Tony Iommi Fills In Details On His Cancer Treatment

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Tony Iommi Keeps moving – with a fantastic attitude

iommi-tonyWith a Black Sabbath album ready to hit the stores, and a tour in Australia starting in just a few days (April 20th, 2013), Tony Iommi certainly has his hands full – and when you add to that the frequent trips to the Parkway Hospital in Birmingham, England … well all I’ve got to say is this man is certainly a dedicated guitarist.

In an interview with the Birmingham Mail yesterday, Tony elaborated on his condition, and the treatment he’s been undergoing. He also gives Ozzy credit for being the one to encourage him to go see a doctor.

Ozzy was the one who kept on at me to go to the doctors because he was concerned about me, and he has been very supportive since I was diagnosed. In fact, all the guys in the band have been great.

Even now, when we arrive at the studio they ask how I’m feeling, if I’m up to it, making sure that I’m OK.

Tony’s condition was discovered in early 2011, when he had a pain in his groin, and when he finally did go to the doctor to have it checked out, he discovered that he had lymphoma. He told the Birmingham Mail that he pretty much saw it as a death sentance.

Cancer meant death to me. I started writing myself off. I would lie awake at night, thinking about selling this, getting rid of that, and preparing everything: who should speak at my funeral and where I’d want to be buried.

But I also kept thinking ‘I’m not ready to go yet. I’ve got too much to do, and I like being here’.

He credits the folks at the Parkway Hospital for his current condition, so much that he wanted to make sure that they were mentioned in the interview. He feels much better now, and he says that being able to play with Sabbath on a regular basis has also given him something else to concentrate on – not particularly as a distraction, but more as something to sink his teeth into when he starts to feel low – something to feel good about.

Tony has to have a antibiotic drip performed on him every six weeks, and that has to be done at that same hospital near his home. The tour dates are arranged around this schedule so that he can still bring the music to the fans without sacrificing his treatment. Like I said – Tony is incredible.

The treatment is new, however – and the doctors aren’t sure what the side effects will be, if any. Tony is willing to take that risk, however, for his health, and to be able to continue with his Black Sabbath duties.

As you may have heard, chemo can make the patient feel sick and tired – Tony says it takes roughly ten days to start feeling better after one of the treatments.

Right now, he’s feeling great – and he credits this to the band’s schedule, and the rehearsals providing him with the fun and excitement he needs to take his mind off things.

Tony’s doctors say that the cancer has a 33% chance of coming back, but even if it did, it probably wouldn’t kill him.

Medics say that the condition is manageable with treatment. I enjoy where I’m at now, I really do, It’s a good place. I’ve got a good home life and a good family, great friends and support. And I’m fortunate because I’m still able to go out and play music.

Well, for me this story is inspirational. Tony has a great attitude, and he is powering through some tough, tired, and sometimes sick days. And he’s carrying on. That’s enough to put a smile on my face and wish Tony the best, with the album, the tour, and his recovery.

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Tim Monaghan

Tim has been playing guitar & bass since he was 12 years old and has been in Jazz, funk, rock & metal bands. Influences include Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Doug Stegmeyer, Baden Powell, Steve Vai, and pretty much anyone else who has a unique style that expresses their individuality. One of Tim’s many hobbies is building, tweaking, and repairing basses and guitars.

There are 1 comments

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    This is a guy who lost his fingers and spent hours and hours inventing and refining new “fingers” for himself so he could play guitar. And changed his string gauges, and tuned down… gotta love that DIY problem-solving attitude to things that some people would find overwhelming.

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