Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Like I inhaled fire

I've lost about twenty pounds. My throat hurts, but it's a different kind of hurt. It's not like a sore throat or infection. It's like I inhaled fire and it's raw from the burn. I gargle a lot with the chamomile tea extract and the aloe vera recommended by The Klinik, which really helps. The "magic mouthwash" prescribed by the doctors in Los Angeles doesn't do anything except make me throw up.

I must admit: the morphine suckers work the best!

I know what you're thinking. But it’s not like I get up in the morning, pop a sucker and listen to Hendrix. I only use them as needed. Sorry, but I'd rather have a martini. No olives, though. I couldn't swallow them.

While I’ve been undergoing the treatments in Los Angeles, I've been in contact with my doctor at The Klinik in Germany. She wants me to come to The Klinik for treatments for side effects from the radiation.

Treatments to recover from the treatments...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Had radiation and chemo today. I don't feel all that great. The morphine suckers are working. I'm not in as much pain, which is good. However, it has taken me over two hours to write this blog. 

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Double radiation day

Today is a double radiation session day. 10:30 am and 4:20 pm. Two radiation treatments because it's a holiday week and they won’t be open on Christmas Day. When I told my business partner I was doubling up because of the day off, he said, “If that’s the case, then why don’t you get all the treatments at once, over 48 hours?”

I told him that if I did that, there wouldn’t be anything left. I’d be burnt to a crisp.

My throat is really, really sore. With that and the chemotherapy, I was in bed most of the weekend. I tried writing a blog entry, but I think it was too short to post:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

See what I mean?

I don't like that "magic mouthwash" stuff and I don't like taking OxyContin because that stuff screws you up.

So my doctors here in Los Angeles are getting me morphine suckers. They’re lollipops laced with morphine.

I hope they have raspberry flavor. That’s my favorite.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today the radiation machine broke

Today the radiation machine broke. Then they fixed it. Then I got fried.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My throat is absolutely killing me

Wednesday is a radiation and chemotherapy day. My throat is absolutely killing me and I feel sick. The best thing about today is that I ran into Farrah at the clinic here in L.A. It was great to see her and she looked fantastic.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ten down, thirty to go

Today was my tenth radiation session. Just thirty more to go.

One of the radiation doctors examined me today, looked in my mouth and down my throat. She was amazed how clean it looked, no sores or inflamed areas.

She asked if I was taking the prescribed meds they gave me and I told her the truth.

I said my doctor at The Klinik in Germany had told me to gargle with and drink chamomile tea extract and to do the same with aloe vera, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

She was actually amazed. But now that my throat is getting sore and my voice is getting raspy and I sound like a cross between Bill Clinton and Harvey Fierstein, I’m going to get what they call “Magic Mouthwash,” which is Maalox or Mylanta, Xylocaine viscous, Decadron or hydrocortisone, Benadryl, Nystatin and sometimes tetracycline or erythromycin, depending on what your doctor prescribes.

I get Mylanta, Xylocaine viscous and Benadryl with three olives and barely a drop of vermouth… shaken.

I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I started radiation yesterday afternoon.

It was... interesting.

I just lay there with my mask, anchored to a table and this machine moved around me and stopped in eighteen different positions and radiated me.

At this point I don't feel anything. But they told me that sometime around the tenth session I'll start feeling the sore throat, and by the end of the third week I won't be eating solid foods anymore because it'll be too hard to swallow.

I'll lose my ability to taste for about six to eight months, but they tell me that will come back.

Radiation kills saliva glands. So Dr. Copps, my dental oncologist, gave me some medicine called Salagen. The medicine will help create more saliva from the glands that make it through the treatment.

With my luck, the radiation won't kill any saliva glands and I'll be drooling like a St. Bernard.

But that wasn't the end of it.

There's a prescription drug called OmniiGel. I need it for post-radiation. My prescription co-pays fifteen dollars for it. But today I was told by the pharmacist that my insurance company says OmniiGel is an over-the-counter purchase, not a prescription drug and refuses to pay its share.

So now it costs me sixty dollars.

When I got in the car, I called my insurance company and told them this was a prescription drug.

The person said I was wrong, that it's an over-the-counter drug.

So I asked herwhere I could go and buy this medicine over-the-counter, without a prescription.


She put me on hold.

A supervisor came on. We had a similar conversation.

Then I asked her the same question: "Can you please tell me where I can get this medicine over the counter?"

No answer. She'll get back to me tomorrow.

What happened today is a perfect example of how the insurance companies make it up as they go.

As for me? Just twenty-nine more radiation sessions and I'm done.

Today, I start chemo at noon and radiation at four.

Really, the only fun I'm having is working on that live album with my brothers from 1978.

I'll let you know what the insurance company says.

If they ever call me back.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Aloe vera, milk thistle & OxyContin

I got an email from my doctor at The Klinik today. She gave me a regimen to follow to prevent or lessen the side effects of the radiation and chemo:

Aloe vera every day for gargling and drinking
Make a high-concentrated chamomile tea extract
and gargle several times a day and clean the mouth
Boswelia 400 mg 3x2 tab
Alpha liponic acid 600 mg
Sodium selenite 300 microgramm
Vitamin B complex
Milk thistle 120 mg 3x a day

The radiation oncologist here in Los Angeles says he'll give me prescriptions for lidocaine to numb my burnt throat, and Vicodin and OxyContin for pain.


That's my point.

My doctors here would never prescribe what my doctor at The Klinik did, even if they knew it worked.

Why? The suggested regimen from The Klinik contains natural, holistic supplements that are not controlled and sold by the pharmaceutical companies.

It basically comes down to this: If the pharmaceutical companies can't control it, they can't make huge profits, and therefore would never endorse such a regimen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Six weeks

On Monday I go get fitted for a mask. It's a mask that covers my face and protects my head from the radiation that will be burning into my neck in order to kill those cancer cells in my lymph node.

The doctors here and at The Klinik in Germany agreed that I need low-level radiation, ten minutes a day, five days a week, for six weeks. And six weeks of chemo. I can't say I'm looking forward to it. They tell me the first three weeks will be okay. But on the back half, my throat will be so sore that I won't be able to eat solid food. There goes the thirty pounds I'd worked so hard to put back on. They keep telling me that I have to keep swallowing-- no matter how painful-- and drink as many calories as I can, no matter how long it takes to get it down.

A lot of patients get a feeding tube, but I refused because sometimes people who use tubes actually forget how to swallow and have to go to therapy to learn to swallow again.

I don't have time for that.

It's funny-- no, it's not funny at all really. It's frustrating and infuriating that when they first found the cancer cells, the first thing out of the radiation oncologist's mouth was that I needed full-blown radiation and two nine-week sessions of chemotherapy.

Because that's what it says in their medical books.

They don't think out of the box. I immediately said, "No. I won't do full-blown radiation."

And then my doctor at The Klinik looked at everything and spoke with my doctors here, and suddenly they all agreed:

Low-level radiation.

Ten minutes a day.

Five days a week for six weeks.

Chemo for only six weeks.

See? That gets to the heart of the entire issue. What if I didn't have the second opinion? What if I didn't have a pioneering doctor who's not bound by tradition and a medical and pharmaceutical establishment?

Well, lots of people don't have that option. They have no choice but to follow the initial advice, which is “cut and burn and radiate and poison.”

Most people don't have that option, And it's out there!

I start the treatments on December first and finish on January ninth.

It will take a couple of months before everything is back to normal.

I'm waiting to hear from my doctor at The Klinik. She’'s going to give me a program to follow that the doctors here don't believe in. When I get it, I'll let you know what it is.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Do or die

"If you don't do radiation, you're looking at death."

That's a quote from the radiation oncologist I met with yesterday.

Undergo radiation for the cancer cells in one of my lymph nodes or die.

He was very matter of fact. If you don't do it, you'll die.

That's the third doctor in the United States who told me that I would die if I didn't do what he suggested. The doctor did admit that he and the others don't know all that much about the cyberknife treatment they've been using at The Klinik in Germany for the last 10 years, and that they used on my throat cancer last December.

Then the doctor scoped me, for no other reason than to see what the cyberknifing looked like.

He was blown away. The look on his face was almost funny.

He said, "Wow, I see where they blasted your tumour away. There's nothing there. No sign of the tumour.

“That's... amazing!"

Then he asked me about the side effects from the cyberknife.

I told him that there have been no side effects at all.

That was when he told me about the side effects I could expect from the low-level radiation.


Big difference.

If I do the low-level radiation, it will be one ten-minute session a day, five days a week, for six weeks. There should be no side effects for the first two to three weeks. Then he said I'll get the worst sore throat known to man-- so sore that I won't be able to eat solid foods and will even have a difficult time with liquids. He said I can expect to lose thirty or forty pounds.

The key, the doctor said, is to keep swallowing and eating and drinking, no matter how painful.

(My business partner bet me a hundred dollars that it won't stop me from talking.)

I've been in touch with the doctors at The Klinik, and this morning I got an email from The Klinik's cyberknife doctor He's waiting for the PT scans and report to arrive, and then he'll give me his opinion on whether I should be cyberknifed or go through the "low-level, non-invasive and very focused" radiation treatment.

I'll know more Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008



I've been in constant contact with my doctor at The Klinik in Germany, and my doctor here in LA has also been talking to my doctor at The Klinik. The reason for all this communication is to get all the information that's available about the various treatments that are available.

And then I'll decide which one I want to do.

To bring you up to date, a year after my first cancer treatments, cancer cells were found in one of my lymph nodes. There's no tumour or mass, just cancer cells that are probably a "drain-off" from the original tumour that was removed at The Klinik last December.

It's not unexpected, but it means another slog through the same treatments.

Tomorrow I meet with a radiation oncologist.

Because of where the lymph node is located, I might be able to undergo a low-level, non-invasive and very focused radiation treatment that would kill the cancer cells in that one lymph node and any undetectable micro-cancer cells that might be in the surrounding lymph nodes.

In any case, I start my first of two chemotherapy "sessions" next week. Each session lasts nine weeks.

After the first session, I'll either get the cyberknife or the low, non-invasive and very focused radiation treatment. Then, another nine weeks of chemotherapy.

I will not have to be operated on, which is good because that would have left my neck indented-- or as they call it, "collapsed."

Anyway, while I wait for all the info, I've gone back on my cancer diet, which is basically eating like a gerbil. All organic veggies, wild caught fish, and organic chicken.

No red meat, no sugar, no coffee.

And no vodka.

I'll let you know the outcome of my appointment with the radiation oncologist as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, that picture up top is from a computer printout I just got back from The Klinik.

That's me at the moment I was getting zapped by the cyberknife.

Cool, huh?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yes, there were cancer cells in the lymph node

 First of all, thanks to thank everyone for your good thoughts and prayers. I truly do appreciate all the support. So here's the deal so far:

The biopsy came back and yes, there were cancer cells in the lymph node.

Remember, we always knew that there were cancer cells still in my body. That's why the Erbitux and Thalidomide. I've sent my latest scan and biopsy results to my doctor at The Klinik in Germany. At this point, all I know is that I will have to do some type of chemotherapy and I'll lose all my hair again-- which is fine; it was getting too long, anyway.

My doctor here in Los Angeles mentioned cutting it out, then chemo and radiation, which is the traditional American procedure. Today my doctor in Germany called and said nothing of cutting anything out, or traditional radiation. She hasn't seen the scan or biopsy results yet, but she has talked to my doctor here and I also e-mailed her and told her everything I knew, so she has enough information. She suggested the cyberknife, which is a very focused, pinpoint laser radiation beam that only radiates the necessary area and kills the cancer cells.

I’ll talk to her on Sunday and she’ll tell me what to do.

It's been really hard to concentrate with all this happening, but I've been working on scripts and putting together a live album that my brothers and I recorded in 1978.

That's all I know for now. Sorry I didn't get to this on Wednesday. That's when I found out the biopsy results.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It could be nothing...

I got the results of my scan and all is clear.

However, on the PT scan a lymph node on the left side of my throat was measured at 10 mm. On my scan on July 24th this lymph node was at 7mm. The 3mm increase could mean a number of things. It could be nothing. It could be inflamed because of the erbitux.

Or the lymph node could have cancer cells in it.

So today I went in for a biopsy. That was fun. Five needles stuck deep in my neck to get tissue out of the lymph node.

I’m supposed to get the results from the biopsy on Monday. My doctor here said that if there are cancer cells in the lymph node, they’ll operate to remove it.

I’ll tell you right now:

If there are cancer cells in that lymph node, before anyone cuts me open I’m calling my doctor in Germany.

I’ll let you know the results on Monday. Right now, it’s time to take my Thalomid and stare at the floor.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I wasn't going to mention that I haven't blogged in a while. You should have gotten the picture about my blogging habits by now. But the fact is I'm still feeling pretty rotten.  The shingles are gone, thank God, and the erbitux and the pimples I can deal with, but it’s the Thalomid I hate. It flattens you out and turns you into a zombie. I have to take the stuff until the second week of January.

On the bright side, I haven’t stopped working and we’re producing some of our best material ever.  Our movie, The Seventh Python, is headed to film festivals around the world-- so I’ll get to meet a lot more of you-- we’re producing a one-man comedy show that has its second preview on the Sunset Strip on Tuesday (no, I’m not the star), and Burt and I are finishing a pilot script for a hilarious new television series-- and starting to write the other episodes.

So life does go on.  And upward.

Today I go in for my third PT and CT scans to make sure all is still clear.

I have to do this every three months for the next two years, then every six months for the next five years.

The scans combine X-rays with sophisticated computer equipment to produce images of the inside of my body. A scanner is a large box with a tunnel in the center. They stick me on a narrow table and slide me inside. I’ve only got one problem with them: I'm claustrophobic.

So they give me drugs to relax and I've convinced them to put me in the tube head first instead of feet first, so when I get to the other end of the tunnel I can tilt my head back and see the ceiling.

What a pain in ass I am.

One more thing: I was supposed to get the results of the scans later today, but I won’t get them until Monday because my doctor is guesting on a television show.

Only in Hollywood.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I know. It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. By the way, I hate that word “blogged.” Maybe that’s got something to do with it.  I’m not a “blogger.” I mean, I don’t want to be a “blogger.” But here I go. My apologies if you’ve been waiting or wondering.  It’s been quite month.  And I haven’t felt much like blogging.

I’ve started new maintenance treatments.

Along with my weekly dose of Erbitux that gives me pimples like a teenager, I now take 150 mg of Thalomid (thalidomide) every day that make me feel like shit.

On top of that I’ve got shingles.

For those of you who don’t know what shingles are, I’ll tell you.

Shingles is a skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. After an individual has chicken pox, the virus lives in the nervous system and is never fully cleared from the body. Under certain circumstances, such as emotional stress, immune deficiency from chemotherapy for cancer, or AIDS, the virus reactivates, causing shingles.

They are incredibly painful!

So, other than the pimples, feeling like shit and the shingles, all is well.

I know some of you are saying, Isn’t Thalidomide the drug that caused birth defects back in the fifties and sixties?  It is.  But they’ve found a number of other good uses for the drug. In the States, we don’t take advantage of it, but in Germany it’s part of the maintenance-- or preventive-- treatments. This is what the doctors at The Klinik told me and why it’s important that I take it. 

Cancer cells that are active in the blood have an inflammation that surrounds the cell. Thalidomide removes the inflammation from around the cell then the cell dies. I do this until the second week of January. 

Then they’ll take my blood and check it for micro cancer cells.

If it’s clear, I’m done with treatments.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up To Pharmaceutical Companies, Insurance Companies and Doctors

The Stand Up To Cancer telethon is getting underway on the networks right now.

I think it’s great to bring awareness to this disease and I think it’s great to give this money to the top research doctors across the country to try to find a cure for cancer.

But here’s my problem with the whole thing.

What about the treatments that are already available in other parts of the world?

I’m talking about the treatments that work.

Why aren’t they available here in the United States? 

Is it because some of the medicine I was given in Germany is natural and homeopathic and not controlled by the pharmaceutical companies, so insurance companies won’t cover it? 

Or is it because when I went to The Klinik, I was given one radiation session instead of  the seventy I was to undergo in the States.

Every time I ask myself this question, I keep coming up with the same answer:



When you get chemo, the inside of your mouth gets sore and raw.

Here in the States, they gave me a prescription that I finally gave up on and stopped using.

In Germany, my doctor told me to make ice cubes out of chamomile tea and suck on them.

The ice cubes worked!

So, bottom line, I think we should “Stand Up To Cancer” and “Stand Up To Pharmaceutical Companies, Insurance Companies and Doctors.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Important anniversaries

It was one year ago today that I had an MRI that determined the cancer I had was far more serious and extensive than doctors had first thought.

The anniversary of my biopsy results was August 25th.  That’s when I was told I had Stage 4 throat cancer, the worst possible.

It’s funny. I forgot the date.  The anniversary passed.  But anyway, the doctor said it appeared to be limited to my tonsil—they could see the tumour— and they said they could get at it and literally remove my tonsil and that would be it.

But two days later--a year ago today-- I had the MRI, which is like a PET scan of my head and neck, and they discovered that the cancer went from the base of my neck to the top of my tongue.

And they said it was growing up and down, which was not good. The good news was they they didn’t find cancer anywhere else in my body.

In the short time from a year ago today to October 1st when I started chemotherapy, the cancer kept growing.  It had grown sideways-- which it normally doesn’t do, and it dug what they call “fingers” in the cartilage of my throat.  All in less than five weeks!

And that was not good.  That’s why I was doused with chemotherapy.

It didn’t work and they didn’t get the “fingers” out until I went to The Klinik and had what’s called embolism treatment, which allowed me to get the Cyberknife to get the “fingers” out.

We’ll be getting to all that in The Klinik.

Meanwhile, I’ve been getting a lot of emails, as you know, but lately I’ve been hearing  from a lot of people in the medical profession: nurses, people who work in MRI, catscan and X-ray departments, all kinds of technicians.

One is a friend named Julie who teaches at a small nursing college on Ottawa, Canada.  She asked if she could show The Klinik website to her colleagues and students. (Of course!)

And they’re all fascinated and asked, Why isn’t this treatment available everywhere?  Why do you have to go to Germany? 

The answer is simple:

The pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and doctors.

Ha!  I’m sounding like Michael Moore and I don’t want to sound like Michael Moore.

I’ve told you about the people I met at the Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago. One of them runs a Paul McCartney website and she put together a page. Check it out by clicking here.

Thanks to “Sweet Banana” and all of you who’ve put together pages and photos like the one above.

And there’s one more thing about this week’s anniversaries:  From the very first time the doctor told me I had cancer, I was determined to not waste any time-- and to get this thing out of my body!

I’ll get into that as I keep up with the story of my year.  And I’ll try to remember the important anniversaries!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Christina Applegate

I read about Christina Applegate this morning and I felt terrible.

She found out that she had breast cancer and opted immediately for a double mastectomy. This beautiful, vivacious young woman went for the last resort first! I wonder if she knew that there were other options she could have taken, not only here but obviously in other countries. Like Germany.

It was one year ago today, August 19th, 2007, that I went to the doctor because I couldn’t swallow. He took one look at my throat and said, “It looks like throat cancer. Go get a biopsy.”

In fact, it was Stage 4 throat cancer. And I was told by that second doctor to have the “morbid operation”—doesn’t that sound nice?— an operation that would remove my ability to speak and swallow. The doctor recommended the full-blown operation, radiation, and chemotherapy, and then plastic surgery later to rebuild my neck, the lower right part of my jaw and the top of my right shoulder.

That was the first option I was given.

The next doctor told me to get my life in order.

The third told me that there was a treatment, and if I lived through the treatment— if the treatment didn’t kill me-- I’d have a cure,

The most important thing in a situation like this is to take charge of your life. I went ton nine different doctors before I found out about The Klinik.

Christina found out that she had cancer in one breast and she had a double mastectomy! That should have been the last resort. And that’s why it’s so important to get the word—and the options—out there.

As for me, my preventative treatment continues.

I started taking thalidomide on Friday. I know, most of us remember it as that drug that caused birth defects when it was taken by pregnant women back in the Sixties. But low doses of thalidomide stop growth of micro cancer cells. I have to sign all kinds of papers to get it. If I lose a prescription I have to report it, in case it gets in the wrong hands.

I have to take the pills for three months. And I’m off right now to get another bag of Erbitux.

So take charge! I feel for Christina and send her all my best. I only wish she hadn’t taken the last resort first, and isn’t sending the wrong message.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

At the Beatles fan convention

I was at a Beatles fan convention in Chicago over the weekend.

The Fest for Beatles Fans has been in operation for 34 years, attracting fans from all over the world. I was there for a couple of reasons. My partner in Frozen Pictures, Burt Kearns, and I were screening The Seventh Python, our film about Neil Innes. Neil was there, too. He’s been a huge attraction at the fan fests because of his work with the Beatles and the Rutles.

And I was there with my brother Mark, as a Hudson Brother. Mark’s also been a Beatles Fest star because he produced and wrote with Ringo (we both were friends with John). And now that our Razzle Dazzle Show TV series from the Seventies is coming out on DVD, and we’re going to do a Hudson brothers reunion concert and film with our brother Bill, it was a weekend of signing autographs, jamming onstage, and telling stories.

Word had definitely spread among the fans about my year and The Klinik. I can’t tell you the amount of people who came up to me on that autograph line, and in the lobby, in the elevator, in the restaurant— even in the middle of the night in the parking lot when someone pulled a fire alarm at three in the morning-- to talk about my recovery. Well, I can tell you, and I will. It was a lot! So many people told me my story was inspirational. And everybody— everybody— had their own story. “My aunt had cancer... my brother had cancer... my daughter... my mother— I have cancer.”

One gentleman had the same type of cancer I had. He unfortunately had a big scar across his neck because he had the radiation treatments and the whole works. He, like me, beat it, but it made me feel bad because he should have at least had the option to try what I did. Even if it didn’t work, he could have had the operation, but he didn’t have the option.

He didn’t have the option.

That’s what I don’t understand about our medical system. And by “our,” I mean the American medical system.

My brother Mark was at my side the entire weekend. And he stayed close the entire time I was in Germany. He must have texted me twice a day, asking if there was anything he could do, making sure I was all right, praying for me, encouraging me. And it’s important to have that support system. My family, Mark and my brother Bill, my friends-- all that is so important to the healing process.

All this, from the time I learned I had cancer in August a year ago, led me to that Beatles fans convention over the weekend, sitting there signing autographs and standing up to pose for photos.

They say your life flashes before your eyes. Well it doesn’t flash. It passes before your eyes incredibly slowly. I don’t want to say I did a Bucket List, but my cancer did make me think of what was at the top of that list of what I’d like to do. And the first thing that flashed was playing one more time with my brothers Bill and Mark.

So here we are. And I have to thank all the people in Chicago who told me that they want to get involved and join this crusade.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm going to Capitol Hill like Michael J. Fox

Things have got to change in this country. And they're going to change. We're going to make them change.

I told you about Erbitux. Erbitux (generic name cetuximab) is a cancer medication that slows the growth of cancer cells. For me, it's part of the maintenance program I'm on to make sure that I remain cancer-free. I use a bag of it every week. I go into the doctor's office in Santa Monica and get an IV drip. It takes about an hour.

As I mentioned last week, each bag of Erbitux costs $4,000. The same bag of Erbitux costs four hundred and twenty five dollars in Germany, by the way. But I have insurance, so it doesn’t matter, right?

Well, this week I found out that my insurance company won't pay for the Erbitux because they consider me to be "cured." I called up and I told them this is part of my treatment. This treatment is keeping me alive and making sure I stay cancer-free. The guy said there's nothing they can do. I said, “There is something they can do.” And I told him, "You will pay for this. One of these days, you'll pay for this for everyone.”

There are people dying out there every day, and they can’t afford the medicines they need because insurance won’t cover them-- if they can afford insurance in the first place. As it is, when I go to a doctor, I have to pay for the visit out of my own pocket and then I have to submit the bill to the insurance company and try to beat it out of them.

Today, I get another letter: the insurance company says they won’t pay for a medicine because they say they don’t know what it has to do with treating my cancer!

Why am I paying for insurance?

I'm telling you, it got me going. I decided I want to go to Washington. I want to go to Washington, D.C. and speak before Congress. I want to look them in the eye and say, "Shame. On. You. Shame on you for not doing something about this. People are dying."

It’s a coincidence. I saw Michael J. Fox on TV. They showed him speaking before Congress. And he was making some really important points about Parkinson's and cell research. But I noticed he was reading from a sheet of paper.

I'm not going to read from a sheet of paper! I'm going to say it in my own words. I'm going to speak like I normally do-- I won't swear, though-- and I'm going to talk for all the people who are looking for help and help isn't available to them. Like many of the people who send me e-mails. I decided. I want to go to Capitol Hill.

McCain? Obama? All of them. They're going to hear from me. They're going to hear from us. All of us.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A wing and a prayer

I just got an appearance release in the mail. An appearance release is a contract that I’d sign to give my permission to appear in a TV show or movie. In this case, it’s an NBC TV special about Farrah Fawcett’s cancer journey.

Farrah was my “cancer buddy” in Germany.

We traveled together from The Klinik to other private medical facilities in places like Frankfurt and Munich, and her friend Alana Stewart was there with a small video camera, shooting video along the way. Combine that with the stuff my wife Vinnie and I were shooting, and it was a little surreal. As they say, “You can take the kids out of Hollywood…” But it wasn’t a movie, it was a real life-and-death situation. And even when we were going through it, we all knew we had to use the experience to help others.

Farrah is a sweetheart. She really is. She had it much worse than I did. Doctors here had given up. But she found new life in Germany.

Of course I’m giving permission to appear in her TV special, which right now is called A Wing and A Prayer. They also want to do a follow-up interview with me and I’ll do that, too. Farrah and I both broke into Hollywood in the Seventies. We ran in some of the same circles. But now, she’ll always be my “buddy.”

Farrah’s TV special will focus on Farrah, and her ordeal. She’s an American icon and it should be about her.
But The Klinik isn’t about me. I’ll be in it— and so will Farrah and Alana, among many others-- and I’ll tell my story, but my experience is merely the jumping off point to something much, much bigger.

Hey, I’m just glad my hair grew back in time to be on TV!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Not alone

I’ve probably mentioned more than once that I’m no blogger, but if things continue the way they have in the five days since we went public with this site and The Klinik project, I can probably fill all my posts with emails and letters people are sending.

I won’t, but I will say I’m touched by the words of support and humbled by the responsibility now that people are coming to me, looking for answers.

There’s a lot to write about. For now, I’ll share some more emails, if only to show that you’re not alone:

Include my email to one of many who just saw the Klinik website. Bravo you! As a person who worked volunteer in hospice and has seen friends go through the ravages of treatment, I applaud and am so proud of you for showing there are alternative therapies that work outside our pharma-controlled medical industry. People die and they don't have to. I am glad you took that extra step of taking your wellness into your own hands. Perhaps if big Pharma would let our doctor's practice medicine correctly, they might eventually get it right.

Again, I applaud you and owe you a big hug for doing this! I already have two friends going through treatment I am going to tell about the Klinik!


I checked out the site this morning. You are a brave & wonderful soul and bless you for sharing your story. I watched my Daddy die from cancer and I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

Blessings, baby doll. Take care of yourself.


I couldn't sleep last night so I woke up and saw your bulletin on myspace. I had no idea how ill you were. And I am so happy to hear that you found an alternative to your miraculous recovery. God is truly good all the time. 

My Mom is a cancer survivor from years ago when uterine cancer was pretty much a death sentence, but I remember the chemo just knocking the very wind out of her every weekend. As you know, it not only effects the person going through the cancer, it effects the entire family. But she is still here at almost 78 years of age.

I don't knock American medicine either, but alternative medicine seems the way to go now. I will keep you and your family in prayer Brett. I hope we get the opportunity to meet someday.

God Bless you keep you...


I just ran across your website about The Klinik. I am fighting back the tears as I read about your journey and view the photos. You've been through so much and I think it's wonderful that you're sharing this information with others. We are all so thankful that you made it through!

The cat's claw reminded me of a clinical trial we had for sharks cartilage. So much has changed since my Protocol Research days at MD Anderson Cancer Ctr. I left in 99 and the advances that have been made are incredible. There's never a 'good time' to have cancer. But this may have happened to you at this time for a reason. Maybe you were meant to survive this so you could tell others.

I can't wait to see the movie!

Peace & Love...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

East meets West meets insurance

As I’ve said, I’m tumor- and cancer-free now—knock on wood-- but my treatments aren’t over.

Today I headed into town for my weekly IV drips of Vitamin C and D, followed by my regular doses of

* cat’s claw and astragalus-- they’re pills they told me to take in Germany.
I order them from a place in New Mexico called Herb Stop;

* Kumin, which is an immune builder (it’s all-natural, by the way);

* something called ICG-Forte, which protects the stomach and esophagus;

* and for my liver, Hepa-Merz Granulat 3000, a packet I mix with water.

When I left the States for The Klinik, my liver was twice its size from the chemotherapy dousing. I started taking this Hepa-Merz stuff. and when I returned from Germany, my liver was back to its normal size. All of this is holistic, natural medicine. You see, the treatments I’ve received are a mix of treatments from the East and the West.

I also go to the doctor’s office once a week to get an IV bag of something called Erbitux. It works hand-in-hand with the chemotherapy, and now that I’m done with the chemo, it helps hold the effects.

The downside to Erbitux is that when I take it, I break out on my back and on my chest. The upside is that when I break out, I know it’s working. I think I’ll trade the teenage skin for my life.

The Erbitux costs $4,000 a bag. I take it once a week.

The last thing I take is called On the Rock nutrition. It’s a natural vitamin supplement. The doctors recommended it, and by coincidence, my wife’s close friend Pat Benatar endorses it, and her husband Neil Giraldo developed it! So I got it from Pat and Neil.

Insurance covers most of the treatments and medicine. It doesn’t cover any of the natural medicines. And that’s costing me a lot of money. The whole insurance situation is also going to be covered in The Klinik.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The answers are out there

I don’t know how people are finding out about this site so quickly. We only put it up yesterday and already my cellphone voicemail and email box are filling up with messages from people I don’t even know, asking me for information or just talking about their own experiences with cancer.

One woman wrote:

“I found your site TheKlinikMovie and read your blog. I gave a long family history of cancer. It’s something I deal with every day. Take care and God bless you.”

I hope The Klinik will reveal a lot but I can you tell you now that the answers are out there if you just look beyond what’s placed in front of you.

It’s funny. Chastity Bono called me this morning. I used to babysit Chaz when she was four! She called to say that a friend’s mother has ovarian cancer. She said, “I called my mom and got your number to ask if it’s okay if my friend’s mom calls you.” She wants me to tell her about the klinik and what it’s like and what to look forward to. I said, of course it’s all right!

That’s how it works. Just like Chastity’s mom led me to The Klinik, now I get calls. I get a lot of calls from people I don’t even know. And if what I went through can help them, I’m glad to help. I don’t know if it’s my mission, but it’s definitely my obligation now, to give something back and try to help people the way I was helped. So I’ll help the best I can and answer any emails you send.

That’s all I can do and that’s what we hope this movie will do.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My first blog entry

No, I don’t blog.  I can’t believe I actually have a blog.  But, yep, I had cancer.  So here we go.

I know this will come as a surprise to a lot of you.  I got the word on August 25th 2007 that I had throat cancer.  Stage Four. There’s not a Stage Five.  I saw a number of doctors. I was told to get my affairs in order.  You know the drill. I headed into the usual treatments even though the prognosis wasn’t good.  I was about to head into seventy sessions of radiation.  they’d already fitted me with a lead mask and yanked out some teeth.

And then Cher told me about The Klinik.  The Saturday after Thanksgiving-- the Monday before my first radiation blasts-- I  stopped the treatments here in L.A. and headed off to Europe.

That’s where I spent Christmas.  And New Year’s.  Lying in bed with IVs in my body and feeling like, well, you know the drill.  Bottom line is I’m still here.  The cancer isn’t. 

And that’s how this movie got started.  Again, we’re not out to make the American medical system look bad. You already know that drill, too. 

But we do want to show that if you’re not satisfied with your prognosis or your treatments, there are alternatives. And it’s a lot different than than 30 years ago when my uncle Keenan Wynn’s motorcycle buddy Steve McQueen went down to Mexico for laetrile and other “cures.”

Uncle Keenan  died of pancreatic cancer. He also went to Mexico looking for a cure.

That’s all part of the story we’re telling in this movie.

It’s not all about me.  But I am around to answer questions. i’ll also keep you up to date on my maintenance treatments and look back on what I went through in the past year. I’ll be keeping you up to date on the progress of this project.  So keep in touch.