Last June, Motley Crue drummer Randy Castillo was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, which put his appearance on the band’s Maximum Road tour in jeopardy. Ultimately Hole drummer Samantha Mahoney took over the sticks for the entire tour.
It turned that Castillo had been suffering with a duodenal ulcer and needed the entire summer to recuperate from the surgery. But that wasn’t the end of Castillo’s health woes.
In a post on the band’s official Web site, www.motley.com, Castillo comes clean about his stomach surgery and his subsequent bout with cancer.
“Earlier this past June, I was playin’ a gig with my other band, Azul, when right in the middle of the show I started feelin’ faint and nauseous,” Castillo writes. “On the way home I started getting a pain in my stomach that felt like I was being stabbed with an ice pick.”
Castillo had a cab driver take him to Cedars Sinai hospital where he collapsed in the doorway to the emergency room and was rushed into surgery. “What happened was I had a duodenal ulcer which ate a hole through the lining of my stomach and once it opened up all that acid in the tummy just pours into your lower intestines and wreaks havoc,” he writes. “My doctor said my ulcer was caused by a bacteria that is contagious called h-pylori. I thought it was my love of drink and good times that at least contributed, but no, it was a bug that apparently many people have and don’t even realize that they do!”
As though his stomach ailments weren’t bad enough, Castillo says that two months later, he was shaving when he noticed a “small, painless lump” under his jawline. “A month later it was the size of a ping pong ball! I finally stopped my denial and went and had it checked out. It was ‘the big C’ alright, Squamous Cell Carcinoma to be exact and it was mean and aggressive.”
Castillo headed back into surgery on Oct. 13, and had the tumor removed, but as a result missed the Crue’s tour of Australia and Japan. The drummer claims that currently his recovery consists of five days of radiation each week as well as chemotherapy once every three weeks. “Cancer is a bitch,” he writes.
“The reason I rambled is because I just want anybody out there to know that if you ever have the slightest inkling of a symptom, whether it be a lump or a sore anywhere on your body or anything that looks or feels suspicious, go get it checked out fast because with cancer, time is of the essence. Anyway I’m gonna be fine, I gotta do a mean dance with the devil but I’m gonna beat this thing and return more badass than ever!”
Castillo also claims that during his recovery, he has “been getting’ my creative ya-ya`s through my art,” and painting in his spare time. For those interested in Castillo’s other artistic pursuits, they can go to www.fcukingcontagious.net and see if Castillo’s oils measure up to his drumming.