This Local Radio Personality, Musician & Educator Is Sharing About His Struggle With Crohn's & Second Chances

I’ve always been a grateful, positive, “go for the brass ring” guy.  But then, this happened…

“I have good news and bad news.”

The fog of anesthesia was lifting.

“The good news is I found polyps, but they looked fine.”

Scary pause. “The bad news is you’ve got Crohn’s.”

Welcome to my first colonoscopy.

I’d been really sick for two weeks. That stomach virus that’s going around?  Yeah… no.  Really sick.  My expellations – I had to invent that word – weren’t limited to the posterior part of the anatomy. Use your imagination.

Call my primary. “Well, time for a colonoscopy. Here’s the gastro doctor I recommend.” So….

The diagnosis along with diverticulitis, the joint pain, the stomach aches, the weight loss, the hours in the bathroom, the flare-ups, the fevers, the hospitals, the CT scans, the MRIs, the medicines, more colonoscopies. I’ll stop. You can go to WebMD (don’t -it’s gross). That became my life for TEN YEARS.

Remember I began with the “good news bad news” thing, right?  Well, let’s talk about the good news – BECAUSE IT’S ALL GOOD NEWS.  And I absolutely mean it.

When they got me into remission, my doctor recommended a nutritionist (shout out to Meghan and all the folks at Evolution Nutrition!!). They saved my life. Food was my enemy, yet Meghan literally made it my medicine. Farmacy is way better than pharmacy.

Anyway… fast forward to April 2018. Rut roh. Another flare up, but this one hit 10 out of 10 on the ugly scale. I could describe it, but it’s disgusting. And beyond painful. My sigmoid colon was cooked and the disease was threatening my bladder. SURGERY.

Now I’d been warned a year earlier that, despite my good diet and good discipline and plain good luck, one more flare-up and things’ll have to get removed. And so they were.

Five hours and seven days later (That said, THANK YOU MIRIAM HOSPITAL – YOU ARE AWESOME!!!), I went home, followed by two months in bed, and pain like you can’t believe.  Until….

… Here I am now. I feel beyond incredible! Sick was my normal, and now HEALTH IS MY NORMAL! Woot woot! I can eat. I can sleep. No meds. Scars? So what!  I’m HEALTHY AND ALIVE!!  And… I’ve become a fitness fanatic, because of one thing: GRATITUDE. And let me tell you, it’s all grATTITUDE. I’m not squandering this second chance. And I’m not afraid to preach it, either. Stay positive, take care of yourself, eat well, get exercise (yes, shaking yer booty at one of my shows counts). But most of all, BE GRATEFUL. One shot at the brass ring is all we get. Don’t miss it…

More About Pete


Pete Silva is a veteran radio air-talent at Providence’s 94HJY. He writes poetry and music, recording and performing with Pete Silva and the Big Hope Band. He’s also a long-time teacher of English literature, and a self-taught student of 1940s Americana. In his spare-time Pete builds 19th century New England farm-style stone drywalls, at his home in rural Rhode Island.