Hunting began treatment for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach less than five months ago. A total gastrectomy — the full removal of the stomach — is typically done if the cancer has spread widely in the stomach or toward the esophagus, according to Cancer.org.
Hunting offered a touching update on his condition — stating his treatments are working — and the upcoming procedure in a post via bandmate Gary Holt’s Instagram page:
“Hey Y’all, I wanted to check in and thank everyone SOOOOOO much for the love and support! I see all the awesome events and things people are putting together out there to help me in this fight. I really am overwhelmed with gratitude and feel so blessed to be a part of this community we all share in. I really believe that angels are out there walking around that don’t even know it, then shit gets rough and crazy, and they answer the call and jump into action. All of you are these!!! You all help me visualize being on the other side of this. F**K CANCER!!!
“Speaking of f**king cancer, the treatment is working. I’ve had 4 now and the mass has shrunk to less than half the size it was in March.That’s amazing progress! I’ve added the weight back I lost at the start of this. Clinically, these are all good signs. From the start, this could’ve gone in a really bad direction, but everything the doctors at UCSF laid out has all gone according to plan in turning things around. I’m very grateful to these unsung heroes!
“I’m slated for surgery 1 week from today on July 12th. Unfortunately it’ll be a full gastrectomy, but the good news is I’ll get to live which is definitely NOT overated [sic]. After recovery, I get 4 more treatments, then I can resume my life cancer-free.
“I can’t wait to travel the world, playing music, enjoying every moment of this crazy journey!! I’ll check in soon again and share how thing’s are going. THANKS AND MUCH LOVE TO EVERYONE!!! CHEERS!!!!”
A highly invasive surgery, a gastrectomy removes the entire stomach and parts of any neighboring organs affected by the cancer. The end of the esophagus is then attached to the small intestine to allow digestion, though the individual can only consume small amounts of food and must eat more often.
The band’s set up a charity auction to help with Hunting’s medical bills. Members of bands such as Machine Head, Testament, Death Angel, Stone Sour, King Diamond, and Exodus themselves have donated rare items and memorabilia. Bidding has already begun and runs through July 30th.
In addition, there will be a benefit show for Hunting on July 17th at Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California. Blind Illusion is set to headline. A GoFundMe campaign has also been launched and has raised over $97,000, including a $5,000 donation from Metallica guitarist and Hunting’s former Exodus bandmate Kirk Hammett.
Exodus will embark on “The Bay Area Strikes Back” 2021 US tour with fellow thrash veterans Testament and Death Angel this fall. It remains to be seen whether Hunting will be on board for the tour.
See the full Instagram post below.