Here’s Where the Fun Begins!Posted on Sun, Mar 10, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks where we weren’t sure what exactly was going to happen, so I’ve held off sending this until we knew something more concrete.

Starting with the good news: I’m done with chemotherapy for the time being! It’s been a long run since October, but my Casting Directors had a huge conference and decided that another round of chemo would be redundant at this point. Why? Well, my last CT photo shoot showed that my tumors are pretty much holding steady since the last scan. The good part of that is there are no new tumors, so it’s time to move forward to the entire reason we were doing this in the first place: Surgery!

Once they decided it was time to talk about surgery, they immediately set up an appointment for a new, high-res MRI photo shoot. As in, I walked out of my consult with Dr. Keohan and straight over to an outside imaging center that could take me the same day.

For some reason, the good people at East River Imaging decided it would be a Good Idea to send me the results of my test along with my doctors. Idiot that I am, I read it and learned the tumor is “involved” with my T7 vertebrae. Which makes me think of a revealing expose in People Magazine with glossy photos of the lurid affair. Since the last time a tumor had been romantically linked to a bone in my body, they removed about 5 inches of my Tibia, it got us plenty good and scared that my vertebrae might be removed, which can carries a good-sized risk for paralysis. The next day, the first thing Dr Finley told us was that removing the vertebrae was off the table, teaching us to never read the test results ever again.

Those of you playing at home may remember Dr. Finley’s previous work two seasons ago as “The Guy Who Cut Chunks Out of My Lung”. In the next episode, he will be returning with some high-tech robotic arms (a’la Dr. Octopus) to cut the Tumor Who Shall Not Be Named out of my body for good! The plan involves him cutting it out, then following up with some precision radiation blasts with the hot new actor Dr. Yamado. After being rebutted last time, I will insist on bringing my own spider to be irradiated and bite me. I WILL end this whole mess with superpowers. We meet with him on Wednesday to discuss the next steps, and then my spine will be ready for it’s closeup!

On a completely different but related topic, some of you have expressed an interest in helping us out financially, so I finally set up a “donate” button on my website. This is so that the financial aid team at MSK doesn’t see money in our account and think I’m working under the table. The fact is, due to the substantial side-effects of Ifosamide, I have been unable to work for the last few months, getting by only by supplementing Kristin’s voice over income with help from our wonderful families. I’m feeling pretty good these days as the chemo wears off, but I’m not able to take a gig knowing I’m about to go into major surgery. It looks like we need to hang in there a bit longer till I get past this last hurdle.

Some of you have already been our angels (you know who you are!) Please don’t feel obligated in any way, especially if you are a struggling artist (you know who you are and I love you, bless your crazy bohemian hearts!) As we get me recovered from surgery I’m looking forward to applying for a full time gig. Yes you heard that right: Me. Full time. Not freelance. Boo-yah. Some amazingly talented friends are working to put together a performance fundraising night which you will hear about soon.

Love, Luck and Health,

– Ben

PS: My favorite caregiver Kristin’s birthday is tomorrow, March 11th, so remember to send her some birthday love!

Categorized as Zipperlist Updates

About the Author

An actor trained in physical theater, living in New York City, livin' the dream. I am married to an amazing woman without whom I'd probably be dead by now, and step-dad to the irrepressible Izzy! I sculpt masks, I juggle, I act, I design graphically-type-stuff, and when offered the choice between two evils, I take the one I've never tried before. I listen, I fly planes, I bike to the beach, I am a tea brewing ninja, I design new board games with my daughter, and I tell stories... too many stories. And while I used to be trying to learn to juggle my work, living in this city, my dreams, my wife, but now I am reminded every day they are all one, all my life, and every day is one more day I get to live it.
All Content © Zipperleg Chronicles 2013 - Except for most of the photos, those are taken from the Internet. Sorry.
I am not a doctor, so none of my ramblings should be taken as medical fact.
Your milage may vary.