Poison's Rockett fighting cancer
Drummer Rikki believes he’s winning battle with tongue tumour
Poison drummer Rikki Rockett has been fighting cancer since June, he’s revealed.
And he’s discussed the intensive treatment he’s received since being told of the diagnosis just before he went on stage over the summer.
The 54-year-old developed a tumour on his tongue – similar to the condition suffered by Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson and Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton.
He’d kept quiet about his cancer since reporting in June that he’d discovered a lump in his throat.
Rockett tells Eddie Trunk: “I kind of clammed up for a while because I really didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know what my chances were.
“The first doctor I went to said, ‘You picked one hell of a cancer to get – it’s very treatable, it’s very curable. But it’s a son of a bitch to treat, and I’m going to hurt ya.’ It scared the hell out of me.”
He underwent nine rounds of chemotherapy followed by 35 radiotherapy sessions. “It was five days a week for seven weeks, and that kicks your dick into the dirt,” he says.
“I got to a stage where I couldn’t talk – I had 16 sores in my mouth at one time. I had to use mouthwash just to drink water.
“But I went, ‘I want to beat it, so I’m just going to go head-first into this. Every single day I’ll do something positive for my health.’”
Rockett, who remains on a liquid diet, has now completed his programme of treatment, and he’ll undergo a final PET scan in February.
He reports: “Both doctors said I’m doing excellent. The PET scan tells you if there’s any activity. They both said they suspect that there won’t be. It looks like it’s in remission.”