Musician Battles Stage Iv Colon Cancer

Wade Hayes performs at the Stars Go Blue For Colon Cancer benefit on March 6, 2012.

“That part of it has been really shocking for me. I had no idea how many people cared about me or even knew I existed.” Robertson says that’s the kind of person Hayes is — modest to a fault; an introvert who enjoys reading detective dramas and has no desire to just sit around. Hayes lives with his dog, Jack, a boxer he found as a stray, eating out of the garbage at a filling station 75 miles from Nashville. He loaded the starving, tick-covered dog into the back of his truck and took him home, where Jack proceeded to chew on everything in sight. “He’s very lovable but a pain the ass — just like me,” Hayes says with a laugh. Hayes’ scans were clear of tumors in early March. But the musician still has four more months of chemotherapy to go. Chemo has left his hands and mouth incredibly sensitive. Food tastes funny, and touching anything cold feels like “being electrocuted.” Some days, he has trouble gripping his guitar. He performed at the Stars Go Blue benefit concert for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month on March 6 but had trouble singing because of the chemo’s effects on his vocal cords. If I had caught it early, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Wade Hayes He’s eager to get back to writing music, but the chemotherapy chemicals invading his body make it difficult to concentrate. “He’s seen something taken away that he’s very passionate to get back to,” Robertson says of Hayes’ impatience. “He’s always bounced back from everything. I think he thought he’d have the surgery, and then. …

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