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 6, 2011

Awareness Unfairness; Singing Those "Just Skin Cancer" Blues

In the course of my lengthy stay at The Hotel Melanoma I’ve often wished I could move to one of the more ‘popular’ hotels in the Hotel Carcinoma chain. I mean, like, you know, if this Hotel had a Facebook page it would have very few “friends” and almost nobody would “like” it. I think I’ve done my time here so shouldn’t I be allowed to convert from “it’s just skin cancer” to a more famous and fun sort of cancer with lots of hugely successful fundraising events, cool ballcaps and t-shirts, and big corporate sponsors? I wonder if there’s a clinical trial treatment for that.

Why would I sign up for that trial? Well, for one thing I’ve been shipped off to my cancer center’s breast cancer clinic (where my manly presence in the waiting room caused a bit of a stir) because that was the only place one could get a quicky needle biopsy on a suspicious mass. And when a doc who I was seeing about treating side effects of Mr. Schwannoma suggested a visit to the cancer center’s “alternative medicine” clinic, the big hitch was that I’d have to go on a waiting list because, you guessed it, I don’t have breast cancer and this clinic had been funded by a famously pink foundation that has actually threatened to sue other cancer nonprofits who dare to use the word “cure” in their fundraising efforts. (By the way, I initially got kind of excited about the idea of “alternative medicine” because medical marijuana is legal in my home state Colorado, but my hopes were quickly dashed when the doc started talking about acupuncture.) And I can’t even watch the NFL or PGA without seeing pink and feeling left out. Wouldn’t you think that at least professional golfers, for whom melanoma presents a really, really serious occupational hazard, might champion this cause?

I’ll end this rant with a song, once again sung to the tune of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Statesboro Blues”………

Wake up patients, keep your rays down low;
Wake up patients, keep your rays down low.
You got no pink sunscreen baby, to keep the doctors from your door.

I woke up this morning, had them “Just Skin Cancer” Blues,
I woke up this morning, had them “Just Skin Cancer” Blues.
Well, I look at all you patients, and y’all seem to have them too.

Well the sponsors never heard of us,
The pink guys might come sue us,
We ain't near dead yet baby,
Want some awareness sweet and kind.

I'm goin' to the golf course, do I dare to go?
I’m goin’ to the golf course, do I dare to go?
And if I can't play it baby, my handicap will never be so low.
(and I sure will miss it).

I loved that sunscreen, better than any protection I've ever seen;
Well, I loved that sunscreen, better than any protection I've ever seen.
Well, now, it treated me like a king, yeah, yeah, yeah,
I paid lotsa good money like it a dog gone queen.

Wake up mama, we need some awareness now.
Wake up papa, we need some awareness now.
’Cause we ain’t got no sponsors baby, to keep the doctors from our door


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog, and it hits home all of the time! Keep it coming, and don't change your attitude. It's great!

  2. I saw a t-shirt the other day that said "Hi. I'm Melanoma...the unpopular cancer!"

    I am sharing your blog with my facebook friends. Hope you don't mind!

  3. Chelsea, thanks and my best wishes and prayers are with you. Please share away.