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Part 2: In the fallout from Laura, Ben battles cancer

Posted at 8:51 AM, Aug 27, 2021

After forecasting a record hurricane season, losing his new house, and seeing his community destroyed the bad news seemed to keep arriving for Ben Terry.

A routine screening had been delayed, partly to his doctor's office being destroyed by the storm, but after going in for a colonoscopy Ben was informed that he had colon cancer.

"That was like a gut punch. You're life gets spun around that's worse than the hurricane, because here you are in a literal fight for your life."

Ben had long been an advocate and volunteer for the American Cancer Society, he had helped them m.c. relay for life events, but even being around survivors couldn't prepare him for what was ahead.

The tumor was too big to operate so in January Ben started a five month treatment program, receiving chemotherapy in the hopes of battling back against the cancer.

In May the chemo ended, but the news wasn't good.

His tumor was still too big to operate on but doctors in Houston had offered up another plan, an intensive radiation therapy five days a week for six weeks in Houston.

"How the heck am I going to do that? I'm on air in Lake Charles I can't be driving to Houston everyday"

It struck him that the "at-home studio set up" could be brought off the shelf and used from Houston, allowing Ben to continue to deliver weather forecasts from a hotel room.

Eventually word spread through the community that the man responsible for getting the city through it's darkest hour was going through his, and the city would respond in kind.

Cards and letters poured in along with messages of support, fundraisers who thrown to help Ben with the financial costs, and all of it helped power him through.

"I've got so many people rooting for me that it makes it easier."

He's still not sure how to thank everyone for their kindness but wants them to know how much it all means.

Finally in early August Ben got the news that the radiation was a success and they'll be able to operate and remove the tumor.

There's still a way to go and a series of surgeries ahead, but Ben is hopeful.

Recovery from the final surgery is expected in the spring of 2022, just before the start of another hurricane season.

While we can all hope that southwest Louisiana has a quiet season at least they'll know that the man who brought them through so much, will be there to bring them through it again.

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