Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cancer People

Several weeks ago my friend and I were at a bar at UVA, which I attend and he already graduated from. One of the sororities was selling plastic cups for $3 that we could fill with beer for $1. Their proceeds were going to breast cancer research. “We’ll buy two cups,” I said to the sorority girl, “but only because we can get cheap beer.”

“Great. Well, your money goes to a good cause.”

“Fuck that. I don’t like cancer people.”

My friend began laughing hysterically.

“You don’t like people with cancer?” she asked bewildered.

“No, all they do is bitch and moan and ask for research money. It’s pathetic.”

“Yeah but…it’s cancer! It’s not their fault they got it.”

“He’s just fucking with you,” my Canadian friend interrupted. “He actually beat cancer twice.”

The poor sorority girl was so confused. “Are you serious?”

“Ben beat the ever-living shit out of cancer one time. Then when he got it again we were all like, ‘What the hell is cancer thinking? I mean, that’s not even a fair fight.’”

“What does he know, he’s Canadian,” I said before walking away, leaving her to decide for herself.


When I got cancer the second time my mom’s friend gave me a diary. “You could write in it and then make it into a book someday.” I threw the diary in the trash. Strangely, over a year later I had an epiphany: I should write a book. At 2 AM I started typing. Now it has reached the hands of several editors at different publishing houses. They say I’m unknown and won’t publish me. This blog needs to change that.

The name of my book is I’ve Still Got Both My Nuts: A True Cancer Story. My goal is that someday John Doe will complain to his buddy about his day. John’s friend will listen and may even sympathize a little. Then he’ll say, “Yeah, but you’ve still got both your nuts, right?” With your help we can make this happen.

To my parents: I’m going to tell you the same thing I’ll tell you when the book comes out—don’t read it. Many parts will shame and disgust you. You may fall into deep depression at which point you’ll turn to cocaine. Then, you’ll want a bigger high and begin freebasing, then move on to crack rock. Before you know it you’re shooting speedballs. That said, I’m positive you’re going to constantly check this blog for updates and read all the entries very carefully. For the sake of our relationship I need to set one rule: you can’t ask me questions about any of my writing or make comments about anything. Ever. It’ll be better this way.

To everyone else: Start telling your friends. Spread the word. Forward the link to everyone you know. Talk about your testicles, or lack thereof. And most importantly, send me your thoughts. I welcome all questions, comments, compliments and criticism.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ben is one classy guy with two testicles and a great story to tell...seriously is myelodysplasia even cancer? =)

D said...

Is myelodysplasia even cancer? =)

Yes if you have to have chemo, radiation, or had your hospital roomate die.

Otherwise no it is not cancer!

Without those things, you do not have the great stories like pulling out clumps of hair in 7th grade English class, and freaking out the teacher.

Joel said...

I'm doin what i can Ruby to create a buzz for "...Nuts" in New England. Do ya thing playboy!

daveriemo said...

Seriously though, Ben, when are you going to win the Tour de France? Until that day, I'm not impressed.

DebBR said...

Hey Rocky, don't underestimate "older" people! We'll be here every day!

Nicholas said...

a bow bow bow? a bow. bow.

Derek said...

"I need to set one rule: you can’t ask me questions about any of my writing or make comments about anything. Ever."

Later:

"I welcome all questions, comments, compliments and criticism."

What the fuck dude? I mean?

Mike said...

Ben needs to get a real publisher who "gets it". He deserves to be heard.

Anonymous said...

I think you have a great story to tell here and think it could really have an affect on people, with or without cancer. I'd love to see it published so I could read it. Good luck to you.

Jen said...

I hope there is a bit about the Rocky theme song. Or at least the puke count. Can't wait to read it!
Jen RN

A said...

I will definitely be getting the word out in Richmond and at VCU, Benjamin. I can't wait to read it!
-Amanda W

drb said...

so basically, if you have 10,000 friends they will publish your book, cause I guess they figure they will sell at least that many. You may have both your nuts, but they obviously have no balls. Well tell them that I am not a kid, and never had cancerthat I know of, but I'll read your book anyway. (I might borrow it from the library tho- just kidding, publisher)

Sandra said...

Soooo....how does the ever faithful, perky, sunny homebound teacher fare in this book? Sounds like the best of all possible worlds for an older adult might be no mention at all! But I'd buy it anyway, even if you trashed the teacher. I still can't believe the first time I met you that I actually told you how nicely shaped your head was. See you around the gym.

Ho-Train said...

Ben if you ever need stories any more stories, I'm willing to sell some of mine as long as I can still tell them.

LTC Simmons said...

Ben...I trust you can count on the "regulars" at www.thejewishsoldier.com to be there for you. I'll also request a posting on www.jewsingreen.com where you'll get even more exposure and support. Hang in there...the troops are on their way!

Lynne said...

To Ben's Parents:
I joined MySpace when my teenage son signed up, so I could monitor him & his friends. Not to censor his language, but to watch for predators and risky internet behaviors.

So I'd just like to say that his request for you not to comment is quite reasonable, because as much as you might be shocked or embarrassed by his writing, he will be 10 times as mortified by having you post comments, even positive ones.

Our kids know we love them; sometimes we must keep our distance.

Hoping you all live to 120 yrs plus 3 mos.

rjc said...

Keep writing and we'll keep reading. Any publisher that missed the opportunity will regret the day!

Anonymous said...

A sense of humor used as strengh is the strongest medicine I know.

Anonymous said...

I was unfortunate enough to meet ben through his cancer treatment. Certainly not unfortunate to meet ben, but unfortunate under the circumstances. Being a part of his recovery allowed me to observe his true personality. Ben you are one hell of a tough guy. You may still have your testicles but you also have balls. Someone needs to publish this story as I can't wait to read the whole thing. Publishers who happen to read this...do everyone a favor and give us something to read.

Anonymous said...

I have not met you but feel like I know you through your Dad. After what you have been through - you deserve to be heard. Can't wait to buy and read your book when it is published.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a proponent of blogs but with this site, I'll make an exception. I find it very enjoyable because Ben is able to blend humor in his anecdotes while allowing a passive reader like me to share in his life experiences.

Anonymous said...

Ben...you are a true champ. Your story deserves to be heard around the world. Can't wait until it's published.

LemonadeKing said...

I too still have both my nuts...but germ cell tumor decided to try and grow in my brain. I've beat it back twice now...

Live strong.