Rock fans were extremely sad to hear the recent announcement of QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali undergoing cancer treatment.
In a new interview on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation”, Frankie spoke in detail and revealed a lot.
When asked about going public with his cancer diagnosis, Frankie said (Transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
“I was gonna play a couple of songs with Alex‘s side project HOOKERS & BLOW for the Rainbow parking lot gig. And this was in April. So I went to my storage unit to get some supplies. And while I was there, all of a sudden my calf was in a ridiculous amount of pain — I couldn’t figure it out — on my right foot. And I’ve gotta drive back home. So I barely made it the drive back home — it was that painful. So what happened is my wife suggested I get in touch with [the hospital]. I couldn’t get an appointment for a couple of days. And the next morning, I got up and I walked ten feet and I couldn’t go any further and I was out of breath and I was really weak. So [my wife] Regina, and rightfully so, insisted that I go to emergency. So I went to the emergency, and they an ultrasound of my right calf, and they did a scan of my upper. And what it showed was that I had a blood clot in my right calf, blood clot in my left lung, right lung and in the saddle in between the two lungs.
He further added:
“The concern was if they dislodge, they only take two routes — one, to your brain; aneurysm — end of the story. The other one, to your heart; heart attack — end of the story.
“A byproduct of the scan caught a little bit of my liver, and they saw something that didn’t look right. So now this is 3:30 in the morning, I’m still at the ER. And they wheel me back into the scan to scan all over. And about an hour later, at about 4:30 in the morning, the floor surgeon, or the floor doctor, in an emergency comes in and unceremoniously says, ‘You have stage four pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to your liver. And I really like your music.’ And he signed off on the paperwork and walked out. That’s how I found out.
Frankie continued, saying:
“I think it’s important for people to understand that, first of all, if they have any inclination whatsoever that cancer is in their family, they should really have themselves checked out. Because I had done physicals with my doctor religiously for 20, 30 years, and nothing ever showed up. And I did my last physical in February of this year, and no issues. And here comes April, and I’ve got stage four. It starts with stage one, then stage two, then stage three, stage four. There’s no stage five. So [cancer] existed, but a physical didn’t catch it. So you really need to insist on having a CT scan… I don’t believe that there is [proper screening for pancreatic cancer]. What I believe you can do is if you do a CT scan, if there are any abnormalities, especially in the pancreas, and if it has moved over to any of the other organs, it’s gonna show up. I think probably doctors and hospitals are reluctant to order it because it’s expensive. But if you can afford it, or if you have the insurance, do it. It’s worth doing it. Because if I could have caught it at stage one, or stage two, it wouldn’t be as severe. Stage four is considered terminal.”
On his current health and prognosis, Frankie added:
“My oncologist at a recent visit said that the tumor in the pancreas has shrunk some. So that was positive. There was no more fluid in my lungs. And that a lot of the problems with the liver, they didn’t see anymore, except that there are two areas there that they have some concern, which is why just this week, I did another CT scan, and I’m waiting for the results to come back on that. My regular doctor called me up because she came in to see mine after chemo one, when I was still in the hospital. And I looked like death warmed over at that point, because the first chemo was very brutal on my system. And she couldn’t believe it. And she called me up last week because she follows all my reports that come from the different technicians and my oncologist, and she says that the improvements that I’ve made are nothing short of a miracle.
Frankie concluded, saying:
“I think the other thing is being able to assess your particular situation, and once I did that… I’m very aware that cancer, there’s no cure for it. So I know cancer will be the death of me. The question is when. And I think having a very positive attitude is very helpful. Yeah, it’s okay to have your ‘down’ days, ’cause I have ’em. It’s okay to be depressed about it, but it’s not okay to stay there. It’s more important to continue to live your life — not just for yourself, but for your family members and your friends, so they’re not sitting around getting depressed because you’re depressed or going on Facebook and having ‘death watch 2019’ or ‘death watch 2020.’ So it’s very important to be positive — and realistic. I’m not a pessimistic or an optimistic person. I’m a realist — I deal with facts as they’re presented to me.”