Poison’s Rikki Rockett has revealed that he’s been diagnosed with oral cancer. The drummer learned of his ailment after growing sick in June, and eventually, a doctor at USC discovered a tumor at the base of his tongue. Another doctor at USC told Rockett that he’d contracted a “hell of a cancer” but one that was “very treatable.” The cause was HPV.
Rockett maintained a positive outlook throughout the many rounds of chemo. “At the end of the day, it was really the worst thing that you can go through, for me,” he said. “I’ve had a decent life. … It was just a battle that I had to get through, and I got to the point where I couldn’t really talk. I had, I think, 16 canker sores in my mouth at one time. And it’s, like, if you could take your throat and turn it inside out and sunburn it. … I had to use this stuff called Magic Mouthwash just to drink the water. It hurt so bad, I couldn’t. … And I’m still on a liquid diet.”
Rockett says that as of last week, the prognosis is good. “Both [of my] doctors said I’m doing excellent, and they both have excellent prognosis,” he says. “In early February, I get my PET scan, and that’s the end-all. That tells you if there’s any activity. They both said they suspect that there won’t be. And so I’ve got fingers crossed. … It looks like it’s in remission.”