Introduction

The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Old Tans


I’m feeling just a bit worn and leathery today, kind of like the old golf club grips I had replaced the other day, so here’s The Hotel Melanoma rendition of Neil Young’s “Old Man”…



Old tans, look at my hide
I'm a lot like hue slur
Old tans, look at my hide
I'm a lot like hue slur

Old tans, look at my hide
Plenty sore and skin checks are bore
Skin’s a-prone to a parasite
That makes me think of U

Sun-crossed, such a cost
Gave me things that don't get lost
Like a coin that won't get tossed
Growing moles to view

Old tans, take a look at my hide
I've got docs in queue
I need someone to cut me
The whole day through
Ah, one look at my slides
And you can tell that's true

Sol abides, look at your prize
Run around in stained blue gown
Doesn't mean that much to C
To mean that much to you

I've been nursed and scanned
Look at how the time goes past
But I'm all pale tone at last
Growing moles to view

Old tans, take a look at my hide
I've got docs in queue
I need someone to cut me
The whole day through
Ah, one look at my slides
And you can tell that's true

Old tans, look at my hide
I'm a lot like hue slur
Old tans, look at my hide
I'm a lot like hue slur

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ban The Golf Tan



I quite often amaze myself on the golf course. And, when I do, it’s almost never a good thing. As an inconsistent ball-striker who’s always one bad swing or ill-advised club selection away from a scoring disaster, I’m quite capable of following up a birdie with a triple bogey. Several of the better players in my Extremely Senior Golf League carry GPS devices and, in a gesture of gentlemanly sportsmanship, they’ll tell me the exact yardage from my current lie (often in deep rough) to the pin. This would be useful information if only I had a clue how far I’ll hit any particular club at any given moment, but I don’t. Take yesterday, for example, when I sailed an unusually well-struck 6-iron over a green and into a thick grove of Ponderosa pines, leading to a double bogey on a relatively easy par 3 hole. Oy.

But at least I’ve learned how not to sport a melanoma-inducing bad golf tan like those depicted above. Which I can’t say for all too many of the players for whom GPS distance finders are useful tools for lowering one’s score. Please, please wear your sunscreen when out on the links, folks, because you really won’t like it here at The Hotel Melanoma.

To the tune of Journey’s “Any Way You Want It”…



Any day you golfin’
That's the day you ‘screen skin
Any day you golfin’

C loves to chaff
C loves to zing
C does perishing

C loves to move
C loves to groove
C loves the blushing skins

Oh, all white, all white
Oh, every site
So ‘screen right, ‘screen right
Oh, baby, bold white

Oh, he said
"Any day you golfin’
That's the day you ‘screen skin
Any day you golfin’"
(any day you golfin’)
He said, "Any day you golfin’
That's the day you ‘screen skin
Any day you golfin’"

I was duff prone, I never knew
What good clubs could do
When I clutched
When I swang, about the rough all spring

Oh, all white, all white
Oh, every site
So ‘screen right, ‘screen right
Oh baby, bold white

Oh, he said
"Any day you golfin’
That's the day you ‘screen skin
Any day you golfin’"
(any day you golfin’)
I said "Any day you golfin’
That's the day you ‘screen skin
Any day you golfin’"

He said, "Ooh, hole’s long, hole’s long, hole’s long"

Oh, he said
"Any day you golfin
’ That's the day you ‘screen skin
Any day you golfin’"
(Any day you golfin’)

Any day you golfin’
That's the day you ‘screen skin
Any day you golfin’
(Any day you golfin’)

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Flat Earth Association



In response to the Surgeon General’s “Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer”, the American Suntanning Association issued a very predictable press release full of denial, which included the following gem: "’I believe the report overstates the risk of sunshine and sunbeds while completely ignoring the benefits of sensible UV exposure,’ says Barton D. Bonn, president of the American Suntanning Association”. Did I think ASA would respond by acknowledging that the industry’s product is a dangerous carcinogen and apologizing for selling it to unsuspecting young people who think they have to be tanned to be attractive? Not for a moment. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I have learned in the course of sixty-one years of life that a lust for money quite often gets in the way of telling the truth.

For my ‘friends’ at the American Suntanning Association, here’s the Hotel Melanoma rendition of R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People”…



Slimy crafty people grabbing

Treat me to a shroud, people, people
Throw your sun around, love C, love C
Bake skin into brown, happy, happy
Put kids in the ground where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shine

Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people grabbing

Everyone around, sun them, sun them
Put kids in your hands, bake it, ache it
There's more time to lie, crafty,
Tell them from your heart where no sorrow shines
Gold and silver shine

Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people grabbing

Whoa, here we go

Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people grabbing

Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people grabbing

Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people selling tans
Slimy crafty people grabbing

Slimy crafty people selling tans
People, crafty people
People

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

For The Surgeon General

I gambled with skin cancer, by spending years of unprotected time in the sun, and lost. The toll so far is one Stage 3c melanoma diagnosis and two squamous cell carcinomas. So I applaud the Surgeon General’s Call To Action To Prevent Skin Cancer and pray that it’ll keep a whole lot of folks from checking into The Hotel Melanoma. Considering the impact of the Surgeon General’s 1964 report linking smoking to lung cancer and heart disease, this new initiative could be huge.

I kind of doubt he reads my blog, but what the heck—for Surgeon General Boris Lushniak here’s The Hotel Melanoma rendition of “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying” from Gerry & The Pacemakers…



Don't let the sun catch you frying
The night's the time for outdoor cheers
Golf cart may be broken tonight
But tomorrow in the morning light
Don't let the sun catch you frying

The lifetime tan glows disappear
And with them go all your fears
For the warning will bring joy
For every girl and boy
So don't let the sun catch you frying

We know applying's not a bad thing
It stops your frying when the birds sing

It may be hard to skin cover
I can attest it’s a bummer
But don't forget that sun's a pain
And you should always tan abstain
Oh don't let the sun catch you frying
Don't let the sun catch you frying, oh no
Oh, oh, oh

Friday, July 25, 2014

Whack-a-Mole Rock

It’s getting perilously close to the first of the month, when various and sundry melanoma awareness advocates will tell me it’s once again time to perform a skin self-examination. Seeing as how I’m rather frequently donning the blue gown and paying a lot of money to melanoma specialists to do that for me, I’ll take a pass and do my best to squint while looking in the mirror to shave. But just in case you are going to follow this sage advice and take an up close and personal look at your carcass, and then post selfies of any suspicious moles on Facebook, here’s some music for mole-checking to the tune of “China Grove” from The Doobie Brothers…

When the sun comes up on our sleepy little towns
Frown about bad skin tone
And the folks are risin' for another day
'Round about their homes
The people of the gown are strange
And they're proud of where they pale
Well, you're talkin' 'bout find-a- mole
Oh, find-a-mole

Well, the seeker and the peeker
Lord, they're all cautious
They on the stalk of the brown
Then the checkup gets too spyin’
And you ain't fryin'
When the sun comes shinin’ down
You pray that your doctor’s been trained
And dear skin is lookin’ the same
We're talkin' 'bout the find-a-mole
Oh, find-a- mole

But every day there's a new thing comin'
We pray for a monumental brew
The research man’s our buddy
It’s our tanner’s reward
News can even be confusing at times

And though skin’s the start of the ‘noma fate
People don't seem to care
They just keep on cookin' to be creased

Talkin' 'bout the find-a-mole
Oh, find-a-mole