We haven’t heard anything about Poison in a while since they spoke about the possibility of touring this year which, as you might have figured, never happened. Now we might know why that never happened.
During an interview with Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM, drummer Rikki Rockett revealed he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and has been battling it ever since. Blabbermouth transcribed what Rockett said about the matter:
“[In] June, I kind of got sick. I had this horrible cold, sore-throat thing, and they were scoping me and they were doing biopsies, and nothing was coming up. And finally a doctor at USC did a biopsy and took a look and he said, ‘I believe you have oral cancer.’ And what it was is a tumor at the base of my tongue… This is very similar to Bruce Dickinson [IRON MAIDEN], very similar to [actor] Michael Douglas, similar to Tom Hamilton [AEROSMITH], as far as I know; I don’t know the details of his. And two adjacent lymph nodes that it kind of… Normally, it does spread to the lymph nodes; that’s typical. That’s how you find out you have it ninety percent of the time.”
“I went down to USC, to all the doctors down there, and the first doctor I went to sat me down, looked me in the eyes, and he said, ‘You’ve had pretty good health all your life.’ He goes, ‘You picked one of hell of a cancer to get.’ He said, ‘It is very treatable, it’s very curable, but it is a son of a bitch to treat, and I’m gonna hurt you.’ And it scared the hell out of me. And I’m, like,’ What are you talking about?’ he goes, ‘About fifty percent of my patients wind up hospitalized through the treatments, ’cause you’ve gotta do chemo and radiation at the same time, or you’ve gotta do surgery. And sometimes when you do surgery, you still have to do chemo and radiation. So we’re gonna try chemo and radiation.’ So I wound up doing the chemo. I did nine rounds of chemo of cetuximab, which is the stuff that the company that Martha Stewart went to jail for; she did the insider trading in… I wanna say it was 2004 or something… That’s an IV [intravenously administered], and it’s a targeted immunotherapy, so it’s not like the typical chemical that just kills everything. But they said one problem it does have is you get a rash. And I’m, like, ‘A rash?’ They’re, like, ‘Yeah, you’re gonna look like a kid with really bad acne.’ So I started to get it on my face and on my chest and on my back and shoulders and a little bit on my trunk, and then, bam, in two weeks, it just calmed down for some reason. So I was very lucky with that. But then I started radiation, and I did thirty-five rounds of radiation; it was five days a week for seven weeks, and that kicks your dick into the dirt. But I went, ‘Okay, this is what I’m gonna do. I wanna beat it, so I’m just gonna go head first into this. I’m gonna set myself up where every single day, I do something positive for my health. I’m gonna work out one day, I’m gonna go to therapy one day.’ I go to this occupational therapy where they do swallowing and speech and stuff like that, to keep your neck going. Regular therapy, acupuncture…”
Rockett also explained on his reasoning to keep silent since his diagnosis:
“I wanted to see how I would do with [the treatment]. And I didn’t want people to maybe come down to USC and [take] spy photos, like TMZ guys or something like that. And I didn’t want anybody talking to my family about it or anything like that. It’s, like, you wanna forget about it when you can. So when I first start to talk about it, [I didn’t want it to be a situation where] I’d be at the mall, and I’m playing with my little girl or something, and somebody would go, like, ‘Hey, man, how’s the throat doing?’ It’s, like, ‘I just forgot about it for the last forty-five minutes and now you had to remind me.’ And everybody has a horror story. ‘Oh, you have cancer? My mom had cancer. She died from it.’ I don’t wanna hear anybody’s horror stories.”
As Rockett mentioned, this is a similar case to what happened to Iron Maiden’s frontman Bruce Dickinson earlier this year (maybe too much oral sex?) and after the intensive treatment he’s been getting, he’s optimistic there will be a similar outcome. Rockett said on his Facebook he’ll get the results to his treatment in the second week of February, so we wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery.