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, November 5, 2012


If you checked into the Hotel Melanoma more than twenty-four hours ago, you’ve probably heard at least one well-intentioned but ill-informed friend or family member say something along the lines of “thank heavens it’s just skin cancer”. I certainly heard that a time or two. Some of those people rather quickly figured out that melanoma really is cancer upon hearing I was being hospitalized to undergo biochemotherapy treatments. And some never truly got it and won’t unless they get it themselves; and they continue to soak up the UV rays because they think it can’t happen to them and “manana” will never come.

Which is a so very human quality in all of us. We all do dumb things that put our health at risk, because we enjoy doing them, and we delude ourselves into thinking the behavior will never rise up and bite us. Oy.

So the next time you hear “it’s just skin cancer”, resist the urge to whack the person up the side of the head and, instead, enlighten them if they’ll listen. Or just smile and share this song from the Hotel Melanoma Songbook, Jimmy Buffett’s “Manana”…

They said I can't go back to pre-Black C life soon
Those goddamn nodes they’re gonna grow until pruned
Yeah, they're treatin' up in Denver so, truck up in car
And I'm feeling fear ‘screened from sun with new scars

Doctor man tells me that he's gotta treat
He's got a plan hidden up his shrewd sleeve
Wants to ‘scribe me a blastin’, a plan of strong kind
With IV confection he knows will be fine

Please don't say manana if you don't ‘screen it
I have heard those words for so very long
Don't try to describe the mole thing if you've never seen it
Don't ever forget that you just may wind up being wrong

Tried and I tried but I don't understand
Never seemed to break out the day I had it planned
Hangin' out at C cantina when Code Blue was called
Singin' everybody clear, patient’s heart just got stalled

But doctors and nurses aren’t in short supply
There's just enough ‘dope’ for us all to get high
I hear it gets better, that's what they say
As soon as I break out alive on Friday

Please don't say manana if you don't ‘screen it
I have burned tan lines for so very long
Don't try to describe this mean C if you've never seen it
Don't ever forget that you just may wind up in my song

Alright let's reggae tanners!

Bawled out my friends on those deep frightly rays
Sure was good to talk ‘bout my old UV-fried ways
While the lights of sun salons fry twenty-some guests
I see General Electric's still doing their best

I got to mend this blog thing pretty soon
Hotel M’s old and I'm fresh out of tunes
But I know that I'll get 'em, I know that they'll come
Through mole people in rages and Hollywood scum

So please don't say manana if you don't mean it (don't mean it)
I have heard tan lies for so very long
Don't try to deride ‘just skin cancer’ if you've never seen it
Don't ever forget that you just may wind up being gonged

And I hope that no freak Kardashian never ever does one of my songs
No no no


  1. Oh yes, don't we continue to hear that trivialisation of a life threatening cancer.
    In all honesty I sometimes wonder if there is one person in my sphere who really, really gets it - like all the way.... :(

  2. Great song! I love how you changed the lyrics:) What a creative mind:)