Friday I had another CT-scan and today we saw the oncologist. There is no measurable increase in the cancer, and I am considered "in remission". The doc was careful to emphasize that remission does not mean cure, but still this is great news. Oddly, however, my reaction has been somewhat subdued, for the simple reason that it's what I expected all along anyway! I'll have another scan in 3 months, at which time I'll expect the same result, in which case the next scan would be 6 months later, and so on until after three years or so they consider it gone.
In fact an actual cure, i.e. complete elimination of the cancer, is very rare (he says), especially when it has already spread from the bladder, but does happen. But I've been an exceptional case from the beginning, for instance he commented again on how unusual it is not to have experienced any pain from the cancer. So I just assume I will continue to be exceptional and will totally kick the cancer's butt, sangue della Madonna! (This last is one of many interesting curses from 19th-century Sicily, "blood of the Madonna", "sangue di un cane!" (blood of a dog; sorry Zoe), etc.. I've been learning quite a few from the novels of Giovanni Varga.) And once again, I'll give no thought whatever to the matter until the next scan, as I have much more interesting things to do!
Coming attractions for Dr. Steve's blog: I started another installment of "la bella lingua", but it's getting too technical for those who don't already know some Italian. So I'll quit on that. Instead I'm going to start a new series "A mathematician explains himself", loosely based on an essay I originally wrote in Italian. I hope to get a few more readers for the English version! It is intended for readers who haven't had any math beyond high-school, and for whom even the high-school math may be a distant, hazy, or painful memory. I hope it will be fun, and just remember, if you enjoy Sudoku then you are a mathematician whether you know it or not!!!!