Super Sea Squirt Powers Activate!Posted on Thu, Jan 14, 2016


This one isn’t going to be funny.

I haven’t written one of these for about a year. The surgery to take out half of my right lung was, for what it’s worth, successful. I figured I’d write when I felt better to give the all-clear.

There were some pretty nasty complications, which dragged out the recovery process for months, and required an additional surgery to keep my lung cavity from becoming an indoor swimming pool.

There never really was a particular end to it, and learning to breathe again took several more months. To top it all off, the “tumor” they removed turned out to be negative for cancerous cells. It had the effect of making me not want to talk about it. But I have mostly recovered.

It was a lovely year otherwise with a reunion at Dell’Arte, travels to Europe with Kristin and Izzy, and advancing to a lead position in my work at ADP, still filing those patents! Both Kristin and Izzy are doing fantastic! Kristin signed with an agent in LA and has been rocking her acting career, and Izzy has entered 6th grade at New York’s Professional Performing Arts School and continues to amaze and make me laugh daily.

This is a sea squirt. I will not be turning into one of these.

This is a sea squirt. I will not be turning into one of these.

And then in October, because this never seems to end, they found tumors they described as a handfull of corn kernels up and down my spine. Too many for radiation or surgery, so back to chemo we go!

There is a silver lining… years ago when I was first diagnosed, we heard about a drug called Yondelis made from sea squirts specifically being developed for my type of cancer, and was showing great results. It was going through trials before it could be approved by the FDA.

Well, it was just approved by the FDA.

I was the second person to recieve it at Sloan Kettering. I asked to be the second, just in case it turned the first person into a gelatinous sea squirt or something. It’s given as a continuous feed for 24 hours, which required me to get a mediport implanted just under my collarbone so they can securely attach the I.V.

You heard that right: implanted.

I just became a cyborg. Awww yeah.

All hail our future robot overlords!

All hail our future robot overlords! I am one of you!

I want you to know that since my new cyborg status will enable me to curry favor with our robot overlords when the revolution comes, I’ll put in a good word for you.

Once they attach the line, using a giant freaking needle which was not in the brochure, they put the Yondelis, and a pump into a bag which I then wear around my waist. I want to be very clear here: just because this bag is strapped around my waist DOES NOT make it a fanny pack. It’s a medical… a medicinal… a therapudic… um… Okay, it’s a fanny pack.

I’ve had one treatment already and am recieving the second one today. The side effects are harsh for the first couple of days, then recede to a general yuckiness for about a week, then I’m totally fine. I’ll be getting scanned in February so we can see how things stand. Assuming it’s working, I’m going to be on this for several months, maybe longer. We’re hoping, because this drug is targeted to my type of cancer, this may be the one that finally eradicates all those stupid little cells running around my body.

Until then, I’m a cybernetically enhanced, sea squirt-powered fashion victim.

Despite my infrequent updates, I want you to know I still love you individually and as a group! If you write me, know that I love it, but I may not write back right away. This doesn’t change the fact that I still love you.

May the power of the sea squirts be with you,

– Ben

…okay, so it’s a little funny.


Okay, you squirts! I need volunteers! Which one of you wants to cure Ben's cancer?

Okay, you squirts! I need volunteers! Which one of you wants to cure Ben’s cancer?

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.