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.



Tutu Brothers

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Seventh Heaven

Today is the 7th anniversary of my little blog. Its continuing existence is either evidence of an excessive degree of self-absorption or a celebration of long term survivorship. You be the judge. I’d prefer to believe that because I’ve been blessed with good fortune, every so often I feel an obligation to hold my hand up and be counted among the still-living at The Hotel Melanoma.

My golf game still stinks, partly due to various effects of past treatments, but I’ve lived to a time when a recurrence would no longer be an almost certain death sentence. And I can live with my frequent 3-putts and travails on ‘the beach’. I guess my blogging still makes me happy, as I hope it does a few of you too. Maybe today I’m on temporary furlough from the Hotel Melanoma and am living in seventh heaven. And for that, I’m thankful.

So, I’ll sign off with The Hotel Melanoma rendition of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy”…



I've been long, a long way from here
Put on an onc show, strayed from placebos
And tanked till I was earthly again
I went searching through scrips store jungles
Found melanoma’s frightful, medicine’s snafu
And many good men’s horrid bad end

Well, o.k. I made this up
I promise you I'll never give up

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

You get down, real low down
You stiffen your whole brain, derail your own pain
Well who hasn't been there before?
I come round, around the hard way
Bring you comics in bed, scrape the moles off your head
And serve you fresh post again

Well, o.k. I still get stoned
I'm not the kind of pearl you'd take home

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

We've been far, far away from here
Put on an onc show, strayed from placebos
And everywhere in between
Well, o.k. we get along
So what if right now everything's wrong?

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Glow Your Own Way

My spouse and I are contemplating a winter getaway, perhaps to a beach in Mexico or a golf course in Arizona, but probably not to Florida where we’re afraid we’d run into way too many other old people. The only thing I know for certain is that I won’t be coming home fried-- and if you too are contemplating a snowbird getaway I hope you won’t either because, trust me on this, you don’t want to be checking into The Hotel Melanoma. Your beach or desert golf ‘glow’ would much better come from your sparkling wit under the influence of a margarita or three than an excessive dose of UV rays. Okay?

Until next time, I’ll sign off with The Hotel Melanoma rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”…


Loving U
Isn't the right thing to do
How can I ever change skin that I peel?

If I could
Baby I'd give you hide pearled
How can I
When you won't take it from me?

You can glow your own way
Glow your own way
You can call it another sunscreen day
You can glow your own way
Glow your own way

Tell me why
Everything turned a-brown
Blacking up
Placqueing up's all you shouldn’t do

If I could
Baby I'd give you hide pearled
Cover up
Paler skin’s waiting for you

You can glow your own way
Glow your own way
You can call it another sunscreen day
You can glow your own way
Glow your own way

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Skin Crowd



Just for grins and the dancing pleasure of my molemates, here’s The Hotel Melanoma rendition of Dobie Gray’s “The ‘In’ Crowd”…



I'm in with the skin crowd, I glow where the skin crowd glows
I'm in with the skin crowd and I grow what the skin crowd grows

Anytime of the year, don't you hear? Bless benign, baking nein
We breeze up and down the street, we get respect from the people we meet
They make way day or night, they know the skin crowd ain’t out of fight

I'm in with the skin crowd, I know every palest stance
When you're in with the skin crowd, it's so easy to find long pants

Any time of the year, don't you hear? If it's bare, we say prayer
We make every minute count, our care is always the biggest bum out
Other guys imitate us, but the original is still the greatest, skin crowd!

Any time of the year, don't you hear? Spendin' cash, blockin’ rash
I'll show you a real ‘good’ time, come on with me, leave your troubles behind
I don't care where you've been, you ain't been nowhere til you've been in
With the skin crowd, with the skin crowd, skin crowd!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I Just Want To Thank You



As a blogger and melavangelist, I’ve been quite the slacker of late, preferring to play a lot of golf (rather poorly I should add) over doing anything worthwhile and productive. But the Saturday before Thanksgiving is sort of a ‘cancerversary’ for me, because that was the day in 2003 when I was released from the hospital after completing my last round of biochemotherapy.

Thirteen years of “no evidence of disease”. I’m lucky and blessed, but so often perplexed and sorrowful that all too many of my molemates haven’t been as fortunate as me.

So today, I just want to thank all of the folks who’ve helped me get so many years and miles down Melaroad—especially the medics who talked me into an aggressive and toxic treatment regimen and all of my molemates, particularly my Tutu Brother Mark, who’ve made the journey bearable and, quite often, a joy.

From Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats…



Spend your years
Spend your time
With all these fears
Not all were mine

I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you sweet maties for getting me through

Can’t hide your fears
I can’t hide mine
In spite of all this drear
I think we’re fine

I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you gritty maties for getting me through

I was looking back there, Lord
Could have been no one else
I would have been so cold
Graying here by myself
Ever since you found me yeah
Never be anybody else
Yeah maties, yeah

I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you
I just want to thank you sweet maties for getting me through

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Cloudy Days

So, I’ve been feeling a little glum since removing myself from a volunteer position in the melanoma nonprofit community. (And losing a stroke on my home course handicap hasn’t helped to improve my cranky mood.) Despite the good intentions of all involved in the endeavor, sometimes these things just don’t work out like you hoped they would and you come to the realization that it’s time to move on and hope you can be more effective elsewhere. But this aging melavangelist ain’t givin’ up just yet. I will seek and find another way to be actively and effectively involved in supporting melanoma research, education and prevention. Have blog and black tutu, will travel!

I strongly suspect I’m far from alone in the melahomie community in wanting to do something to defeat the Black Beast but finding it a challenge to figure out how and where and with whom to best do that. If you’re in the same boat, I’d love to hear from you with your thoughts and ideas on how we survivors can make a real difference.

Until next time, I’ll sign off with the Hotel Melanoma rendition of The Eagles “No More Cloudy Days”…


The Eagles - No More Cloudy Days (Live 2005) by olatoniggg

Sitting by a foggy window
Staring at the pouring rain
Falling down like lonely teardrops
Memories of nothin’ gained
These cloudy days, make you wanna cry
It breaks your heart when somethin’ cleaves and you don't know why

I can see that you've been hurting, maybe I've been lonely too
I've been out here lost and searching, looking for mole pals like you
Now I believe the sun is gonna shine
Don't you be afraid to try again, put your hand in mine?

Baby, I would never make you fry
I would never change your hue
I would never let you brown
We would always seek breakthrough

I know a place where we can go where UV never preys
There’s no more stormy nights, no more cloudy days

I believe in second chances
I believe in angels, too
I believe in new advances
Baby, I believe in you
These cloudy days are coming to an end
And you don't have to be afraid to don golf glove again

Baby, I would never make you fry
I would never change your hue
I would never turn away
We would always seek breakthough
I know a place where we can go where UV never preys
There's no more stormy nights, no more cloudy days