure you know what he said and how he said it.  "You're gonna go up where?"  "You're gonna do what?" "with a small like spear gun?" "Will I be awake for this horrific procedure?"  After the doctor answered all Bills questions, explained that the test results will definitively tell us yes, or no if you have cancer of the prostate. 

Tracey traveled back earlier in the week to be with him and the biopsy was scheduled for Thursday, December 7th, (Pearl Harbor Day for you history folks).  Tracey had to get back to Washington, so she flew back early Friday.

The results came back late that afternoon on Friday, December 8th, it’s like the floor falls out from you, you just fall, tumble, as you may never stop….Prostate Cancer.  

On Tuesday, December 12th Bill went to Dr. Mageras office and Tracey was there via phone call.  Dr. Magera being a good Christian man said, "Sugar"!  I wasn't expecting this.  Prostate Cancer is measured in Gleason Scores.  It's a series of numbers given to each biopsy sample, the lower the numbers (5 or less) the better and more options to treat the Cancer.  Numbers range from 0-10.  Of the 12 biopsy samples, 6-7 were 10's, others 9, 8 and one 6.  It was bad.  Dr, Magera said in 15 years he had only seen scores like this 2-3 times, this being possibly the 3rd. Dr. Magera recommended we see the doctor he trained under at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  He is the #1 robotic surgeon for Prostate Cancer.  In preparation for Bill's travel to Mayo Clinic, Dr. Magera arranged for an updated CT scan, with contrast, also a full body "nuclear" bone scan. The nuclear is to detect any possible metastasized spots in the bone structure. This was done just 2 days later before Bill was to come home for Christmas.  Waiting is the worst!  A call was received a week later, about December 21 and that there seemed to be 2-3 spots on the bones in pelvis - that is all the information we were given.  Bill did not ask questions, he was in total shock, this can't be.  He did not ask, how big? where exactly? what does this mean? what are my options?  ADVICE : you the patient MUST ask the questions! Bill wants you all to know this and be sure to do it.

Fast forward to the January 8th consult with Dr. Igor Frank at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.  It was discussed that indeed this Prostate needed to come out, the specifics were talked about, pre-surgery, post- surgery, recovery, post-recovery.  All the things that could happen, Temporary and possible long-lasting Incontinence, ED, swollen legs (from Lymph Node removal), recurrence, radiation, chemotherapy.  Surgery was scheduled "tentatively" for February 15th.  To determine if surgery would be the very best next step, we needed clarity on this previous nuclear bone scan.  Dr. Frank arranged for an MRI of the prostate/pelvic area and to ensure clarity, with an "endorectal coil".  As Bill would say, yes, "boys and girls an electronic device up the poop shoot!". Uncomfortable, but necessary for clarity and accuracy to ensure size and where, if any metastasizing had taken place. This required us to stay in Minnesota an extra day, they only do these types of MRIs in the evening.  What seemed like an eternity, which was only a few days of waiting, our lives and plans hung in the balance until we received the MRI results.  The call came in, January 11, there were definitely 2 spots of cancer in the pelvic bone.  What did/does this mean?  NO SURGERY!  

Now we are told the best course is to leave the Prostate intact, use radiation, along with a hormone deprivation (we are learning about this) to go after the 2 spots of bone metastasis and in turn hope that it kills the cancer in Prostate as well.  

We have a plan - well sort of.  Due to the aggressiveness of this type of cancer and at what stage etc..., we as a family have decided to stay with the Mayo Clinic, we want the absolute best care and from our experience in Rochester, testimonials from many of you, this is the best course we feel.  Bill has called the Mayo to confirm he wants to move ahead as quickly as possible and start Radiation.  But, we want to do it in Phoenix, AZ.  With that said, we will go wherever they can get us in the quickest.  

We have heard, felt all your heartfelt texts, voicemails, emails.  Hopefully, ya'll understand we just can't respond to every single person like we would hope to, so that is why we have set this page up.  We, Tracey, Megan and Kate will post things here regularly as we get updates etc..., please keep the love pouring!  Bill is truly humbled by all the well wishes, he claims to be just a simple man, living/loving life along the way, but his journey has put SO MANY wonderful people in his life.  Tracey has always said, his reputation precedes kind and you will be rewarded.  

Bill is a Warrior, being very strong and true to his beliefs and faith.....we all will fight and help him conquer.  


Newest Update

Journal entry by Tracey Benson Curdy

The anniversary (10/24) of losing our sweet Bill is quickly approaching. But before that happens...we have a little race to do.
ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer
is once again hosting a race, only this year it's virtual. What does that mean? REGISTER and join the CURDY ARMY team. Then you commit to walk wherever and whenever you want. Who's in? If you feel compelled to donate...feel free! Our family believes in this organization and what they stand for. To educate, inform, support and help find a cure for this terrible disease. Last year we have over 50 people join us as we had our Big Cat with us as well. Bill is no longer with us physically but he is forever in our hearts and memories and his greatest wish was to continue supporting this wonderful organization in his honor. Will you join us?.
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