Gut Rumbles

September 28, 2005

you never get over it

I once posted a list of famous people who died from prostate cancer, along with a link to a list of survivors. I watched my father and my best friend die from that disease, and when I was diagnosed with it, I was frightened, especially given the circumstances I was in at the time.

No money. No wife (she was busy fucking the unemployed dope-smoker at the time, after stealing all the money). No home. I was kinda depressed there for a while.

I wasn't afraid of dying, but I damn surely didn't want to go that way. It is a slow, miserable, painful death.

Dan Fogleberg has always been a favorite of mine. In fact, I had one of his CDs (I forget which one, but it has the song "Go Down Easy" on it) and I noticed that he played and sang damn near everything on the entire record all by himself. That's what I'm trying to do now, and it ain't as easy as you might think, even with good recording equipment.

I've never "produced" a record before. I'm going to have to work at this shit a while. I think I'll get the hang of it eventually, but I know I won't get it right on the first try. Hell--- I've got plenty of time to learn.

That's a long-winded lead-in to this email:

A little off topic but I wrote you about 6 months ago about Dan Fogelberg' s prostrate cancer. I thought you would appreciate this:

August 13, 2005
A personal letter from D.F.

"First, let me send everyone some very good news. In our first 14 months of treatment, we have succeeded in slowing the progression of my prostate cancer down to an almost negligible level. Jean and I are thrilled and incredibly relieved and finally feel like we can at last take a breath. While we understand that what were dealing with is a long term condition that will have to be dealt with, monitored and treated for probably the rest of my life, we are terribly encouraged to have come so far, so fast. It has certainly been the most trying experience of our lives and yet has proven to be one of the most illuminating as well."

As you can probably tell, he is one of my favourites.
I love Hank Williams also. "I can't help it if I'm still in love with you" is a wonderful.

Posted by Library Lady at September 27, 2005 08:30 PM

I hate to say this, but "slowing the progression of my prostate cancer down to an almost negligible level." is a death sentence. That's just the way that disease is. If it ever spreads, you can slow it, but you can't stop it.

October 7 will make four years since I had my surgery. I appear to be cancer-free now. I'll never be the man I once was, but at least I'm alive.

I wish Dan Fogleberg a long life, but if I were you, I'd keep an eye on the obituaries.


My Dad had both prostate and colon cancer. I
watched him die the last 2 years of his life. He lived in a cottage behind my house and was 89 when he finally let go. I will never be the man that he was and maybe I'm not suppose to be. We never got along very good, but I do miss him. God, I sure do want to enjoy the last few good years I've got! "Live
Fast......Die Old.......And leave an Ugly Corpse!" My rendition of an old biker saying.

Posted by: Captain Harley on September 28, 2005 05:21 AM

The album with 'Go Down Easy' on it was called High Country Snows, Fogelberg's foray into bluegrass music. I've got a copy on vinyl somewhere. I looked it up, it's downloadable from Apple's iTunes Music Store for $10.

Posted by: El Capitan on September 28, 2005 06:30 AM

October will be 1 year since my surgery and the PSA levels are below 0.1. Like you said, you are not the man you once were, but you are alive. Many thanks for answering some of my questions after my surgery, you were a big help through those times

Posted by: AndyJ on September 28, 2005 08:11 AM

Your comments about DF's situation were kind of cruel. We are making a lot of advances in the fight against prostate cancer, and in particular, advanced prostate cancer. With diet, exercise, optimism, who knows. But you gotta have hope, and believe me, there are a lot of good people out there working on this disease.

Posted by: Bill on September 28, 2005 09:31 AM

I hope Dan lives a long time, too.
I also hope you live longer than he does.

It's just that I canNOT get Warren Zevon outta my head when I'm here these days.
He's singing "Excitable Boy", which you can be at times.

I think it's mostly the cancer history and the recording equipment that's doin' it to me.
I just can't stop thinking about him and you and how glad I am that you're talking about Dan and living and being cancer free as opposed to doing what Warren did.

Please don't (ever) do what Warren did.
I didn't like him near as much as I love you and what he (eventually) did still hurts, soooo....
Please don't.

My fantasy for you is that you start a whole new career, writing songs and recording, that carries you along for another 30 years or so.

It'd be the comeback of a lifetime. Several lifetimes actually, mine included, probably...

It'd be the ultimate snatching of victory from the gaping jaws of defeat.

It'd be the best, the most inspiring cancer/divorce survival story ever.

It'd also probably be such an afront to Jennifer's "plans" that she'd get so completely pissed, she'd just do the decent thing and DIE already.
(Frankly, I think you being successful in any capacity, to any extent, will make her spontaneously combust, so give it a shot, hum? Just think of the massive "Blogmeet/Wienie-roast" you could have....)

Anyway... run with it, Rob.
Take it as far as you can, then let it take you the rest of the way.
This can be done.

Ooh, and I just got a cool idea....

You write books, to tell the stories you want told, then record albums of music to go with each book, kinda like a soundtrack to give the stories more depth, more explanation... to make your feelings- the "where you're coming from"- better understood.

Nobody has ever done that before....
(Closest I know of is when Stephen King quoted song lyrics before each chapter of "Christine"... )

Posted by: Stevie on September 28, 2005 09:47 AM

I didn't see anything cruel in Rob's comments. A guy at work died a few days ago from colon cancer. I thought the timing was good because he can travel to heaven with Don Adams. At the pearly gates there will be a lot of laughs and Bob will get to meet The Chief, Edward Platt, who's been there since 74.

Posted by: Ivan Ivanovich on September 28, 2005 11:04 AM

I wasn't being cruel. I was being realistic.

Believe it or not, I know quite a bit about prostate cancer.

Posted by: Acidman on September 28, 2005 06:51 PM

As another PCa survivor, and having read up on the disease, I always feel my gut tighten when I read the words "advanced prostate cancer." Yes, Bill, there are a lot of good people working on it. And diet, exercise, and treatment can help. The problem, as this layman understands it, is that prostate cancer cells have a low metabolism, and grow slowly. That sounds good, but it's really very bad. Most chemotherapy agents target the high metabolism of most types of cancer calls and leave other cells alone. PCa cells get in "under the radar" so to speak. Yes, you can use radiation, but that option is not useful if the PCa has scattered around the body.

Bottom line is, guys, know your PSA, and if it is high or trending up, see your doctor. If you are diagnosed, get a copy of Dr. Walsh's book, Guide to Surving Prostate Cancer and go to and meet a great bunch of guys.

Posted by: Ernie G on September 28, 2005 06:52 PM

My test results just came back. At age 51, they reported 0.3 on the PSA test. Negative.
That leaves the question of the rest of the basement. Hasn't worked well for years.
Got free Viagra?

Posted by: Horrabin on September 28, 2005 10:30 PM

My test results just came back. At age 51, they reported 0.3 on the PSA test. Negative.
That leaves the question of the rest of the basement. Hasn't worked well for years.
Got free Viagra?

BTW Rob the damn email address that automatically assigns itself to my posts is wrong. It won't change no matter what I do. I have to remember to alter it each post, so the other poor bastard doesn't get flamed.
Ideas? No "remember my info" thing on here.

Posted by: Horrabin on September 28, 2005 10:34 PM

Half a post went thru, while changing the email address after hitting "stop".
The internet is quicker than the eye....

Posted by: Horrabin on September 28, 2005 10:36 PM

A number of years back..oh say in the mid/early now ex and I took my junior high aged daughter to see DF. He met with his audience outside the bus after his performance. It was a real highlight in life for me....I listened to his music religiously when I was in college. My daughter, who is very musically inclined, had heard this same music since I owned CDs of it. He was very impressed that someone from her generation was listening to his old stuff. He was most gracious and kind and took a lengthy amount of time conversing with his fans. We have photos and an autographed CD to document this memorable time. Perhaps I'll include them on my blog in the future. He did not disappoint the image I held of him, and my daughter was equally in awe. He indeed seems a great person to hold in high esteem in all regards. I, too, wish him well, and will always treasure the up-close-and-personal experience he provided us. May he live to a ripe old age...hopefully, in good health.

With that addressed, I want to wish you the same. A friend of mine shared your site with me some months ago. I've followed your reports and enjoyed your candid, open and honest take on life.

My daughter has recently moved to Nashville...she sings and plays a number of instruments. She is surrounded by people in the 'biz'...I also have a couple of friends who have small studios. If you need some input on making your own demo, feel free to contact me and perhaps we can connect you to people who can help out with this endeavor. I have a site in 'MySpace' with links to many of the musicians we are fortunate enough to know. You should check it out, or if any of this interests you, send an e-mail, and I can tell you more.

Sorry for the lengthy comment....much of what you share tugs at the heartstrings, I had to toss in my two bits!! Hang in there...I really DO wish you well in all you are dealing with in your life at this time!!

Posted by: di on December 16, 2005 05:47 PM
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