Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi is sharing an update on his ongoing cancer battle.
The guitarist recorded Black Sabbath’s 2013 album, “13”, and completed a world tour with the band while undergoing medical treatment since being diagnosed with blood cancer lymphoma in January of 2012.
“When the doctors told me I had cancer I thought, ‘That’s it then’,” Iommi tells The Mirror. “Cancer was death as far as I was concerned. I found a painful lump in my groin while I was in New York promoting my book. I thought it was my prostate acting up again, but Ozzy told me I should get it checked out. I came back to England and had an operation to reduce my prostate. It was painless but afterwards I needed a catheter.”
“When that came out I went to see the surgeon. He said: ‘Good news on the prostate. It’s been cut down to a sensible size and everything is good there. But on the lump we took out, we found follicular lymphoma.’ It’s a type of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”
The treatments have been physically and emotionally draining for the guitarist.
“I finally finished my antibody treatment over the summer,” explains Iommi. “It’s good in a way because I have more energy now, but I still don’t know whether the treatment worked. Because I had two different operations at the same time, one on my prostate and one on my lymph nodes, I had too many scans last year and too much radiation. So I can’t have any more scans yet."
“Every day I feel around for lumps and bumps. Every time I get a pain in my stomach I think, ‘Oh God, it’s cancer’. It’s horrible. I even dream about it. But that’s my life now."
Iommi was given an update from doctors, saying “The surgeon told me he doesn’t expect the cancer to go away. There’s a 30 per cent chance that it could, but more than likely it will come back and it could be any time.”
“I look at life differently now. I could be here another ten years or just one year – I don’t know.”
Iommi and Black Sabbath are expected to regroup this year to write and record a final album and perform a farewell tour.
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