Ben Bodne

First post: Jul 27, 2022 Latest post: Sep 18, 2023


Ben’s story began in early June with jaw pain. He went to the dentist to check it out but received a good report with thoughts that it may be TMJ. Shortly after, while on vacation, Ben woke up with continued jaw pain, a stopped-up ear, and a swollen right eye. We made him an appointment with the ENT for Friday, July 8th thinking it must be a sinus infection. We didn’t make it to July 8th because the pain got unbearable. We went to Piedmont Fayette ER, where Ben got a CT. David pulled up the CT expecting to see an infection of some sort, so you can imagine the fear and horror he felt after seeing a solid mass in his son’s sinus cavity wrapped around the back of his eye. I, of course, was terrified and anxious as we headed to the Emory Neuro ICU. The neurosurgeon assigned to Ben seemed to think he had a meningioma (a benign mass) or lymphoma.
On Thursday, July 7th, Ben headed to the OR for a biopsy. We were called on the phone by an ENT doctor telling us that our son’s preliminary report revealed undifferentiated adenocarcinoma. David, the girls, and I were floored, devastated, and broken. The neurosurgeon first said Ben had primary head & neck cancer which made no sense considering his age and he’s not a smoker. David completed his residency at MD Anderson and immediately thought we needed to get Ben there ASAP. Luckily, one of David’s colleagues made some calls and got Ben an appointment the following Tuesday with a head/neck oncologist surgeon, Dr. Hanna. Dr. Hanna ordered a lymph node biopsy for several nodes in Ben’s neck and a PET scan. The lymph node biopsy revealed that Ben has Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma, a skeletal muscle soft tissue cancer. This cell type is usually seen in pediatric & adolescent kids but can occur in the early 20s. It’s an aggressive tumor in that it rapidly grows, but it responds quickly to chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the PET scan showed it is also in one area of Ben’s spine and pelvis. Later that day, Ben was admitted to the hospital, set to begin chemo the next day. Chemo is four days on and 17 days off. His first treatment was uneventful (his oncologist would come in every day saying Ben, you continue to be boring, lol). He was very nauseous after the first day but bounced back quickly! Ben stayed five days, was released, and now we are waiting out the next two weeks in Houston with blood work every few days.

Thank you for the continued prayers. If Ben is anything, he’s strong and a fighter!

Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved”

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