Almost two months after doctors removed a tumor from his brain stem, death metal pioneer Chuck Schuldiner is working through physical therapy and is once again writing music.
Speaking from his mother's house in Florida, the Death frontman told MTV News that his recovery from the life-saving operation is going well, and that he has already written much of the material for the next album from his new project, Control Denied.
"Everything looks good," Schuldiner said. "I'm moving pretty quick through the physical therapy, and we're seeing good results."
Schuldiner still faces months of physical therapy, but he remains buoyed by the progress he's made so far. However, he restrains his optimism when pondering a return to the stage, saying only that he hopes to return to performing "as soon as possible. It's hard to put a date on the table."
Things were decidedly less positive in January when Schuldiner was struggling to find the $70,000 needed for the surgery (see "Death Metal Godfather Struggles To Fund Lifesaving Surgery"). Like most musicians, Schuldiner is uninsured, and at one time feared that he might not find the funds needed for the operation.
"We ran into a few problems here and there," Schuldiner told MTV News just before his surgery, "especially when people hear you're in a band. They assume you have a lot of money, and that's unfortunately not true. We shattered that myth right there." [RealVideo]
Schuldiner now notes that fans and colleagues rose to the occasion when word of his situation hit the press. Fans have sent in individual donations, and fellow musicians have put together benefit shows in death strongholds like Holland, Germany, and here in the States.
"When this sort of stuff happens, it really brings people together," Schuldiner said. "It's incredible how people aggressively organized for this. It's very uplifting... the overall support is incredible."
As we previously reported, those wishing to help further the financial cause are encouraged to send a check to The Chuck Schuldiner Medical Fund, Washington Mutual Bank, 500 East Altamonte, Altamonte Springs, Florida, 32701, Account Number 351-356-4696.
Those hoping to contact the family to offer other forms of help or warm wishes can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the singer's mother, Jane Schuldiner, at 609 E. Citrus St., Altamonte Springs, Florida, 32701 (see "Death Metal Pioneer Undergoes Successful Surgery, Still Faces Mounting Medical Bills").