Former TESTAMENT/DEATH Guitarist May Have Tumor Recurrence

Florida-based guitarist-turned-producer James Murphy, who is best known for his guitar work with TESTAMENT, DEATH, OBITUARY, CANCER and DISINCARNATE, has posted the following message on his Facebook page:

"Some troubling news for me in the last couple days. The bloodwork that was done recently revealed that the hormone indicator for the tumor I battled and defeated nine years ago is now 20 times higher than the low it reached as recently as one year ago. This could be indicative of a recurrence. Next step is an MRI, scheduled for the 11th of this month, to determine how much the tumor has grown. I am keeping a positive attitude about it and just moving forward."

Deron Miller (WORLD UNDER BLOOD, CKY), who worked with Murphy on WORLD UNDER BLOOD's debut album, is trying to raise money to help cover James' medical expenses. He has posted the following message on his Facebook page:

"James Murphy, legendary rock/metal guitarist (helped me with WORLD UNDER BLOOD's 'Tactical' CD) has just informed me that the brain tumor he was diagnosed with in [2001] had been improving and shrinking for the last several years... is returning rapidly. If my wife Felissa and I could get our Facebook friends to each PayPal at least $1, he will have an easier time covering the expenses that come with having no insurance and being a musician/producer. I'm asking you to contribute as much as you want, but the person that contributes the most will recieve something very special from my wife and I. I'm not trying to make a competition out of this, I just want my buddy well again. Please share this post and the PayPal address is [email protected] 100% of the money will go to his treatment and expenses. Thanks so much in advance!!!"

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In August 2001, Murphy was discovered to have a massive tumor growth near the base of his brain and was quickly scheduled for an urgent life-saving operation. James underwent surgery on September 17, 2001 at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. Neurosurgeon Dr. Frank Vrionis and head and neck surgeon Dr. John Song, performed the operation using a Maxillary Swing procedure that made entry through the left side of the face. An incision was made underneath the left eye, along the side of the nose, and finally through the middle of the upper lip. The facial tissue was then pulled back and the cheekbone removed. They then cut through James' sinus and made entry below the orbit of the eye to remove a portion of the growth. More was removed through an incision made in the soft pallet inside the mouth. About 70% of the tumor was removed, the remainder being too close to vital structures to risk further damage. The sinus was then packed with fat tissue taken from the lower abdomen via an incision below the navel and reattached. The cheekbone was set back in place and held with two small titanium plates. The facial tissue was then sutured closed along with the soft pallet. His mouth was fitted with a prosthesis to protect the pallet tissue while it healed. The remaining 30% of the tumor was treated with a medication to shrink it called Parlodel (Bromocriptine), which James was told he would have to take for the rest of his life.

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