In January 2016, he started noticing some digestive problems. It wasn't anything crazy and he thought it was a dietary issue. He experimented with different diets and for a year and a half the symtoms were off and on. In April of 2017, the symptoms took full effect and he was in constant discomfort. He went to a GP who did some tests but found nothing wrong. The problem continued to get worse so he returned to the GP and was set up with an appointment with a gastroenterologist. Unfortunately, the appointment wasn't until August 31st, three and a half months away. After trying to wait it out for two weeks, Ben said fuck It and went to the ER at Vanderbilt on Memorial Day.
After a CT scan, the doctors found an abscess in his large intensive known as diverticulitis, a disease that men normally get at a much older age. He spent 5 days in the hospital and was sent home with a drain for the abscess. After a week, he went back, had a new CT scan and got the drain removed. The surgeons suggested, to their best knowledge, that the cause of this was Crohn's disease-due to all of the inflammation throughout his colon. An appointment was set for July 11th to get a colonoscopy for a final diagnosis.
Ben toughed it out another week or so. He even worked a few bartending shifts at the 5 Spot and tagged along with friends playing at Bonnaroo. Then the pain came back with a vengeance. On June 24th, he went back to the hospital and the CT scan showed the diverticulitis had returned. The doctors now became worried something else was causing the tissue to tear and become infected. They decided to rush a colonoscopy even though the area was still sensitive and inflamed.
Sure enough, they found a tumor and the next day Ben was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. The tumor is in such a place that they can't simply remove it. It's positioned between the rectum and the bladder with part of it blocking 80% of his colon path. The tumor is the thing that caused all the pain and tissue damage, not Crohn's. "Thank god. I can beat the shit out of cancer but Crohn's would have been annoying for my whole life," he said.
He ended up spending two weeks in the hospital with a few operations and surgeries to prepapre for treatment. Once he's healed up from all that, he will meet with the Oncologist to start making a plan on how to shrink down the tumor and cut it out for good.
The Good News is that he is back at home with a positive outlook and he is in good spirits!!
"There's no doubt in my mind I'll be able to kick the living shit out of this cancer bitch! Fuck him!" is what he told me when I saw him in the hospital the day after his diagnosis. He meant it. That attitude and our love and support will help him get through this. Let's all show Ben what he means to us and this community.
Money received from your donations will be used for memorial and funeral expenses.
Friends, thank you so much for taking the time to help a buddy and fellow musician of Nashville. As it has been said, it takes a village. Love to all of you.