Taking it to the Next LevelPosted on Mon, Dec 29, 2014

You wanna piece of me?

You wanna piece of me?

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope each and every one of you had a joyful holiday! As we go into the new year, there have been some developments with the Three Stooges, so I thought it was time to send out an update. Despite the best efforts of my chemotherapy, Larry and Moe started growing again. Well, we weren’t going to stand for that, so we scheduled two surgeries. The first one was over Thanksgiving, the second one is scheduled for December 29th. Yes, that’s tomorrow. Sorry for the late notice!

The first surgery was a resounding success. Larry was sitting right there, on the front my left lung. Almost daring us to do something. You may remember I had a tumor removed from my left lung a few years ago. Heck, we did it once, so we decided to do it again. We called in Dr. Finley, the same surgeon from before, and he performed another wedge resection to take Larry out. It was like old times. He even used some of the same holes he cut the first time! Dr. Finley, Kristin and I were trading cancer jokes in recovery, laughing so loud the nurses had to shut us down.

We figured I’d have a nicer time recovering at home, so I went home the same day. And thanks to Kristin and many, many pain drugs, it was. We had Indian delivery for our Thanksgiving dinner, and I have pretty much recovered. It still sometimes feels like someone punched me hard in my left boob, but I barely notice it anymore.

That was Larry. Moe is another story. In fact, it turns out, Moe isn’t even his real name. Because I wasn’t looking at the scans, I didn’t realize Moe was really an old tumor growing again.

His real name is The Little Bastard.

If you have been keeping score, The Little Bastard was the first tumor to show up in my lung after my first Zipperleg surgery. He’s nestled deep in my right lung, right next to where my bronchial tube splits. That fucking tumor has survived three chemotherapies and one targeted radiation. It’s time to take it to the next level and take The Little Bastard out, once and for all.

To perform the operation, Dr. Finley has called in his mentor, Dr. Majit Bains. I swear that when he first said his name, I heard him say “Dr. Magic Beans”, but since he is going to be the one cutting me open, I will restrain myself from calling him that. Apparently, he’s the doctor they call in if something goes wrong during an operation, and he’s one of those people who can make everyone relax just by entering the room. Dr. Finley called him the Zen Master, and the moment I met him, I understood why. I am in excellent hands.

This one is going to be a bit more severe than my previous surgeries. Dr. Bains will be removing roughly 20% of my total lung capacity by taking out the top lobe of my right lung, but at this point, it’s a good trade off. It helps balance the books a little to understand that the part of the lung they are going to remove is already damaged by my previous radiation, and that the lobe below it will expand somewhat to fill that space.

I’ll be in the hospital for four days or so, then will be returning home, where it will take me one to two months to fully recover. The people at my job have been amazingly supportive this past year, so everything has been taken care of while I’m gone. I will be receiving Short-Term Disability while I’m out, which is a huge weight off of our minds. All I have to do for the next two months is get better. And with help and love from Kristin and Izzy, I know I will.

I’m the luckiest man alive. Thank you for being my friends. If you want to hang out, you know where to find me! I probably won’t be up for dance parties or ski trips, but I should be able to sit up!

Love, Luck and Health,

– Ben

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.