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Blink-182 band member Mark Hoppus recently announced he's battling cancer, but he didn't say much about his diagnosis or situation until a new Q&A, recorded by the YouTube account blink-182 Chile. In addressing questions from fans, Hoppus announced the specific type of cancer he has and revealed some of the realities of battling the disease that people often don't talk about. Read on to find out what Hoppus said.
Mark Hoppus was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Mark Hoppus announced that he was battling cancer at the end of June on Twitter, but it wasn't until July that the 47-year-old musician shared what kind of cancer he has. In answer to a fan question, Hoppus said that his cancer is "not bone-related, it's blood-related," noting he has stage 4 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, specifically "stage 4A."
While he wasn't quite sure what the "A" stood for, Hoppus said stage 4 means that the cancer has spread to other parts of his body, "which I think is the highest that it goes," he said. The American Cancer Society confirms that, saying late stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma has a five-year survival rate of 57 percent.
According to Lymphoma.org, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It affects your white blood cells, which are key for creating antibodies to fight infections. At the moment, due to the coronavirus, Hoppus said he's stuck at home since his body is prone to contracting the virus.
Hoppus said one of the worst aspects of chemo treatment is one many people haven't heard of before.
Hoppus has had four rounds of chemo and expects to have two more. "The first chemo, I felt like I was a zombie that fell onto an electric fence and was just being shocked," he said during the Q&A. "The second round of chemo, I just felt very weak and tired—really just like the worst flu ever. The third round of chemo, I started retching, nauseous, and that whole thing."
This week, Hoppus tweeted that he finished his fourth round of chemo and has been struggling. "Had chemo on Wednesday and felt like hot garbage and haven't really slept since," he wrote on Friday.
But while many of those side effects of chemo are often talked about, Hoppus said one that isn't is called "chemo brain." "Let me tell you something that is real and it absolutely sucks: A side effect of the chemotherapy is you get something called 'chemo brain,'" he said. "I forget things that I should have just on-call, like names, song titles, anything. I just forget stuff. People will be talking to me and five minutes later I'll ask them a question, and they'll be like, 'I just told you that five minutes ago.' So, kinda sucks. Really sucks."
He also said the treatment has ruined one of his favorite things.
Hoppus said he's very intentional with what he spends his time doing while receiving chemo treatment, so as not to later associate any of the things he loves with this difficult time in his life.
"I do not listen to any music during chemo. I don't eat any of the foods that I like while I'm actually in the chair. When I'm done, knock wood, with chemo, I don't want to associate anything at all with the chemo," he said.
But one thing was unavoidable, he explained. "I'm already super bummed because one of the chemicals or drugs or whatever that they give me, you have to chew ice while you're getting it because otherwise you'll get mouth sores. And they have the ice that I really like there, like the kind of crushed ice. … Now just thinking about that kind of ice makes me nauseous, so I've already ruined ice for myself," he added with a laugh.
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But he's hopeful, because his mom beat the same cancer.
Hoppus also revealed that his mother, Kerry Wernz, beat cancer three times—breast cancer twice and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma once. "We have the exact form of cancer," Hoppus said of his mother. "And she beat it, so I've been able to talk to her and bond with her quite a bit."
And Hoppus is determined to do the same. "We're beating this cancer," he said. "It's just a matter of time."
In 2019, Hoppus posted a photo of his mom at one of his concerts, shortly after she beat cancer for the second time. "After months of chemo her doctor cleared her to go out in public and her first outing was to our show at Petco Park last night," he wrote. "This lady is a bad b****. I love you, mom."