The Good, The Bad and The Super Secret Agent PiratePosted on Sun, Mar 16, 2014

2014-01-26 17.35.37

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy New Year, if I can still get away with saying that! 2013 turned out to be a very great year: we kicked Cancer’s ass, had an amazing benefit, kicked Cancer’s ass again, I landed a great new full-time job (with full-time benefits) and Kristin successfully sold her apartment which has really gotten us back on our feet. Izzy is shining in 4th grade and becomes more unbelievably awesome every day. And I have now turned into an actual Pirate. Or International Man of Mystery. Or a Bond Villain. What do they all have in common? More on that in a moment…

As I last wrote, my attitude about my scans and results has really come to a new place. I was scanned back in November, and they did discover two new tumors. Or, as we decided to think of them, two new contestants signing up for “Who Wants to Get Their Ass Kicked!”. (Now, unbelievably, in it’s 4th season. Can’t believe it’s still on. People still watch this junk?)

There was one in my hip, about the size of a small walnut, which we quickly named Williamsburg (you know, with all of the hipsters…) in honor of my friend’s book, “Killing Williamsburg”, (available now on Amazon!) because we figured that was exactly what we were about to do. And there was another very small one in my left lung which we quickly decided to forget about until after we dealt with Williamsburg.


Killing Williamsburg… you know why.

Christmas was coming up, and I actually wasn’t too worried about these things. Our team decided to introduce Williamsburg to Mr. Death Ray, but leave the little Forgotten One alone as our barometer for a new round of chemo. And even the chemo wasn’t looking quite so bad: if you remember from a few years ago, I was supposed to get this really cool, hip (no pun intended) modern low-side-effect chemo drug named Doxil. But due to a nationwide shortage, I was stuck with The Sleezy Uncle Doxorubicin. Well, shortage over, baby! All in all, we decided we didn’t want to worry you over the holiday with the news, especially when we were all set to take care of it. After all, this is what we do now.

Oh, but wait. I forgot to tell you about these headaches. I was having these headaches that just wouldn’t leave me alone. They seemed to center around my left eye, so I went and had it checked out, having had experience two years running with some chemo-related eye infections. Nothing. Huh. So we decided to take the advice my sister has been giving me for years and get my head examined. CT Scan showed nothing, (Give your best Schwarzenegger “It’s not a TOO-moor!” now.) Everyone decided it was a tension headache with the new job and the apartment closing and so on and so forth. So no big deal.

Last Monday, I was walking to the subway to head over to get my first Killing Williamsburg treatment, and suddenly realized I was seeing double. One cab ride and one rushed MRI later, and we were looking at a new tumor sitting smack dab in the middle of my head. Screw you, Mr. Schwarzenegger.

In the days that followed, Kristin kicked ass and pushed them faster than they had ever gone before. Three days after detection, they made their molds and lined up the lasers. Ten days after detection, they fired up Mr. Death Ray again. My wife is an unstoppable force of nature.

It’s important to note here: IT IS NOT IN MY BRAIN CAVITY. It’s sitting in a little soft tissue underneath the brain cavity right next to one of my optic nerves. It is not involved with the optic nerve, it’s just pushing on it a little bit, causing my eye to stop lining up correctly, which was causing the double-vision. “But,” you may be asking, “How do you get around when you’re seeing double?”. Now we get to the best part:

I am now wearing an eyepatch.

That’s right. I have a completely valid excuse to walk around the tropical Isle of Manhattan wearing an eyepatch. Kids stop and say “Look mommy, a Pirate!”. Izzy’s reaction was “A Pirate… or Nick Fury”. Which makes me now officially an International Super Secret Agent Pirate of Mystery! And you know I make it look good.

The treatments will continue through next Tuesday, all happening around noon. After yesterday’s treatment, we were able to meet with Dr. Yamada and get some questions answered which has really put my mind at ease. There will be a few things we’ll have to deal with in the coming months, but overall the prognosis is very optimistic, and we’re hopeful for a good recovery.

Well, that’s the update! I am very grateful, as always, to you, my dear friends and family for your support. And I am blessed to have Kristin and Izzy always by my side in this fight as we kick Cancer’s Booty. Why? Because we’re Super Secret Agent Pirates waving our Christian flags. That’s why.


– Ben

PS: Oh, and by the way, we still Killed Williamsburg last week. Imagine little cancer cells in skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts screaming a burning death. What’s not to 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.