Such sad news! Rikki Rockett, the drummer for the legendary hair metal band Poison, announced that he’s battling oral cancer. His diagnosis is what Rikki’s calling the hardest part of his life.
Rikki Rockett, 54, told host Eddie Trunk on December 14 during his SiriusXM show Eddie Trunk Live that he was diagnosed with oral cancer in July 2015, and had been undergoing treatments for the disease ever since. Though it’s been a terrifying journey for Rikki and his loved ones, the prognosis is “excellent” for the famed drummer.
So far, Rikki has undergone nine bouts of chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiation treatment to tackle his oral cancer, which is said was caused by HPV (human papilloma virus); “This is very similar to [Iron Maiden’s] Bruce Dickinson, very similar to Michael Douglas, similar to [Aerosmith’s] Tom Hamilton, as far as I know,” he told Eddie.
Rikki was diagnosed after coming down with a sore throat and cold in June 2015, that he just couldn’t kick. After countless rounds of tests and biopsies turned up nothing, a doctor at USC discovered the oral cancer — a tumor at the back of Rikki’s tongue.
“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,’” Rikki said. “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.”
No wonder! Rikki has been responding to treatments well, though, and will be getting at PET scan in February to determine whether or not he’s cancer free. Right now, he says he’s grateful for the support of his family. Even though he and his wife, Melanie Martel, filed for divorce that same July, they’re on very good terms. In fact, his mother-in-law is the person who’s been driving him to all his cancer treatments!
Our thoughts are with Rikki and his loved ones at this time; we wish him a speedy recovery!