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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hey Joe

I just can’t think of a more fitting way to end Melanoma Awareness Month than with one last lyrical swipe at ‘Dr.’ Joseph “Mercolanoma” Mercola. The Hotel Melanoma version of Jimi Hendrix’ “Hey Joe”…




Hey Joe, where you goin' with that sun tannin’ scam
Hey Joe, I said where you goin' with that sun tannin’ scam, oh
I'm goin' down to treat my mole Black C
You know I caught it messin' 'round with an indoor tan
Yeah, I'm goin' down to treat my mole Black C
You know I caught it messin' 'round with an indoor tan
Huh! and that ain't too cool
Huh hey Joe, I heard you shut your website down
You shut her down now


Hey Joe, I heard you shot your Yervoy down
You shot it down for four rounds yeah!
Yeah!
Yes, I did, I got it
You know I caught it messin' round messin' round brown
Huh, yes I did I’m not cured
You know I caught my mole Black C messin' 'round brown
And I found it ain’t fun
And I’m not cured
Alright
Shoot me one more time again baby!


Yeah!
Oh dig it
Oh alright


Hey Joe,
Where you gonna run to now where you gonna run to
Hey Joe, I said
Where you gonna run to now where you gonna go
I'm goin' way down south
Way down for MDA stay
Alright
I'm goin' way down south
Way down where I can be healed
Ain't no sun gonna find me
Ain't no dang tan gonna
It ain't gonna make a dope of old me
You better believe it right now
I gotta go now


Hey, Joe
You better run on down
Goodbye everybody
Hey hey Joe

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quackwatch

Joseph Mercola, who plays doctor on daytime television, is fairly notorious at The Hotel Melanoma for denying what is a widely-accepted and well-substantiated truth to the mainstream medical world: tanning bed use significantly increases your risk of contracting melanoma (and basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers). The cold, hard fact is that Mercola has a profit-driven conflict of interest in giving any health or medical advice about “safe” tanning, because he SELLS the “Mercola Vitality Home Tanning Bed” and “Dr. Mercola’s Natural Sunscreen With Green Tea” on his website, http://www.mercola.com/. Don’t take my word for it, check it out. And read more about the good ‘doctor’ at http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/mercola.html.


If you want to get your medical advice about indoor tanning from a guy who wants to sell you a product that gives you a dose of something the World Health Organization says is carcinogenic, that’s your business. And there are a couple of cream puff used cars in my garage, driven only by my elderly mom to church on Sunday, that I’d like to sell you. But I just have to ask you this: would you also believe a tobacco company executive who tells you in 2012 that smoking is “safe” and doesn’t increase your risk of lung cancer and heart disease?

I’ll sign off with The Hotel Melanoma version of Robert Palmer’s “Bad Case of Loving You”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOgMgOjajcw


Whooaaaaa
’Doc’s’ hot tanner lights sell on the ‘net
I’ve got to find my Black C yet
I need you to sell me beds
Turn my pale skin to red


’Doctor’, ‘doctor’, selling tan hues
You sell a bad case of tanning blues
No shill’s gonna make me ill
You sell a bad case of tanning blues


A pretty face don’t make a pretty heart
I learned that, buddy, from the start
I think you’re ‘cute’, a little bit sly
’Doctuh’, you ain’t nice kind of guy


’Doctor’, ‘doctor’, spare me your views
You sell a bad case of tanning blues
No pill’s gonna cure your ill
You sell a bad case of tanning blues


Whooaaa
I know you hype it, you hype it nonstop
Tell me, ‘Doctor’, where’d you learn this crock?


You make me frown, cunning one so flip
Smile of Midas on your lip
Shake my fist, talk to wood
I’ve got it bad, and you’ve got it good


’Doctor’, ‘doctor’, sell me tan ruse
I got a bad case of tanning blues
No pill’s gonna cure my ill
I got a bad case of tanning blues

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Born In My DNA

At a recent Melanoma Research Foundation patient education symposium in Denver, my doc started his presentation with “Melanoma 101”. Melanoma is uncontrolled cell growth and division of the melanocytes (pigment cells) caused by DNA damage in those cells. UV light ray exposure is a cause of that mutation and damage in melanocyte DNA. And during the embryonic stage of our early development in the womb, our melanocytes develop from neural (nerve) cells— and to my layperson’s mind that’s one more reason it’s somewhat misleading to call melanoma “skin cancer”.


I got my melanocyte DNA damage the old-fashioned way, outdoors in the sunshine, and have never set foot in a tanning bed. But if you use those things, please cut it out before they cut IT out. There is a solid consensus among dermatologists and oncologists specializing in melanoma treatment that the intense UV ray exposure one receives from tanning beds substantially increases one’s risk of contracting melanoma (and basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers). So don’t listen to the quacks who will tell you there’s such a thing as a “safe” tan, because it just ain't so.

I’ll end today’s homily with the Hotel Melanoma rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.”…


Burned brown in a Kansas town
The worst kick I took was when that mole was found
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
And you spend rest of life just doctering up
Born in the DNA
It was born in the DNA
It was born in the DNA
Born in the DNA


Got in a little mole bound jam so they hung no trifles on my stand
Sent me off to the Code Blue land and nearly killed this mela-man
Born in the DNA
It was born in the DNA
It was born in the DNA
It was born in the DNA
Born in the DNA


Came back home to my canine comp’ny
Jordan man says "son your time belongs to me”
Went down to see my mela man
He said "son don't you never tan now"


I am a blogger of rock songs fighting off the C bed wrong
I’m still here C’s all gone
I’ve ‘met’ a Tan Mom whose tone is so wrong
I want no picture of her in a thong now


Brown is the bad foe of the penitent tan-free
Outside I’m hidin’ from the sunshine UV
I'm nine years walking down C road
Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go


Born in my DNA
It was born in my DNA.
Born in my DNA.
It’s-a all gone badly in my DNA.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Heartbreak Hotel

The Hotel Melanoma is now on Facebook. That’s probably nothing to celebrate, but I’m going to do it anyway with a new rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”…


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PotB76gi2_4


Well, since my Black C met me
Well, I found a new place to dwell
Well, it's down at the end of UV Street
At Heartbreak Hotel


Where I'll be
I'll be there not lonely baby
Well, I'm not lonely
I'll be there not lonely, I could cry


Although it's always crowded
You still can find a room
More cell mutated tanners
Are bound to check in soon


Be so
I'll be so not lonely, baby
I’ll be so not lonely
They're not lonely, they did fry


Now, the bell hop's moles aren’t growin'
And the desk clerk's tattoo’s black
Well, they lived so long on Zelboraf
They'll never, never look back


And know they’re not
They’ll know they’re not lonely baby
Well, they're not lonely
Well, they're not lonely, they could cry


Well now if your Black C grieves you
And you’ve got a tale to tell
Well, just take a walk down Facebook Street
To Heartbreak Hotel


Where you won’t be
It could make you not lonely, baby
Well you won’t be lonely
You'll won’t be lonely, you did fry


Although the future’s clouded
You still can find some tunes
For cell mutated tanners
To croon in sports bar room


And know they’re not
And know they’re not lonely, baby
Well, they're not lonely
They'll be not lonely, they did fry

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Into The Clinic

No ranting, no taunting, no quack baiting, just the Hotel Melanoma version of Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic”…




It was born below the skin
Maybe something from the sun
Ere the bonnie fight begun as I sailed into the clinic
Park, now here the doctors try
Quell this C and heal this guy
Let your moles and spirit fly into the clinic


And when that CAT scan glows I will be lying prone
And what that report shows I want to hear it
I don't have to fear it


And I hate when docs biopsy moles
Must lie on back on those slabs so cold
And cutaneously I go bold into the clinic


When that lymph node grows you know I will be coming home
And when that chemo whistle blows I won’t go near it
I don't want to hear it


And I want to check asymmetric moles
Must go slay black so my days grow old
And together we go bold into the clinic
Come on cures...

Must go see docs now...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bad Medicine























For all of the “health and wellness” quacks like ‘Doctor’ Joseph Mercola who are selling the misinformation that indoor tanning is a safe source of Vitamin D, etc., here’s the Hotel Melanoma rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Bad Medicine”…


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOUtsybozjg


Your fries are just bad medicine
Bad medicine ain’t what I need, oh oh, oh
Make it up, just like bad medicine
You ain't no doctor that can cure my disease


Bad medicine


I ain't got a fever got a permanent disease
And it'll take more than fake doctor to prescribe a remedy
And I spent lots of money, but it isn't what I need
Gonna take more than a shot to get this poison out of me
And I got all the symptoms count 'em 1, 2, 3


First you age
(That's what you get for falling for lies)
Then you stage
(You pray a little and it's never enough)
And then you're fightin’ rage
(That's what you get for falling for lies)
Now Yervoy’s prescripted ‘cause your hope is this drug, oh, oh, oh


Your lies are just bad medicine
Bad medicine ain’t what I need, oh, oh, oh
Make it up, just like bad medicine
You ain't no doctor that can cure my disease


Bad, bad medicine


Kids don't need no needle
To be giving them a thrill
And they don't need no anesthesia
Or a nurse to bring a pill
They got a dirty down addiction
That doesn't leave a track
They got a jones for your convection
Like a monkey on their back
There ain't no paramedic
Gonna save this mole attack


When you tan
(That's what you get for falling for lies)
Then you scan
(You glow a little and it's more than enough)
And when you're out of plans
(That's what you get for falling for lies)
Now Yervoy’s prescripted ‘cause your hope is the drug, oh, oh, oh


Your claims are just bad medicine
Bad medicine ain’t what I need, oh, oh, oh
Fake it up, just like bad medicine
So let's play doctor, baby spur my disease


Bad, bad medicine
Is not my want
Bad, bad medicine
Oh, I need


I need a respirator cause I'm running out of breath
Well you sell cancer incubators hyped in bloggings and the press
When you take your ‘medicine’ you bake what you could get
’Cause if there's one thing bakin’ Black C cells, it’s UV from your beds
Oh, oh, oh


Your blogs just hype bad medicine
Bad medicine ain’t what I need, oh, oh, oh
Make it up, just like bad medicine
You ain't no doctor that can cure my disease


Your posts, bad medicine
Bad medicine ain’t what I need, oh, oh, oh
Fake it up, just like bad medicine
Your snake oil notions sure can spur my disease


Bad, bad medicine
Ain’t what I want
Bad, bad medicine
You’re bad, you’re bad
(Bad, bad medicine)
I get it, oh, I get it
I get it, oh, I get it
I get it, I get it, I get it
Sing it again
Wait a minute, wait a minute, hold on
I'm not done, one more time with feeling
C'mon, alright, help me out now


Your fries are just bad medicine
Bad medicine ain’t what I need, oh, oh, oh
Make it up, just like bad medicine
You sell the potion that can’t cure my disease


Your lies, bad medicine
Your hiss ain’t what I need
Your lies, bad medicine

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The "Don't Fry Day" Blues

One of my recent posts lampooning Tan Mom elicited a comment from someone I suspect is shilling for the indoor tanning industry. (Our Hotel Chaplain’s blog drew a comment from the same person.) If that’s the case, I guess I should be flattered to have drawn their attention. All I know for certain is that the industry has to be singing the blues about all the negative press it’s received this past month.


So the least I can do is give them a great blues number with new lyrics to sing, my version of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “The Sky Is Crying”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s9M-52fRGU


The fry is dyin’....Can't you see my tears roll down the street
The fry is dyin’....Can't you see my tears roll down the street
I've been cooking up my Black C
And I wonder when tans did flee


I saw fry baby early one morning....She was slapping on down sunscreen
I saw fry baby early this morning....She was looking so pale and sweet
You know it hurt me, hurt me so bad
Made my poor heart skip a beat


I've got a real real real real bad feelin
That fry baby she don't love me no more
I've got a real real bad feelin that fry baby don't love me no more
Well , this guy, this guy's been cryin
Can you see my tears when salons close

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Listen To Our Hearts

For all of you who are working so hard to make this a loud and proud Melanoma Awareness Month and kick the Black Beast’s butt, here’s my version of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ “Listen To Her Heart”…


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHCq983d2Ik


We think we’re gonna make you go ‘way
With some money and our campaign
We keep thinkin' that with time it’s gonna change
But we know everything’s not okay


We’re gonna listen to our hearts
They’re gonna tell us what to do
We might need a lot of druggin'
But we don't need you


You want us to think that our cause is doomed
You want us to think it's over
But can't you see it don't matter what you do
Black C someday we will show cures


We’re gonna listen to our hearts
They’re gonna tell us what to do
We might need a lot of druggin'
But we don't need you


And you just can't keep up with fine cures
And you can't play your hand and seize my world
Seize my world


We’re gonna listen to our hearts
They’re gonna tell us what to do
We might need a lot of druggin'
But we don't need you

My Red Neck Friend

I’m just so darn grateful to New Jersey’s now-infamous Tan Mom for raising melanoma awareness I could burst. Since she’s done so very much to publicize the health risks of tanning beds I ought to put her on the Hotel Melanoma payroll as its new Director of Awareness Education. (The only hitch is that we don’t have a payroll.) Her latest awareness coup was to prompt NBC’s Today Show to air an investigative report on tanning salons admitting underage teens without the parental consent required by New Jersey law.


With heartfelt thanks to Tan Mom, here’s the Hotel Melanoma rendition of Jackson Browne’s “Red Neck Friend”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNQ2FRzPCz8



Scary leather one
How nice it’s all begun
We’re teaching folks ‘bout sun block
And you're already way past done
Leather one--
Now folks have a clue
Leather one--
Honey, it's all thanks to you


Now your tanning in sun bed’s hootin' up the evening news
Mela’s not our friend, lately we’ve been so infused
Leather one--
Come on and take my hand
I may not have C answers but I believe I got a plan


Honey you bake melanoma and we'll blog on ‘bout your kind
And see if we can't get in touch with some very young friends of mine
But let me clue you in, skin cancer’s “in”
Don’t argue or defend--
Honey let me introduce you as my red neck friend


Well docs got a little list of all those things of which they don't approve
They've got to keep their eyes on you or C might make its move
Leather one--
You really look like wood
Leather one--
I think your damage could do some good


Honey you bake melanoma and we’ll blog on ‘bout your kind
We're going to forget all about C battle
It's gonna be so fine
'Cause you’re our missing link, show tanning stinks--
Eleven on a scale of ten
Honey let me introduce you as my red neck friend


Honey you bake melanoma and your moles don’t look so fine
I'm going to try to sign you up into C battle
And we’ll have fun ‘cuz you'll stop some dyin’
Now honey you’re a tan scare
Lookin' like tan dreams will have bad end
Honey let me introduce you as my red neck friend

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bad Ass Lady

One of the shining lights of the melanoma community is a young woman named Christina, who founded a Facebook community aptly named the “Bad Ass Melanoma Warriors”. This group is comprised of a bunch of great and supportive folks at various stages of the fight against the Black Beast who truly live up to the group’s name. Whenever I get to feeling sorry for myself there’s no better antidote than to get a dose of the attitude shown by the BAMWs. And in her ‘spare’ time as a single mom, Christina’s a tireless advocate for melanoma awareness and prevention.


With thanks to Christina for all she does as one of the baddest of the bad, here’s a new version of Jimi Hendrix’ “Foxy Lady”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9RxK7W9kUY&feature=related

Bad Ass, Bad Ass
You know you are a brute little mole breaker, huh
Bad Ass yeah,
And you know you are a mean little cancer quaker, huh
Bad Ass


You’re gonna take C down, yeah
It can’t do you no harm, no
You got to make C whine, all time
ooh Bad Ass Lady
Bad Ass, Bad Ass


Now-a I see you come down on C mean
Oh Bad Ass
You make C wanna get up and-a scream
Bad Ass, oh Black C listen now
You've made up your mind,
You’re tired of wasting any precious time
You got to end C’s time, so fine
Bad Ass Lady

Yeah, you’re gonna break C’s throne, yeah
It can’t do you no harm, no
You got to make C whine, all time
Ooh Bad Ass Lady
Bad Ass, Bad Ass


Ooh, Bad Ass Lady
Ooh, Bad Ass Lady, yeah yeah
You do so good, Bad Ass
Oh yeah Bad Ass
yeah, you’re the one, Bad Ass
Bad Ass, Bad Ass
Bad Ass, Bad Ass
Bad Ass, Bad Ass

Monday, May 21, 2012

More Than An Old Tan

To the tune of the Bee Gees’ “More Than A Woman”…


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQPBk0RD8d0&feature=related

Oh, C I've known you very well
I've seen you growing everyday
I never really ‘screened before
But now you take my health away.


Suddenly you're in my life
Part of everything I do
You got docs working day and night
Just trying to get a hold on you.


Here under arm I had my lymph node splice
My only chance for healthiness
And if I loose you now I think I would die.


They say you'll always be my Black C
You can make scans shine, you can last forever
Just a minute while I whine.


More than an old tan, more than an old tan to me
More than an old tan, more than an old tan to me
More than an old tan, oh, oh, oh.


There are warriors bold and true
Good people hand in glove like you and me
And I can’t see myself
Let your story repeat itself.


Reflecting how I feel ‘bout you
Thinking 'bout these warriors then I know
That for a thousand years
I'd stall with drugs so you don’t win.


This is the only way that we should fight
This is the only way to go
And if I lose one-love I'll know I did try.


They say you'll always be my Black C
You can take your time, you can wait forever
Just a minute at a time.


More than skin cancer, more than skin cancer to me
More than skin cancer, more than skin cancer to me
More than skin cancer, oh, oh, oh.

Don't Fry Day

Friday, May 25 is “Don’t Fry Day” and a great way to kick off a sun safe holiday weekend. (My plan is to play some golf, and I’m hoping to shoot a couple of nine-hole scores south of the SPF factor of my golf shirt and sunscreen.) So, for all of my pale friends here at the Hotel Melanoma, here are some new words to The Bee Gees’ “Too Much Heaven”…


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nREV8bQJ1MA



Nobody does too much tannin’ no more
It's much harder on skin life
Pale’s new look so fine
Nobody gets too much sun anymore
This No Fry Day, I’m countin’
On putting on line


Oh you and me girl
Bought a lot of ‘screen at store
And no glows for you
And no glows for me
And I love pale so much more
Than my fries...I can see beyond the leather
Ev'rything we are will never die
Pale skin’s such a beautiful thing
Oh it saves my world another day
And it’s just my scheme to fade away


Nobody gets too much sunscreen no more
It's much harder to look fried
Pale’s looking so fine
Nobody gets too much sun anymore
It's a fright to be suntanned
And leathered by time


You and me girl got our sunrays from the sky
We can turn away from the fright tan days
And the years we had to fry
Yervoy strife...
We can see a new tomorrow
Ev'rything we are will never die
Pale skin’s such a beautiful thing
When we are tan-free, don’t look like glove
Pale for all to see our hides we love


Nobody looks too like leather no more
It's much better to glow white
No braising this time
Nobody gets too much sun anymore
UV’s high in the mountains
And harder on hides


Pale is such a beautiful thing
It saves my world another day
And it’s just my scheme to stay this way


Nobody gets too much UV no more
It's much harder to look fried
We’re ageing so fine
Nobody gets too much sun anymore
It's so wise and life giver and harder to floss


Nobody needs much infusin’ no more
It's much harder to come by
No dripping PICC line
Nobody gets too much sun anymore
It’s a fright to be suntanned
And leathered by time


Nobody gets too much sunscreen at store
It's not harder to come by
No waiting in line
Nobody gets too much sun anymore
It's No Fry Day, we’re countin’
No burnin’ those hides


Nobody gets to skip skin checks no more
They’re not harder to come by
No waiting this time
Nobody gets too much sun anymore
’Screen as high as it’s countin’
And savor your hide

R.I.P. Robin Gibb.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

UV Bomb

As a teenager growing up in the 60’s on the baked plains of Kansas, my summers were devoted to hanging out with friends at a neighborhood pool for relief from the oppressive heat. And I started working as a lifeguard the summer I turned sixteen. My ‘sunscreen’ of choice was SPF Zero Johnson’s Baby Oil. And my pool manager boss wouldn’t permit his lifeguards to wear anything more than a black speedo, because he thought shorts and a t-shirt might get in the way of lifesaving duties. Little did I know that I was setting myself up for big trouble thirty years or so down the road. The honest truth is that melanoma awareness education probably wouldn’t have changed my behavior one bit because I wanted to look like a bronzed and bleached surfer dude and couldn’t have cared less about the potential consequences decades away in the future. But an adult pool manager who enforced sun safety rules as stringently as he enforced other employee rules just might have kept me out of The Hotel Melanoma.


Summertime is here so, mamas and papas, don’t let your babies grow up to be mole mates. I’ll leave you with my take on John Mellencamp’s “Cherry Bomb”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF0gsbQKhD8


Well I lived on the outskirts of brown
In post war boom ranch house, baby
When my summer fool friends would lie round
There was always some skin burnin’
Had me a gaggle of real nice pool friends
Stopped by my tower every once in a while
When I think back about those days
All I can do is sit and smile


That's when a mole was a mole,
Infusin' was boozin'
And tannin' meant everything
We were young and we were improvin'
Gamblin’, gamblin’ with our skins
Getting’ scans meant nothin', baby
Outside in club "UV Bomb"
Our brains were really pumpkins
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah


The winter days they last forever
But the summers went by so quick
Sun beatin’ upon this flatland country town
We were bronzin' nuts, girl, out in the sticks
One fright, me with my big moles
A couple fries had to put C in my space
When I see tan lies these days
I just gasp and say do you want leather skin


That's when a mole was a mole,
Infusin' was boozin'
And tannin' meant everything
We were young and we were improvin'
Gamblin’, gamblin’ with our skins
Getting’ scans meant nothin', baby
Outside in club "UV Bomb"
Our brains were really pumpkins
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah


Seventeen has turned fifty-nine
I'm surprised that I’m still livin'
If I've done any wrong
I hope that I’m forgiven
Got some new scars of my own
And some days I still don't know if C’s through
I hope that God’s not laughing too loud
When he hears me preachin'
Safe sun to you


That's when a mole was a mole,
Infusin' was boozin'
And tannin' meant everything
We were young and we were improvin'
Gamblin’, gamblin’ with our skins
Getting’ scans meant nothin', baby
Outside in club "UV Bomb"
Our brains were really pumpkins
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Burn With Rage

Just my version of Bob Seger’s “Turn The Page”…


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3khH9ih2XJg



On a long and lonesome highway, feast of feelin’ raw
You can listen to the medics moanin' out their same old song
You can think about the tannin’, or the cure you hope that lies before
But your thoughts will soon be wandering, the way they always do
When you're riding sixteen rounds and there's nothing else to do
And you don't feel much like riding, you just wish the trip was through


Here I am, on C’s road again
There I am, uppin’ the stage
Here I go, making scars again
There I go, burn with rage


Well you walk into the clinic halls all strung out from the road
And you feel docs’ eyes upon you as they’re checking out your moles
You pretend it doesn't bother you, but you just want to explode


Most times you don’t hear 'em talk, other times you can
All the same old cliches, is it benign, do we scan?
You always seem outnumbered, but you have to make your stand


Here I am, on C’s road again
There I am, uppin’ the stage
Here I go, making scars again
There I go, burn with rage


Lay there in the scan lights you’re a million miles away
Every ounce of energy, you hope that C’s at bay
As the sweat pours out your body like the rubric that you pray


Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed
With the echoes from the MRI just ringin' in your head
You’ve spoke the days last epithet, remembering what you dread


Here I am, on C’s road again
There I am, uppin’ the stage
Here I go, making scars again
There I go, burn with rage


Here I am, on C’s road again
There I am, uppin’ the stage yeah
Here I go, making scars again
There I go, there I go

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mercola Rock 'N Rolla

Here’s one for Tan Fan, that peddler of his very own line of skin cancer incubators, ‘Doctor’ Joseph Mercola.  The Hotel Melanoma version of Chicago’s “I’m a Man”…


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fpJSYkRbxg


Well my scam is UV blessing, my bankers have big grins
Never see no problems 'cause I sell my own tan beds
You got no time for screenin'
Till your hide is all used up
Just lay inside creatin'
All the UV kinds of glove
I'm tan fan, yes I am and I can't help but plug it so
Oh UV
I'm a scam, yes I am and I can't help but love it so
Yes I am


If I had my choice of chatter
I would rather be a quack
All engrossed in salesman patter,
Showing where my mind is at
While neglecting to teach others
How strong fake sun can be
By insisting it’s for good times, get your UV fix from me
I'm tan fan yes I am and I can't help but plug it so
Oooh, I'm tan fan yes I am
I'm a scam yes I am and I can't help but love it so


I love to hear me talk
I've got to keep my image
While I'm shipping beds out door
If I hide behind my D’s
It's just to keep feds off their toes
You know that I'm not human
And my heart is made of stone
But I've never had no problems
And my record’s pretty long
I'm tan fan yes I am and I can't help but plug it so
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yes I know
I'm a scam yes I am and I can't help but love it so
Oooh
Scam yes I am and I can't help but love it so
Good god I love it so, love it so


If I had my choice of patter
I would rather be a quack
All engrossed in selling chatter
Blowin' smoke at minds so fat
While relating to sun lovers
How good fake sun gives D
By resisting all the true lines with each TV trick I need
I'm tan fan yes I am and I can't help but plug it so
Yes I am
I'm tan fan yes I am and I can't help but plug it so
Yeah, yeah yeah. I'm a
Scam yes I am and I can't help but love it so
I'm a scam, ooh yes I am


I gotta keep my image
While I'm sellin’ health online
If I hide behind false pleas
It’s just to ship goods out the door
You know that I'm not human
And my heart is made of stone
But I never had no problems
Though my nose grows pretty long
I'm a
Scam, yes I am, and I can't help but love it so
Owww.. I'm a
Scam, yes I am, and I can't help but love it so
Scam, yes I am, and I can't help but love it so
Scam, yes I am, and I can't help but love it so

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Ides of May

Okay, it’s May 15th and I’ve yet to see anything about melanoma awareness education on my favorite cancer treatment center’s Facebook page. I know it’s not Pinktober and melanoma is the Rodney Dangerfield of Cancer World, but c’mon folks, show us a little love here at The Hotel Melanoma and recognize it’s our awareness month.


But, hey, thanks to leathery nitwits like Tan Mom (a/k/a Mela-Momma) maybe we don’t really need any help from “the establishment”! With gratitude to Tan Mom for being a one-woman awareness campaign about the dangers of tanning beds (and perhaps for parent licensing legislation as well), here’s the Hotel Melanoma version of Bread’s “Baby I’m-a Want You”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq3biClGRNk

UV, I'm-a want you
UV, I'm-a need you
You the only one I care enough to burn about
Maybe I'm-a crazy
But I just can't live without...


Your fryin' and convection
Brownin’ my complexion
Like a shining light to help me to my darkest hour
Lately I'm a-prayin'
That I’ll always be a-layin' inside thee


Folks can see my hide looks like sun lotions passed me by
Peeling all the while and never really glowing white...


Lately I'm a-raisin'
Fact cells always be mutatin' inside me.


Used to be my fries were from addiction to tan lights
Then C came along and made me pale
And made me white...
Oz taught me lies...


Black C, I'm-a want you
Black C, I'm-a need you
Oh, it won’t take long to find you, Black C


Black C, I'm-a want you
Black C, I'm-a need you

Monday, May 14, 2012

Playing For Pink

Yesterday I watched a bit of the last round of the Professional Golf Association’s so-called “Fifth Major”, The Players Championship. A bunch of the players and their caddies were sporting pink shirts and/or golf caps, having declared it Breast Cancer Awareness Day in recognition of Mothers Day. (I didn’t spot anyone playing pink golf balls, but I could name a couple of players who perhaps should’ve been.) Nice gesture, I suppose, but it irked me just a bit when it came during “our” awareness month. But I guess mothers don’t get melanoma, do they. And, oh, I forgot, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers have been cured haven’t they.


I’m reminded yet again that only by the grassroots efforts I see everyday from my fellow melanoma warriors will we ever overcome the ignorance and indifference surrounding The Hotel Melanoma. With gratitude and admiration for all of you, here’s a new version of one of my favorites, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ “Yer So Bad”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdRViFCvvUo


This boomer got lucky, everything’s ducky
Pale skin like day of my birth
Now I’m a blogger, brain is a fogger
I can't decide which is worse


I caught thee Black C, I've got docs to save me
Oh yer so bad, worst thing I ever had
In a mole gone mad, yer so bad


Our cancer gets shunnin’, can't get no lovin'
Golf a round tan-faced and burned
Our C got nothin', bread is not comin’
They can't decide we have worth


I caught thee Black C, I've got meds to save me
Oh yer so bad, worst thing I ever had
In a mole gone mad, yer so bad

I caught thee Black C, I've got meds to save me
Oh yer so bad, worst thing I ever had
In a mole gone mad, yer so bad

Oh yer so bad, worst thing I ever had
In a mole gone mad, yer so bad

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Skin In The Game

Did you know the majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50? Or that guys over age 40 have the highest annual exposure to UV radiation? This is not exactly the demographic group that attracts hordes of people walking for the cure, but they’re my peeps. And very, very few of us have ever set foot in one of those cancer-incubating tanning beds. Instead, we get our excessive UV ray exposure the old-fashioned way, working and playing outdoors. Doing middle-age white guy stuff like playing golf.

That’s what I was doing earlier today with my geezer golf league. It was kind of a rough day on the links for my threesome, but while our scores brought no boasting our skins were not roasting. The Skin Cancer Foundation recently published some prevention guidelines for golfers and they're well worth reading because, guys, you've got skin in the game.

I'll sign off with the Hotel Melanoma rendition of The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”…



I-I love the SPF clothes I wear
And the way the sunlight stays beyond my care
I hear the sound of few foul words
On the wind that lifts my tee shot through the air


I'm missin’ in regulation
Tee’s giving me excitations (Oom bop bop)
I'm lookin’ for first aid station (first aid station, oom bop bop)
Hole’s giving me palpitations (palpitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good lie ration (Oom bop bop)
Sand’s giving me big frustration (big frustration, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good time ration (Oom bop bop)
I’m needin’ some cold libations (cold libations)


Close my eyes, green’s somehow closer now
Softly smile, I know swing must be right
When I look at bad lies
They beckon me to a bogie world


I'm pickin' up lost ball ration
Par’s always hallucination (Oom bop bop)
I'm golfin’ with geezer nation (geezer nation, oom bop bop)
Swing slowly with short rotation (short rotations, oom bop bop)
Cold, cold, cold, cold libations (Oom bop bop)
They’re giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good rest stations (Oom bop bop)
They’re giving me exultation (exultation)


(Ahh)
(Ah, my my, what elation)
I don't know where but golf sends me there
(Oh, my my, what a sensation)
(Oh, my my, what elation)
(Oh, my my, what)


Gotta keep those golfin’ good vibrations a-happenin' hither
Gotta keep those golfin’ good vibrations a-happenin' hither
Gotta keep those golfin' good vibrations a-happenin'


(Ahh)


Good, good, good, good rotation (Oom bop bop)
(I'm swingin’ with good rotation) (Oom bop bop)
Tee’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations


Na na na na na, na na na
Na na na na na, na na na (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)
Do do do do do, do do do (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)
Do do do do do, do do do (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tanorexia Tuesday

I just don’t believe that tanning, whether indoor or outdoor, is any more addictive than a whole host of things that make us feel good but aren’t so good for our health if partaken in excess. (Like a daily pint of Ben & Jerry’s.) Perhaps that’s because I’ve had sufficient life experience with substances that are truly physically addictive to think that I know the real thing. Or maybe it’s just the cynic in me who suspects that the shrink industry has watered down the concept of addiction because it’s a source of paying “patients” in need of “treatment”.

But, right or wrong about tanorexia, I’m so darn grateful to the now-famous New Jersey twit known as Tan Mom (or as my bloggin’ friend Al calls her, Mela-Momma) for helping to build melanoma awareness and providing me with rich material for a song.

So, in ‘honor’ of Mela-Momma, here’s my take on Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love”…



I’m getting near done,
Tan lights cause their leathered fries.
I'll soon be with you my docs,
To learn of my mole surprise.
I'll be startin’ infusin’ soon,
I'll be with you when new scars start calling.


I've been basting so long
Black C’s where I'm going
In the sun lights that I love.


I'm with you my oncs,
Some fright’s shining through from you.
Yes, I'm with you my oncs,
Time for mourning I’m tan-free too.
I'll stay with you onc docs now,
I'll stay with you till my C is dried up.


I've been basting so long
Black C’s where I'm going
In the sun lights that I love.


I'm with you my oncs,
Some fright’s shining through from you.
Yes, I'm with you my oncs,
Time for mourning I’m tan-free too.
I'll stay with you onc docs now,
I'll stay with you till my C is dried up.


I've been basting so long
I've been basting so long
I've been basting so long
Black C’s where I'm going
In the sun lights that I love.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Melanoma Monday

I guess just because black is not pink, the bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Health Information Center have decreed that we at The Hotel Melanoma have to share our cancer awareness month with the larger “skin cancer” world. (Which a lot of us think contributes to melanoma’s wimpy image as a safe and easy cancer that’s just really not all that serious, so “wtf” let’s light up those cancer incubating tanning beds.) But The American Academy of Dermatology has thrown us a bone by declaring this to be “Melanoma Monday”. Gee, thanks.

Personally, I don’t deal well with authority and see no reason whatsoever why the Paler Nation shouldn’t seize the stage for the entire month. Having suffered through watching Tim Tebow play whatever position he plays in pink cleats last October, I believe we’re entitled.

I’ll leave you with The Hotel Melanoma version of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Stormy Monday”…



They call it Black C Monday
But ... Tuesday it’s as bad
They call it Black C Monday
But Tuesday it’s as bad
Lord ... and Wednesday's worse
And Thursday's also sad

Fool people fry on Friday
Saturday they go out to braise
Fool people fry on Friday
And Saturday they go out to braise
Sunday they go to church, yeah
Where they need now to pray

Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy on we
Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy on we
Though we’re tryin' ... tryin' to mend this Black C
Won't somebody please end its bad ass spree

Oh, no

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cure It Up

It's Happy Hour at the Hotel Melanoma Lobby Bar.  So for all of you mole mates who are making this a loud and proud melanoma awareness month, a new version of “Stir It Up” from Bob Marley & The Wailers…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLnq_tZf3e



Shout it out; mela-warriors, shout it out. ‘Screen on, baby.
Come on and stir things up mela-warriors, stir things up. O-oh!


May been a black, black time, yeah!
(Shout it, shout it, shout it together)
Since we got C on our mind. (ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh) Oh-oh!
Now May is here (shout it, shout it, shout it together), We said,
life’s so dear
There's so much we can do, baby, (ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Just me and you.


Come on and shout it out; mela-warriors!
Stir things up; ‘Screen on, baby!
Come on and shout it out, yeah!
Mela-warriors, stir things up! O-oh!


We'll push pale’s good (shout it, shout it, shout it together),
And we’ll praise no fryer;
Then we'll rectify their bronze desire. (ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Said, we shout it every (shout it, shout it, shout it together),
every minute:
All you got to do, baby, (ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Is keep your skin, eh!


(Stir things up) Oh, mela-warriors,
Stir it up; baby!
Come on and stir things up, oh-oh-oh!
Mela-warriors, stir it up! Wo-oh! Mm, now, now.


Bench C with that Yervoy;
’Screen on and fool that brown, baby, when it’s hot. (ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Life recipe is, - darlin' - is so pasty,
When you glow you don’t look hot. (ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)


So: crank it up, oh!
Mela-warriors, crank it up ; wo, now!
’Screen on and show pink up oh-ah!
Mela-warriors, show pink up!


Oh, mela-warriors, show pink up. Come on, babe!
Blog on and show pink up, wo-o-a!
Mela-warriors, cure it up! Kick Black C, baby!
Come on, come on and cure it up, oh-oh!
Mela-warriors, cure it up.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Melanoma Independence Day

It’s Cinco de Mayo, and I’ve yet to hear a peep from my favorite cancer center about melanoma or melanoma awareness month. Despite the fact it’s home to one of the leading treatment programs in the country. Last Pinktober, these folks were all over promoting breast cancer awareness on the center’s Facebook page. The disparity irks me a bit. But its just one small example of what everyone at The Hotel Melanoma confronts every day. So I guess the lesson to be learned here is that we’re going to have to do it ourselves, grassroots, with little or no help from the cancer establishment.


I’m declaring this Melanoma Independence Day, because only by our independent and individual efforts--that will undoubtedly annoy some of the people we know--will we ever make black the new pink. And here’s my anthem of the day to the folks who’ve yet to check into our Hotel, to the tune of REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekhT0Myh-Zo

You should've seen from the look of my fries, baby
I had somethin’ dissin’
You should've learned from the harms from my choice, maybe
But you didn’t listen
You’re brain dead
And you lay in beds
All red you lay still under glass
All oiled up and glis’ning


And though you know all about mole friends
Still you don't remember
’Cause you’re like us baby, pre-Hotel M
And you’re still like leather
And I meant, every word I said
When I said that I’ll bug you I meant
That I’ll bug you forever


And I'm gonna keep on buggin’ you
Cause it's the only thing I know to do
I don't wanna sleep
I’m just gonna keep on buggin’ you


And I meant every word I said
When I said that I’ll bug you I meant
That I’ll bug you forever


And I'm gonna keep on buggin’ you
Cause it's the only thing I know to do
I don't wanna sleep
I’m just gonna keep on buggin’ you

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mulligans

As I’ve said before, I think melanoma and golf have much in common. For example, neither my experiences as a patient nor my golf swing should be duplicated or imitated. Plus I’ve had a mulligan with melanoma and I sure do appreciate getting them on the golf course. (Although since I banished certain fairway woods and long irons from my golf bag, my mulligan addiction has eased just a bit.) And for a player at my low skill level, the U.S.G.A.’s Official Rules of Golf seem every bit as arbitrary and capricious as my insurance company’s regular practice of denying payment for a preauthorized MRI.


There are a lot of hazards on the course I play, but there’s only one that’s completely within my control to avoid-- the intense UV rays at 7500 feet. I’m not counting on getting another melanoma mulligan and, particularly if you play golf, you shouldn’t either.

I’ll leave you with a great ‘safe golf’ video from American Academy of Dermatology and a little twist on The Beach Boys’ classic, “Little Deuce Coupe”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXFFLuoaMzM


Playin’ in woods
I don't know what I shot
Playin’ in woods
You don't know what I shot


Well I'm not braggin' babe and don't put scores down
’Cause I've got the slowest geezer swing in town
With sunscreen all over me I don't ever fry
‘Cause if I had a leather skin tan I know I could die
Yes I’m playin’ in woods
You don't know what I shot
(I’m playin’ in woods)
(You don't know what I shot)


Wear a little golf cap with a long wide bill
And I'll duck a thunderstorm so I don’t get killed
Good-sported and suncreened and most strokes are scored.
I shoot a hundred and forty with my Topflight hoard
Yes I’m hittin’ in woods
You don't know what I shot
(I’m hittin’ in woods)
(You don't know what I shot)


I’ve got a competition clutch when my score matters more
And I putt like a chicken so my three-putts soar
And if that ain’t enough to make you flip your lid
There's one more thing, I got a pale skinned caddy


I’m ‘prayin for the times when ball flight finds green
Then I blow 'em into the water like you never seen
I can’t splash out of sand and those traps I fear
And double bogeys are always near


Yes I’m hittin’ in woods
You don't know what I shot
(I’m hittin in woods)
(You don't know what I shot)
There’s a little goose troop
They don't care what I shot
(A little goose troop)
(They don't care what I shot)
C’s a little noose hoop
You don't know what I got

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wouldn't It Be Nice

Most of the time I feel impotent and ineffective as a melanoma advocate. (Considering some of the ‘lost causes’ I had for law clients, perhaps there’s a life pattern there?) And I often despair the odds that anything approaching a melanoma cure will ever be found. But we can’t ever stop dreaming and trying now, can we. Or lose our faith in the collective power of the grassroots efforts I see reflected in everything my mole mates are doing this month with social media. Because when I log onto Facebook and see the power of just one seriously pissed off Mama Bear, my hope is restored.

For Jillian’s mom, a new version of The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”…


Wouldn't it be nice if C were over
Then you wouldn't have to hear these songs
And wouldn't it be nice to live forever
With the kind of cure for which we long


You know it’s gonna make it that much better
When we can ban tan lights and slay the leather


Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up
All the fools that think their bronze is cool
And after having walked for AIM together
Dance and drink our toasts the whole night through


Happy times if we get Black C spending
I wish that ‘just skin C’ would soon be ending
Wouldn't it be nice


Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Maybe then there wouldn't be a single thing we need to do
C would be buried
And then we'd be happy


Wouldn't it be nice


You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But let’s talk about it
Wouldn't it be nice


Good night my Black C
Sleep tight my Black C

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

All Things Melanoma

I know of dozens of very fine blogs, Facebook communities, and nonprofit organization websites that are a rich source of knowledge, support and inspiration for anyone living with melanoma. Together they comprise hundreds of articulate and passionate voices that I so wish I could’ve heard when checking into The Hotel Melanoma in 2003. And there are probably many, many more sites that I’ve yet to bumble into in the course of trying to navigate the vast sea of the Internet.

With a firm push and a lot of design help from our Hotel Chaplain, I’ve started a new website called All Things Melanoma. ATM is an effort to compile a comprehensive set of links to online resources for melanoma warriors and their families and friends. I hope it becomes a hub and gateway that makes things just a bit easier for melanoma warriors in search of online information, support and inspiration to help them along in their journeys. But I may have succeeded only in creating yet another melanoma site that gets lost in the cacophony of the Internet. We’ll see.

Upon logging into Facebook this morning, I was immediately reminded by lots of great posts from mole mates that this is the first day of our very own awareness month. (Well sort of, because officially we have to share it with the broader “skin cancer” world.) Maybe ATM will help to make your beautiful voices and messages heard by many more of your fellow mates. But I was also very saddened to be reminded that we’re going to lose some bad ass warriors this month. Just please don’t let me hear anybody say that any of these tough souls “lost” their battle with the black devil. There are simply no “losers” among this warrior corps.

I’ll leave you with a new version of “Even The Losers” from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E30XxSYgmqo&feature=fvwrel

Well it is nearly summer, we share the same roof
Yeah we poke tanning vets and we howl at the moon
And we show our scars so everyone sees
Mates, we won’t ever make it easy to forget about C


Black C’s time is comin’, cure this thing for real
Yeah we will diss quack liars and untruths reveal
’Cause every word they say the truth conceals
Mates, we won’t ever make it easy to forget about C


Black C’s the only loser
Gets lucky sometimes
We’re never losers
Keep a little bit of pride
We get lucky sometimes


Our scars speak of our recent past
Sharks in our waters like Black C pass
Should have known right then we are all real bad ass
It's not a drag when we live days like last


Black C’s the only loser
Gets lucky sometimes
We’re never losers
Keep a little bit of pride
We get lucky sometimes


Black C’s the only loser
Gets lucky sometimes
We’re never losers
Keep a little bit of pride
We get lucky sometimes