Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Black Sabbath guitarist shares cancer update

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi is sharing an update on his battle with cancer, as he prepares to begin a world tour this Saturday in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Birmingham Mail reports Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma after bandmate Ozzy Osbourne pestered him to get a pain in his groin checked out. The guitarist thought it might be a recurrence of a prostate problem, and was stunned when he learned he had cancer.

Tony has been receiving regular treatments at the Parkway Hospital in Solihull.

“I have to have an antibody administered by drip every six weeks or so to keep the lymphoma in check,” he says. “It sort of coats the cancer cells, stops it from going anywhere else. I have to come back home no matter where I might be in the world. The tour dates are arranged so that I can always get back for treatment. It’s the only way I can manage my illness and keep on the road. I’d love to play more shows than we’re doing but my health has to be sorted out first.”

“The infusions I have are part of the chemotherapy regime,” Iommi continued. “It’s relatively new treatment and they don’t know what all the side-effects might be yet, but I wanted to try it. After each session I feel sick and tired, and that lasts for a week or so. I’m finding that it takes around 10 days to fully recover from each round of treatment, but if that’s what it takes, I have to accept it.”

“In myself I’m feeling OK now,” sums up the guitar legend. “When I first found that I had the illness, it was a dark time and I was a bit spaced out. Since we’ve been in rehearsals and recording sessions, I’ve felt pretty good – great even. I think that the album and tour have given me something immediate to get my teeth into, something to accomplish.”

Black Sabbath will release their new album, “13,” on June 11.

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