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

Monday, October 31, 2011

We Can Be Heroes

It’s Halloween and (thank heavens) the end of the over-commercialized hype that Pinktober has become. It’s been a long, strange month for those of us who aren’t ‘in the pink’, and I for one am glad it’s over. It’s been a month in which Broncos quarterback wannabe Tim Tebow, a personal brand marketing machine, auctioned his pink cleats and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher did a very nice breast cancer awareness PSA in honor of his wife without mentioning she died of melanoma. One of my favorite blogs,, carried an American Cancer Society ad for breast cancer awareness. And my package of Kroger deli sliced turkey breast carried a pink lid and a “you guessed it” awareness message on the label—something I found just a bit creepy and unappetizing.

Do you have any idea which brand in the Hotel Carcinoma gets November as its awareness month? I had to look it up, but it’s the biggest killer of all, lung cancer. It killed my father-in-law and an aunt. One can only hope we’ll hear as much about this beast in the coming month as we did pink cancer in October, but I’m not holding my breath.

I hope that someday all of us living at the Hotel Carcinoma can get past this zero-sum game of awareness competition and that the general public and corporate ‘marketeers’ will care about and support everyone’s cancer. Until then, I guess we have to do what we have to do to compete, so with thanks to all of you melanoma walkers, runners, riders, bikers, etc., here’s a new version of
The Wallflowers’ “Heroes”…

I, I wish you would walk
Like the warriors, like warriors will walk
’Cause something, something will bring us together
We can beat this, for ever and ever.

We can be Heroes, just for one day.

We, we will be kings
And you, you will wear ‘screen
’Cause something, something will drive this away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
Black can be ours, just for one day

I, I remember fearing, Black C’s call
And the birds, sing above our heads
And we’ll walk, because cancer will fall
’Cause the pain, is on the tanner’s hide
Oh we can beat this, for ever and ever

Then we could be Heroes, just for one day

We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day

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