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, February 11, 2011

Positively Sometimes Negative

I don’t think that it’s humanly possible for a guest at this Hotel to always be positive and optimistic about one’s treatments and prognosis. At least I know that I sure haven’t been. Anyone who is is probably either delusional or heavily medicated or both. (Which is not to discourage anyone from seeking appropriate pharmaceutical assistance to smooth out the rougher edges of life at the Hotel. My personal choice of ‘medication’ is a long walk with my dear golden retriever/personal trainer, followed by a slug of a geriatric single malt scotch.) And one of the sometimes irritating aspects about living at the Hotel is dealing with well-meaning nonresidents who seem to expect you to be relentlessly and unfailingly upbeat about your current place of abode.

Nevertheless, I’ve done my best to write a blog that looks for the good stuff and the funny stuff I’ve stumbled into during my stay. (That’s often required the passage of quite some time between the experience and the act of writing about it.) The simple reason is that writing about the ‘doom and gloom’ of being a melanoma patient, which there is certainly plenty of, makes me feel worse and searching for the good and funny stuff makes me feel better. Plus, who among my fellow guests at this Hotel really needs or wants to read about the worst parts of another guest’s trials and tribulations? I’d much rather try to make you (and me) smile.

In any event, I hope that nothing I’ve written even hints that anyone ought to think bad of themselves if they’re currently unable to break out of the fog and gloom and find anything good or funny in their life at the Hotel. I firmly believe we’ve all been there at one time or another, and likely far more than once. My unsolicited advice is to muddle on through as best you can, and to write your own stories when the time is right whether you choose to share them or not. My preferred meaning of “checking out” of the Hotel is taking a mental sabbatical from the reality of whatever this disease might be throwing your way, whenever and for as long as possible; I sure don’t mean dying.

Best wishes to all.


  1. Hello Rich. Thank you for telling me about your blog. My husband has a great attitude and a wonderful sense of humor so I think we will really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks again Jaime Smith

  2. I hope you both get a few smiles from the blog. We all need them. Best wishes.

  3. Hi rich. My name is Amanda I am a melanoma survivor was diagnosed when I was almost 17 I am almost 26 now. I work as a nurse so I already have a morbid sense of humor, and I am enjoyin ur blog. I was on interferon for a year and u shuld see the looks I get when I jokingly say melanoma and interferon are the BEST weight loss programs I have ever been on. I love that u can find laughter in your current situation. Laughter is a medicine all its own.

  4. Amanda, thanks and best wishes to you! After losing most of it during biochemo, my hair came back darker and thicker-- and I've recommended it as a hair loss remedy for some of my balding buddies. So far, no takers! Be well!