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

Friday, November 18, 2011


The Saturday before Thanksgiving is kind of an unofficial holiday for me. It was the day in 2003 I was discharged from the hospital after completing my fourth and final week of biochemotherapy, a week in which things got kind of crazy towards the end. (When a nurse tells you “don’t try to get out of that bed until I tell you to”, please listen.) On Thanksgiving Day, my wife and I joined some good friends at their home for a very fine dinner, which I barely sampled, and after which I promptly passed out on their couch. And it wasn’t due to the good wine I sipped at dinner, dang it. One of our hosts, a rather strapping retired Naval aviator, offered to carry me home (we live across the street) but I refused his kind offer of assistance and tottered home. And thus began the transition from patient to survivor.

Wishing all of you, wherever you are in your stay at this Hotel, a very Happy Thanksgiving, here’s my version of Jimmy Buffett’s “Survive”…

I play my stereo loud
When I'm away from that hospital crowd
Hopin', jokin'
Clowns we all are

Sometimes, kinda get real ill
When I receive my latest medical bill
But I’ll claim it, and they'll pay it
'Cause it just helps me to

Survive (survive), stay alive
Will I get it again
Survive, stay alive
Can't say where it ends

Clouds lift and there're mountains below
Been awhile since I've seen any snow
It's chillin', so thrillin', so good to be back

Feels nice, to be home for awhile
Let's swig champagne till we break into smiles
We'll keep fightin', incitin'
'Cause that’s the reason we

Survived (survived), stayed alive
Through the thick and the thin
Survive, stay alive
Where will it all end

But my bags ain't unpacked
'Cause I've got to go back some day
But I know we'll all

Survive (survive), stay alive
Through the thick and the thin
Survive, stay alive
Until it all ends

Oh we'll, survive (survive), stay alive
When will it all end
Survive, stay alive
Will we get it again

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