During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine offered an update on his battle with throat cancer. The frontman said he is “on the other side of the majority of the treatment” and that he is feeling “really strong.”
Mustaine said the following about his current health:
“I’m on the other side of the majority of the treatment, and I feel really strong. After the radiation, the guy said all of my test results looked amazing. ‘You look like you’re in a stage 1 and you’re supposed to be in stage 3 right now.’ And then the oncologist said the same thing: ‘You look really strong.’ So we kept moving through the process.”
He also revealed how he found out about the cancer:
“I was on tour, and I just had some dental work done when I was at home. My teeth are really, really, really sensitive, because I’m a redhead. When I had a temporary crown replaced with a permanent one, I told the dentist, “It feels like they broke off one of those little pointy tools in my gum.” It just felt like something was wrong in my tooth area. So the dentist goes, “Well, you should go see an oral surgeon.”
So I see the oral surgeon, and he was such a cock. I was in the chair, and he looks at me and then he takes off. And I’m sitting there, and I’m waiting and waiting and waiting, and he comes back in and he goes, “It looks like the Big C. You need to go see an ear, nose, and throat doctor.” I was just stunned with his bedside manner; he was just such a dick. So I went out into my car and I was obviously very upset. And then I went back out on to the Experience Hendrix tour.
The friend of a guy I have an endorsement deal with is an ER guy, and he came out on tour to look at my throat. And he goes, “Oh, I see this 20 times a day. There’s nothing there. Just get it checked out when you get home.” And I went, “Thank God.” So I went and played the Hendrix stuff. I was having a blast. So when we were playing Florida, we go see an ENT and get checked out. Two weeks go by. I thought, “No news is good news, right?” So I finally get him on the phone, and he goes, “Oh, yeah. You have cancer.”
He added the following when asked if he is cleared to tour:
“Well, they didn’t say that. But they’re freaking out over how well I’ve healed. I’ve got people around the globe praying for me. I take good care of myself, and I don’t know how anybody can expect any other outcome than this, knowing me. I never settle for anything but complete success or, in this case, victory.”
Mustaine also talked about the support he has been receiving from friends, fans, and family, including fellow musicians:
“…It came as quite a surprise. A lot came from people that I knew but I didn’t know cared. Most notably, I got a text message back from my old brother, James Hetfield, and I was so, so happy to hear from him. Contrary to what anybody says and contrary to any of the act that we put on, I love James and I know that James loves me and cares about me. You can see that when the moment of truth is here and I’m telling the world that I’ve got a life-threatening disease. Who comes to stand next to me? James.
And I got a text message from Ozzy, and one from Paul Stanley. It was great to get one from Ozzy; I didn’t expect it from Paul Stanley. That was super bitchin’ because in the beginning, when Kiss first came out, I was just a kid and I loved them.
I’m really grateful for everybody. Even the people who have a hard time with my behavior and my big mouth, I’m just so grateful for them showing care for me. Like they say, at the end of the day, all we’ve got is each other here in this crazy metal community.”
He also revealed that Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, who previously had throat cancer, has given him support and advice as well:
“I didn’t sing yet. I spoke with Bruce [Dickinson] from Iron Maiden, and he said when he had his disease [a cancerous tumor on the back of his tongue], after his treatment was done, he was told that he needed between three to six months of rest. He said to me that he didn’t listen and had a little bit of trouble, so then he realized he needed to listen. So he did and his voice came back stronger than ever. I care so much about Bruce; he was another really supportive brother to me during this whole thing. He explained to me how he did it, and it really helped. I’m just looking forward to if there’s ever a circumstance where this happens to another one of my peers, I can return the favor and help them. It’s a tricky disease, but they’ve got doctors all over the place that are figuring this shit out.”
Mustaine went on to say Megadeth might release some new material around their European/UK tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Bad Wolves:
“We were planning on making a new record, but because of the cancer visiting our camp, we’ve had to recalibrate things. The management had suggested we record a few songs prior to going out with the Five Finger Death Punch guys. They had suggested we record three songs as “early offerings.” The other thing, too, is I’ve been going over my new book with my cowriter Joel Selvin. We’re talking about the making of ‘Rust in Peace‘. So I’m reliving that and listening to the music.
So right now, I’m bleeding Rust in Peace. That’s one of the reasons why I can’t wait to get ahold of my guitar because I’m just so excited and so thrilled that I’ve got this adrenaline stuff that’s going on right now like crazy. I just finished the part in the book where I started doing the whole skydiving, and I don’t know if you’ve ever skydived, but what a fun thing to do. What a rush.”
You can read more from Mustaine over at Rolling Stone.