#667: Cancer Chronicles 11

You might have noticed I’ve been quiet the last few days. I have not been able to respond to comments. The reason is, once again, I am supporting someone who has cancer. This person is very close to both Jen and I. They just had their successful surgery yesterday.  Now, on to chemo.

It’s all very much deja-vu.  Hotel rooms out of town, hospital waiting rooms, doctors and nurses.  Yesterday we clocked 10 hours waiting at the hospital.  That’s a long day — longer than a work day, and twice as tiring.  My dad said to me, “I think you deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor”.  But that’s only for Americans.  I’ll settle for a plate of sushi at the end of it.

Fuck cancer.  Two weeks ago, an original Sausagefester died of cancer.  I’ve known him for 23 years.  Some of the guys have known him since childhood.  His absence this summer will be deeply felt.  We will all miss our friend in the orange boiler suit.

These are dark days.  Neither of them wanted any online attention, so I’m being purposely vague.   Just know that 2018 has already taken a toll, and it’s only 1/4 of the way done.

Music has been a blessing, as always.  Yesterday the clever frivolity of Spinal Tap kept my spirits up.  It’s impossible not to laugh at the absurd “Stonehenge” or the just plain funny “Big Bottom”.  (“Talk about bum cakes, my girl’s got em.”)

Fuck the dark days.  I do not want to be dragged down by them.  I also don’t want any more of my loved ones to get sick, but we know we have no control over that.  That is the struggle of life.  All I can do is try to keep smiling.  So here’s Spinal Tap.  Enjoy.


Look for Derek Smalls’ solo debut, Smalls Change, April 13 2018.


  1. Hang in there bro! Love your site. And it’s true that music has healing powers. Started a new job and was so beat yesterday when I got home that I could barely stand. Put on BRHG’s latest Heal and felt a whole lot better. Still a bit envious of you being able to listen to your favorite radio station at work. We should all be so lucky. Listening to Yngwie’s Fire&Ice at the moment. What’s your take on Yngwie?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Yngwie in moderation! I don’t have Fire & Ice, that was the one with Goran Edman right? Had a couple good tunes like “Judas”. I have a few favourite Yngwie albums. Trilogy is great, with Mark Boals. They did an album with Mike Vescera from Loudness that I loved.


    1. Well, the lovely Mrs. LeBrain was sleeping in the passenger side seat, so I had to keep the Spinal Tap a little lower. But don’t worry I’ll be rocking plenty loud enough!


  2. Take care, Mike; I can’t imagine the emotional impact this is having given your recent experiences. Sending positive thoughts and good vibes to you guys.


  3. Spinal tap can always draw a smile
    I’m sorry to hear about your friend Mike – thinking of you guys, I know they’ll really appreciate your support, make sure you & Jen take care of yourselves too


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