Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Thoughts On Cancer

You’re all dying, too. You just don’t have a plan.


Things my oncologist said quietly while reviewing my chart:

  • Interesting.
  • Huh.
  • That’s, uh…hmm.
  • Oh, wow, really?

I chose to take his utterances as compliments, and continue to hold that belief.


I’m no Hercules
And this is Herculean
Tomorrow I will just be feeling the pain


Get stupidly addictive opiates from your doctor without any pushback by using this one simple trick!


A cancer haiku?
You fucking kidding me here?
Fuck off with that shit.


Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Y’know those cancers that stay in one place, and the doctor looks at it every six months? This isn’t one of those. This is one of those lebensraum deals.



Should I take vitamins?

“Nah, you’re way past vitamins.”



Monday was the PET scan, which involved no puppies or kittens whatsoever; fucking liars. Lit that fucker up like a Buddhist monk at a protest. The rot is in my bones, apparently. Up and down my femurs, all across the pelvis.

Tuesday was the echocardiogram, to see if my heart is healthy enough for them to poison it. It is.

Today was the bone marrow biopsy. The doc plunged a titanium needle into my posterior iliac crest and sucked out some of the juice. Give that back, I wanted to say. It’s mine. I need it. I did not say that.


It only hurts when I exist.


My countrymen are stooges, vicious and thick, and so there are few outpatient centers available to put in what is called a port. The poison must be squoze in smooth, and over the course of four days; a regular IV line is not up to the extended abuse. The wear and tear of normal life would lead to yeeting. Hospitalization may be required, the doc said.

I asked why I could not come into the office every day, and receive the poison there.

“We could, but I’d…uh…like to start strong. You wanna be aggressive here.”

And then I asked him how long I’d have if, after leaving his office, I just stayed home and did nothing.

“Couple months? Maybe a couple months. Maybe.”


I shuffle now, bowlegged and tenderfooted. The standing is passable, and I can still sit with the best of ’em, but if you saw me get out of a chair, you’d know.


Gonna get me a cancer bandana, and call it my candana. Gonna lose 40 pounds and wear all black and tie my candana ’round my boney skull, and then I’ll just hang around in public pointing at randos and hooting. I have transcended beyond taking my dick out at the food court, Enthusiasts. Gonna haunt that motherfucker.

It happened so goddamned fast. I’m setting the point on Fentanyl lollipops for September 1st, and I’d take the Under if I were you.


Some of you have sent along your thoughts, prayers, vibes, best-wishes; I thank each of you. One of you sent, like, 20 pounds of ice cream; this was an exceptionally kind gesture.

I will not be starting a GoFundMe, or turning the site into a tiered-access Patreon nightmare, or begin streaming on Twitch.  There shall be no begging, this I promise you. If you wanna send me some dope, I would like that very much. The Donation Button has not moved. But if you don’t wanna, you don’t haveta.


And now a reading from The Book of Fin, Iteration #18:

Everything changes; nothing lasts.
Nothing changes; everything lasts.

That book hasn’t steered me wrong so far.


  1. Drew

    Fuck man. Speechless. Fuck cancer.

  2. Cliftonhanger



  3. Eli Akins

    Brother, I’ve been there. Twice. And it sucks, and it is beautiful. Nothing can prepare you for the hardship or the elation after. Best bet is to stay positive and put in the work, mental, physical and spiritual.

    There are dividends to collect at the end of all of this, but the aforementioned work must be done. Be kind to yourself, your caregivers and your support team. Music, art and love are great healers.

    I wish you only the best during this time, which is the worst.

    Eli Akins
    Atlanta, GA

  4. JES

    I am rarely at a loss for words.

    But . . . . . . . . . . . .

    (Drinks coffee, stares off into middle distance, gets misty-eyed).

    . . . . . . . . . I’m just pulling for you, man. Pulling as hard as whatever power or karma or juju or magick or fortune I might possess allows me to pull. And then some more after that.

  5. is it about my cube

    The world’s such a better place with you in it. Whatever’s out there, it fucking better let you stay.

  6. Ritchie vanian

    Please get better

  7. The Woodcutter's Son

    We’re with you, every step of the way. The way back to better. To best.

  8. Greg

    Nothing but positive thoughts coming your way You can beat this! or as JGB always sang ”may the next good mornings sunrise be the brightest you have ever seen!” well we love you too

  9. Fred Levitan

    Dude, no. I’m so sorry. Couldn’t happen to a more interesting writer and stand-up guy. Pulling for you. Need more phrases like “My countrymen are stooges, vicious and thick”. HST would approve. Eat the ice cream. What flavor do you like best? Fuckin’ Florida. Blame Florida – miasma swamp of humid, bestial, yet pulchritudinous corruption. Beat the fucker, if only for a while. Seriously, my best wishes for healing and recovery for you.

  10. Edub

    You kick this fucker to the curb, Thoughts. You’re an essential.

  11. rockasaur

    Aw man, it’s so weird being friends with someone you’ve never met, but I sure regard you as a friend. I wish you the best – a speedy and complete recovery.

  12. Mean, Green, Devil Eating Machine

    Keep a medical diary – what happened each day, who did you see, where, what did they say, what meds you started taking on what day. It will be invaluable to you in about a month, when you don’t remember any details, but the details are needed to treat properly. Write it in a small book, or, use your smart phone. The small book worked for me.

    p.s. Keep us appraised of the sit you a shun!

  13. Snow

    My brother! You delivered this painful news with great humor but it still hurts. Wishing you the best, spraying for your recovery and scheming with others to help because we love and appreciate you.

  14. dbati

    Good gods, I’m pulling for you. Stay positive, stay strong, and get better. fuck cancer

  15. wabisabied

    If wit and humor are antidotes to malady, then you are well medicated, Mr. On the Dead.

    Fight hard and rest well.

  16. Matt O

    Without love in the dream, it will never come true…the love in here is palpable, may it envelop you whole.

  17. Cube

    You got the thing that got my dad – eventually. He got 9 years after the diagnosis. Fair to say it was a bumpy ride, and he was still gone way too soon as far as I’m concerned. But the thing to know is that there was much living and much joy along the way. That and I wouldn’t mind if you got a little revenge on my behalf.

  18. Jesse Edwards

    Keep the faith, keep the change, and keep watching the skies. Your Enthusiasts love you.

  19. Luther Von Baconson

    “keep skatin’, keep playin’…..use the butt end, or straight arm….just give ‘im a shot”

  20. Spudboy

    I can’t improve on what everyone else has already said. Group hug man..

  21. 21stCenturyDead

    Jesus, man, I’m real sorry. Nothing but love.

  22. michael Debruin



    We love you.

  23. Joeybug69

    Still lots of days between.

    There were days
    And there were days
    And there were days between
    Summer flies and August dies
    The world grows dark and mean
    Comes the shimmer of the moon
    On black infested trees
    The singing man is at his song
    The holy on their knees
    The reckless are out wrecking
    The timid plead their pleas
    No one knows much more of this
    Than anyone can see anyone can see

    There were days
    And there were days
    And there were days besides
    When phantom ships with phantom sails
    Set to sea on phantom tides
    Comes the lightning of the sun
    On bright unfocused eyes
    The blue of yet another day
    A springtime wet with sighs
    A hopeful candle lingers
    In the land of lullabies
    Where headless horsemen vanish
    With wild and lonely cries, lonely cries

    There were days
    And there were days
    And there were days I know
    When all we ever wanted
    Was to learn and love and grow
    Once we grew into our shoes
    We told them where to go
    Walked halfway around the world
    On promise of the glow
    Walked upon a mountain top
    Walked barefoot in the snow
    Gave the best we had to give
    How much we’ll never know we’ll never know

    There were days
    And there were days
    And there were days between
    Polished like a golden bowl
    The finest ever seen
    Hearts of Summer held in trust
    Still tender, young and green
    Left on shelves collecting dust
    Not knowing what they mean
    Valentines of flesh and blood
    Still tender, young and green
    Hoping love would not forsake
    The days that lie between lie between

  24. Doug O’Donnell

    Thanks for writing that. You are in our prayers.

  25. HeadyNooguts

    Go kick the shit out of this motherfucker man

  26. Mr. Bill Kramer

    We are with you. Beat this shit

  27. lucabrasi12

    We’re all pulling for you. That might seem cliched but you’ve really connected to a lot of people with your humor and love of the music.

  28. Tor Haxson

    A good friend had lymphoma, after chemo his hair came back thicker and curly.. when it had been thin and straight.

    May you have a mane like David Lee Roth 1978 (motorcycle photo) in a few months.

    Trying to be funny, but mostly I am just pissed.


  29. Chris

    Fuck Cancer. There’s many a slip twixt a cup and a lip. Fight hard.

  30. ChadB

    I haven’t commented in a while.
    You have at least 25 people here who care about you.
    Quality folks mind you.

    We expect you ro continue to be you. Just you.

    We all love Thoughts on the Dead.

  31. Luther Von Baconson

    Here’s a nice song for you
    And this came up with it as well In the same YouTubes

    I’m drunk obviously, but keeping my chin up

  32. Douglas MacKinnon

    I don’t usually comment, but wow, just wow. You’ve brought so much laughter into my life and, obviously, many others too. Even now with all that’s going on, you’re still doing it. That’s what will beat this. Attitude. And you’ve got that in droves buddy!

  33. herbert chen

    Stay up, brother. You’re going to meet a lot of wonderful doctors, nurses, and staff who genuinely care about you. Should be a nice change of pace from the usual assholes.

  34. hcm

    Sent vibes the other day. Just sending love today. All the love I can muster up & beam across the fruited plain. I don’t know what, if any, difference it will make, but it is all yours.

  35. Jon Trafton

    My oncologist’s message to me, the word that stands out, was “worrisome.” This in response to my asking about his thoughts on my prognosis. It had spread to my lymph nodes. He said my condition was “worrisome.” Worrisome, indeed. I spent a year doing radiation, chemo, surgeries. Was not looking good. I am here 15 years later to tell you, “always look on the bright side of life.” Your writing has been a source of joy for me for years. TOTD, I am pulling for you.

  36. Jimmy Jack

    Nah. Universe is not gonna do this. Fuck that.

  37. Deepak

    Down with this disease. Beat it down

  38. EVGraham


  39. toby schwindt

    fuk man…..beat this shit

  40. GL

    You’re a hell of a writer, TotD. Dick-punch cancer like Billy K.

  41. Bobby

    Steal Billy’s gig and punch that Cancer right in the dick! When you’re over it, go out and get yourself some new skank.

    Pulling for you my brother

  42. dj5000000

    A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through.

  43. Dr. Wazalin-Mee

    Get yourself well TOTD! On your side! (yeah, that’s right, I’m taking the radically bold step of being on the side that is NOT cancer…) Get fucking well.

  44. mwmeyerson (@mwmeyerson)

    yeah – but to put this in perspective – now that you’ve heard about my blown sub-woofer…. Fuck this. This craky ass deadhead is pulling for you. And that means grace in whatever comes. Would love to meet in person one day – but that’s just me being selfish…a specialty….just ask my wife.

  45. JK

    Hey TOTD,
    You have a lot of fans and friends, more than you’ll ever know and all
    of us are pulling for you. I don’t know you personally but through your writing, like so many, feel like I know enough to firmly believe that you can not only defeat this sunbitch but ultimately make it beg for mercy.
    Hang tough, bud. We know you will… plus tax.
    A long time fan

Leave a Reply