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

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Huey and Dewey, In The News

I’m so proud of my little cancer I could burst. Melanoma news actually made it onto last night’s NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams, which reported on newly-released clinical trial study results on Vemurafenib and the FDA’s recent approval of Yervoy. (By the way, this blogger will hereinafter refer to these breakthrough drugs as “Huey” and “Dewey”, the names of two Donald Duck nephews, because these names are easier for me to remember, pronounce and type.) Although this same story also mentioned a new breast cancer treatment drug and received less air time than the lead story on a certain N.Y. Congressman’s Twittering transgressions, it’s still a huge awareness breakthrough for melanoma to be mentioned on the most-watched broadcast network evening news show that had previously reported almost exclusively on that popular pink cancer. I can’t think of a better old song to borrow today than Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’”…

Come gather 'round patients
Wherever you roam
And acclaim that the options
Around you have grown
And applaud it that soon
You'll be cured to the bone
If your life to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start hopin'
Or you'll be all alone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come bloggers, come Facebook,
Come twitterers, all online
And keep your hopes high
The news is gettin’ fine
And don't quit too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's savin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come FDA, insurors
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For patients get hurt
Because new drugs are stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come doctors and clinics
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
Drugs you don't understand
Your patients, this disease
Are making new demands
The old road is
Rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The cure's comin' fast
The slow drugs now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
This disease is
Rapidly fadin'
And the worst times now
Will later be past
For the times they are a-changin'.


  1. Hey Rich
    Love the new entry. I was at the airport Monday am waiting on my flight when CNN did about a 5 minute story on melanoma and the success of the new treatments. I wanted to applaud I was so happy to see the exposure it was getting. These new drugs are really making a difference but getting the news out about melanoma will prevent it which is the ultimate goal. I wonder how you feel when you see these stories. This journey is only about 9 months old for me, and I believe you have been at it for 8 years. Anyway, I definitely have blog envy when I see yours, great work getting the message out.

  2. Thanks. When I see the news about promising Stage IV treatments I feel hope and joy for the future. When, for a brief time in 2003, the docs thought I was Stage IV it was an almost certain death sentence. Now there's hope. And few of my friends had a clue at the time that melanoma was a deadly disease-- how many times did I hear that I'd been cured by the last whatever. Take care.