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

Friday, May 27, 2016

Forever Young

Next month I’ll turn 63. And in the “I’ll never-grow-old” fantasy world of this Baby Boomer, that’s middle-aged.

During my first decade or so of living at The Hotel Melanoma, my life planning horizon didn’t extend beyond my next 90-day or 6-month checkup etc. at the melanoma clinic. And I don’t think that’s the least bit uncommon among my N.E.D. melahomies who are also living with a high risk of recurrence.

But slowly yet surely over the course of the past couple of years I’ve started to contemplate the possibility that I might, just might, actually grow old. Really old. (Although I’m convinced there will always be the ornery juvenile delinquent brain of a seventeen-year-old trapped inside an increasingly frail body.) And if I do, where will I live when I can no longer manage my two-story home in the often-snowy woods? Will my retirement savings keep me stocked with single malt scotch? Will self-driving car technology keep me mobile? When do I start teeing off from the ladies tees? I know that I’m quite lucky and that I ought to be grateful to have such questions rolling around my chemo-fogged brain, when all too many younger lives have been cut way too short by the Black Beast. Meanwhile, I’m still just a ‘kid’ who’s hoping we all grow much, much older while somehow remaining forever young at heart.

For all of my molemates who’ve been laboring so hard to build melanoma awareness this month, here’s The Hotel Melanoma rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”…



May God bless and keep you always
May your skin checks show pale hue
May you always do for others
And let others do for you

May you build a ladder from your scars
And climb on every rung
May you stay
Forever young

Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
Forever young

May you grow up to spread whiteness
May you grow up ‘til C’s through
May you always know the truth
And flee tan lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay
Forever young

Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
Forever young

May your scans always be pretty
May your tweets always persist
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay
Forever young

Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
Forever young

3 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I'm reading your blog (and EVERY other blog/survivor story/etc. out in internet-land that I can find on Melanoma. It happens to run in my family (yay!) and I just had biopsies done (2 of which were Mel in situ). I don't HAVE it yet, but...
    Anyway, I just wanted to stop and say "hey", and thank you for making the effort to write out your thoughts, and give us a real-life look at Melanoma from the other side. It's a side I will probably be joining in the near future. I like to be prepared :).

    Hope all is well,
    Melahn
    (yes, this is my real name
    - ironic, huh?!)

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  3. Hi Rich! I noticed your blog and I greatly appreciate the stories you are willing to share with others. My name is Abby and I’m currently a student at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI working on a project called CancerEd. My team and I are developing curriculum materials to teach children about cancer in an interactive but scientifically accurate way. We are looking to send out a survey to parents who have had cancer to better understand how they communicate with their children about cancer and we would love your help with this! If you could email me at ans29@students.calvin.edu, I would love to give you more information about the survey and about our project. Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!

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