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Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Discussion pertaining to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Battle Creek, Big Rapids, and Michiana
Milk
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Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by Milk » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:41 pm

Longtime Grand Rapids radio personality Aris Hampers took to Facebook this morning to announce that he can no longer talk due to his battle with throat cancer.
Hello all!

I figured it was time to finally speak out as to why I've been absent here on Facebook and from life in general for the past 6 months. I'll try to keep it short and avoid becoming maudlin since that's not my style and it really benefits no one.

Nearly 4 years ago in Feb. 2016 I started to notice a very subtle change to the bottom end of my voice and decided, when I went to get my ears flushed, to have a mid-level ENT take a quick look at it. He did a scope of my throat and found nothing. I chalked it up to getting older and a natural change for a person who spent most of his life 'talking' for a living on the radio, not to mention a smoker since my freshman year in High School.

It ever so slowly got worse over the next 3 years, but a lack of insurance in the beginning and a general 'so what' attitude prevented me from following up on it. Ironically, as it got to a point where it was really noticeable, I suddenly got more offers than I had in years for voice-work, guest podcast requests and even an offer to go back on the radio for a full-time afternoon air shift. After much thought, I had to decline that offer because I felt my voice was eventually going to get worse.
I was right.

When it got to a point last Winter that I could no longer converse in an even mildly noisy room, since I now had insurance, I decided to get it checked again, this time, by the best ENT in the area. He found a mass beneath my voicebox but was still initially stumped, since he said he hadn't seen that before and it wasn't common. From then on it was a succession of tests and exploratory surgery from doctor to doctor (including a ct scan showing early emphysema) until finally being diagnosed as to what I suspected all along:
A 1 and 1/2" inch cancerous tumor on my windpipe - my reward for 55 years of heavy smoking.

On the plus side, it was 'non-invasive' cancer, meaning not only was it not going to spread anywhere else in my body, but that also eliminates any need for chemotherapy. On the down side, the tumor had already severely damaged my voicebox/larynx to the point that it could not be saved.
The only way for me to survive was to have it removed.

It was a 14 day stay in the hospital requiring two surgeries equal to the cost of a mid-sized home on the West side. I remember my first thought when I awoke from the first surgery unable to speak - it was simply "It is what it is" - The only way I could mentally and emotionally accept any of this. Ironically, those were Ric Ocasek's final words to his family before he passed. Not surprising - we're both from the same school and we both made some bad choices (he was a heavy smoker as well) and I'm sure we both knew the risks. The entertainment / music business is filled with bad health choices and I dabbled in all of them over those 40 years before retiring. Spending the rest of my life thinking 'regrets' will change nothing, so I refuse to even acknowledge them.

On that first day after surgery I was relieved with every nurse/doctor who mis-pronounced my name since I just wanted to get through this anonymously and get home to recover. But by day two, as word spread and doctors/nurses helped me in and out of bed or to walk the halls for blood circulation etc, there were more and more "I grew up listening to you" comments which made it much more difficult even though it felt pretty good to know that, if I don't get through this, it's apparent I had made a positive difference in at least 'some' people's lives. After the 7 hour surgery, the conclusion was the tumor and all remnants were successfully removed.

I felt the need to come clean now since someone barely in my circle recently started to 'make shit up' about my condition, obviously just to get attention and word was spreading that I only had a short time to live. None of that was even remotely truthful and the whole incident was really disappointing.

But now I must profusely apologize to the MANY of you who texted, emailed, called on my cell etc asking questions and were completely ignored by me. I am SO sorry for doing that, but I needed to focus on my recovery and rehab without the distractions of 24-hour continuous texts to everyone on my friend lists especially while in the Hospital where it was impossible to get more than 20 minutes sleep at a time. PLEASE accept my apologies for that! It was the only way I could get the rest to recover. Hopefully, you will understand.

There are a handful of people that must be thanked. These people spent a good chunk of their time to really help me get through this: Wendi & Bruce, Mitch, Stephanie (with daughters Sloan and Drew who made hand-drawn get well cards for my hospital room), Mark & Lori and Sam & Bob. It wasn't easy for any of these folks to keep all of this under wraps, so I can't thank them enough for doing so.

There are too many of us fighting these fights...Darla Jaye and Jay Allen Swieringa, both former radio partners of mine are currently dealing with cancer issues and super talented local musician John Sanger recently won his fight. Nancy Yerkes,
a brilliant artist and a longtime friend who designed the logo for my Disc Shop lost her battle much too quickly a few months back. I was too ill to talk to her before she passed.
All of this sickness is just crazy.

Do I really need to say this? Are 'you' still smoking? If so, just STOP! The new numbers are in: only 12% of the world population is still doing so. That means 88% are not doing something stupid that you 'are' doing. I'm your latest poster child. Think of all the friends you've lost over the years when you light up that next one and how absolutely shitty it really tastes.

Staying close to home more than in the past, I'll have the time to do more archiving and posting of the many things that I still need to do regarding Rock Search videos and archived radio shows that hopefully many of you will find entertaining - especially the participating local musicians. I'm the only person with all of this stuff and I'm determined to get all of it out there before I drop.

And it goes without saying that not being able to speak was not how I envisioned spending the Winter of my life, but after finishing 5 weeks of daily preventive radiation treatments last week, and, even though only time will really tell, as of now, I am cancer-free.

Cancer took my mom 30 years ago. It also took my sweet Asia a year ago (I still miss that pup every single hour) and even though it tried to take me, it failed.

I may be broken, but I'm still here.



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OldHippie
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by OldHippie » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:06 am

Hang in there Aris from a long time dan.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:58 am

I wish Aris nothing but the best and tip my cap to him (x 100) for not only successfully kicking cancer's ass so far, but also for taking the time to chronicle his battle.

If even one person throws their cancer sticks (cigarettes) in the trash and kicks the habit for good after reading Aris' post, he should feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment!

I'm not sure which is crazier - the fact mainstream retaliers willfully sell tobacco products in the year 2019 or the fact people willfully use them irrespective of the extremely serious health consequences.


Rock 95.5 in Chicago is the worst sounding major market rock station in the history of corporate radio.

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audiophile
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by audiophile » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:31 pm

Of course now they want to sell marijuana, which is much, much worse than tobacco.


Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

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Lester The Nightfly
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by Lester The Nightfly » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:30 pm

audiophile wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:31 pm
Of course now they want to sell marijuana, which is much, much worse than tobacco.
Very disrespectful to tie Hampers condition with your anti-marijuana crusade. Disrespectful, and very much in character.



Jason Kragt
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by Jason Kragt » Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:45 pm

To me, Aris is and will always be the greatest DJ and music director I ever heard.



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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by Deleted User 24 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:15 am

audiophile wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:31 pm
Of course now they want to sell marijuana, which is much, much worse than tobacco.
May I one day be even holier-than-thou than the board's resident prig, at least since the absense of GG.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:22 am

I disagree that marijuana is "much, much worse" than tobacco. There is insufficient science to make such a conclusion.

The mental effects of heavy (not occasional) marijuana use are worse for sure, but I've not seen any research to suggest the physical effects are worse.

One reason the body of research on marijuana's effects is so flimsy is because of draconian anti-marijuana laws that existed nationwide for so long.
"We're learning new things every day," says Matthew J. Smith, PhD, a research assistant professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Before we can really understand the effects of marijuana, further research is needed."
https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/f ... safe-web#1


Rock 95.5 in Chicago is the worst sounding major market rock station in the history of corporate radio.

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audiophile
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by audiophile » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:59 am

Lester The Nightfly wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:30 pm
audiophile wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:31 pm
Of course now they want to sell marijuana, which is much, much worse than tobacco.
Very disrespectful to tie Hampers condition with your anti-marijuana crusade. Disrespectful, and very much in character.
I never meant any disrespect to to Mr. Aris, and I nor have I have met him or knowingly listened to him. I was directly responding to MW's comment immediately above that "no responsible retailer should carry tobacco". I'm not sure I agree with MW's orginal comment, but I simply noted all irony on the retail buzz about pot and that I believe it was worse due to mind-altering characteristics, and serious potential health effects ***

Is not also disrespectful to Mr. Aris to not disclose that you profit from marijuana, and your likely contrived outrage? In other words you use this thread to defend it's use for YOUR profit.

I have no dog it this fight as I do not work retail, but I will shout from the mountaintops the dangers of mind-altering drugs. I will not back down from that stance, here or anyplace despite your fabricated shaming techniques.
Last edited by audiophile on Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:51 am, edited 6 times in total.


Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

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audiophile
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by audiophile » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:12 am

*** https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyl ... story.html
But there's strong evidence linking long-term cannabis smoking to worse coughs and more frequent bouts of chronic bronchitis, according to the report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

The report also looked at other effects, finding a mix of possible risks, upsides and unknowns. For example, the report said marijuana can ease chemotherapy-related nausea and adults' chronic pain but also found evidence the drug is linked to developing schizophrenia and getting in traffic crashes.

In recent weeks, studies have echoed concerns about high-potency pot and psychosis and documented a rise in marijuana-related emergency room visits after legalization in Colorado.

The National Academies report found pot use likely increases the risk of dependence on other substances, including tobacco.


Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

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audiophile
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by audiophile » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:47 am

Many of have seen ads of yesteryear, but those bragging about pot benefits here you go:

https://www.livescience.com/15115-5-hea ... sease.html


Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

bmw
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by bmw » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:46 am

audiophile wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:59 am
I never meant any disrespect to to Mr. Aris, and I nor have I have met him or knowingly listened to him. I was directly responding to MW's comment immediately above that "no responsible retailer should carry tobacco"...
That was clear to me that this was what you were responding to. I wasn't sure why your response triggered Mr. Nightfly, but you say he works in the Marijuana industry? Makes sense now.

As to the question of pot vs tobacco (which, having read Mr. Hampers' entire post, I'm sure he wouldn't feel disrespected at all for this debate to be taking place - in fact, I'm sure he would welcome such a debate), common sense tells me that inhaling ANY KIND OF SMOKE is bad for your health. Human lungs have evolved over many thousands of years to breathe clean air. Smoke is smoke, and there are going to be health risks to breathing in lots of it.

Mr. Nightfly is just your typical far-left liberal hypocrite. Holier than thou attitude (which he has demonstrated time and time again in the politics forum) EXCEPT when it comes to issues that affect him personally.



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Lester The Nightfly
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by Lester The Nightfly » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:54 am

Lester The Nightfly wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:30 pm
audiophile wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:31 pm
Of course now they want to sell marijuana, which is much, much worse than tobacco.
Very disrespectful to tie Hampers condition with your anti-marijuana crusade. Disrespectful, and very much in character.
I was remiss in my post not to wish Hampers the best of luck in what extent he finds recovery. Cancer sucks.



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tc
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by tc » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:39 pm

audiophile wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:47 am
Many of have seen ads of yesteryear, but those bragging about pot benefits here you go:

https://www.livescience.com/15115-5-hea ... sease.html
Please stop hijacking this thread, this is about Aris, stay on topic or go away.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Very sad news regarding Aris Hampers

Post by MWmetalhead » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:46 pm

I agree 100%!

Well put, tc. :)


Rock 95.5 in Chicago is the worst sounding major market rock station in the history of corporate radio.

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