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Deadliest Catch: Why Captain 'Wild' Bill Had To Return Despite A Sad Diagnosis

Contains spoilers for "Deadliest Catch" Season 20, Episode 1 — "King Crab Derby"

Captain "Wild" Bill Wichrowski isn't one to run away from life-threatening circumstances, but he's admitted that he was a little reluctant to allow Discovery's cameras capture his treatment for prostate cancer as a part of "Deadliest Catch" Season 20. One thing changed his mind — the realization that he might be able to encourage others to keep going and seek treatment of their own.

"I'll be honest. It's kind of weird to put [the diagnosis] out there to the public. I'll explain to people what happens as it goes ... I'm willing to put it out there to let people see the journey in hopes of convincing some people to get tested," he says during the episode. Audiences follow him to his first treatment during the season premiere — but viewers also see him acting as a skipper on the Summer Bay, hauling in several king crabs. That balance is vital to reminding the audience that Wichrowski's goal is to keep himself active and do what he loves doing best until he cannot do it again.

"One of the things I thought was, 'You know what? I'm not going to stop [fishing]. I'm going to keep going until I actually can't.' How many people get diagnosed with this and they just shut down and crawl into a shell? And it just makes it worse," he says on the episode. It looks like the captain's determination is set to pay off. According to a recent Facebook comment, Wichrowski's illness is trending in the right direction.

Wild Bill's cancer appears to be improving

Per a recent but privated comment made to his Facebook — as reported upon by Deadline — "Wild" Bill Wichrowski reports that diagnostic measures show that things are getting better for him. "My cancer numbers are good. [N]o energy from hormones but looks like on the back side of it for now." It sounds as if the disease is trending toward remission — and that audiences devoted to "Deadliest Catch" will get to watch Wichrowski's course of treatment every step of the way. Since "Wild" Bill previously faced a near career-ending health crisis that almost sidelined him for good, it shows how tough the former Navy man is. After all, he prefers to keep fishing even in the offseason

While fans followed along with Wichrowski during "King Crab Derby," his drama wasn't the only crisis afoot. Jack Bunnell has lost the Saga between seasons and is now working as a co-captain on the Northwestern as Sig Hansen's co-captain. The Wizard catches on fire and Keith Colburn has to save his deckhands, who are stuck below when it breaks out. All of the ships and captains come together in a king crab catching derby that happily remarks the resurgence of the crustacean in the chilly Alaskan waters. Hopefully, that twist of good fortune presages easier times ahead for all of the captains sailing the briny blue in search of fishy gold.