About Me

It's May 2013 and I have a shiny new diagnosis of tongue cancer. More specifically HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma with a couple of associated necrotic lymph nodes.

Oh Boy!

I happen to work in the cancer business. I work for a major pharmaceutical company building software tools for biologists and computational biologists. I've learned a little bit about cancer biology and genetics and a little bit about "personalized medicine." This blog is mainly a way to share this fun little excursion with my family, friends and coworkers. I'll mix my personal treatment experiences with the medical and scientific context in which they occurs. I love to learn, and I love to share what I learn.

Many people respond to a cancer diagnosis with anger. In a quick survey of other "cancer blogs" I see plenty of shouts of "Fuck Cancer!" and "I'm gonna kick cancer's ass!" I don't feel especially angry. My coping skill of choice is sarcasm (which is, of course, just anger in a bad disguise). Thus the title of this blog.

Perhaps one explanation for my lack of anger is the specific type of cancer I have and the fact that its cause is known. I didn't get cancer from not eating right or not exercising enough or not using sunscreen or smoking or drinking too much. I thoroughly enjoyed the activity that gave me this cancer. It's just a hand I've been dealt. It sucks. Now I'll play it.

Welcome to Cancer Fun Time! Who could imagine anything more fun than cancer?


  1. We find sarcasm is an excellent coping skill for dealing with problem adult children too. :)

  2. Hello, I wanted to drop in a comment and thank you for creating/writing this blog. I was diagnosed with stage-IV HNSCC due to HPV T-16 in January of 2016. Since then, your blog has laid out a play-by-play of my experience: 3 rounds of high-dose cisplatin, 7 weeks of radiation, surgeries, surgical procedures, feeding tube, etc. Your candor and humor has been much appreciated.

    As of now (mid July 2017) I’m just under 18 months since diagnosis and just over 12 months since the end of my treatment. I’ve also been an on/off again avid-ish cyclist since the 90’s, and three days ago I was able to complete a one-day STP, a feat that my chemo doc described as “laughable” and “not a reasonable expectation” just a few months ago. I’m back to cycling, climbing (rock/glacier), backpacking, riding my motorcycle, etc.

    I just received another set of clear scans a couple of weeks ago and am looking forward to my next set in December. I’m now halfway through that stressful “two year” period of likely recurrence, and am hopeful/optimistic about my chances at long-term recovery.

    Again, thank you for creating this blog. It is so informative, humorous, and well-written that I didn’t feel the need to create my own. Let me know if you make it out this way (I’m in the Seattle area) for the STP one of these years or if you end up doing the RAMROD (it’s been on my list for a long time).

    Your friend in survival, Barry.

  3. Hi!

    My father is currently at the end of his treatment for HPV+ squamous cell carcinoma. He has a fellow Lumpy the Lymph Node. He's almost finished with 33 rounds of radiation here at Vanderbilt Medical Center; recently, he had to be admitted because he is completely unable to swallow water. Getting a feeding tube sometime soon. He wrote a post about his experience and asked me to share it with you, hoping you'll reach out. Feel free to send me an email. Here's his post:


    I think it would do him a lot of good to hear from you!

    1. Hello! Thanks for trying to connect me to your dad. If he's right at the end of treatment he's at the bottom right now. In a couple of weeks life will start to improve.

      I would love to reach out to your father, but neither his blog nor your comment have any contact info. My email is john at methot period net.