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Last summer, he was preparing to say goodbye to his family, including his infant twin daughters. Now, Ronnie Wood is proud to announce that he’s officially cancer free and sporting a clean bill of health.
Wood, 70, was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2017. He refused chemotherapy because he was determined to keep his hair, ultimately undergoing a 5 hour surgery to have part of his lung removed. In an exclusive interview with Mail on Sunday’s Event Magazine, Wood revealed that a cancerous growth was spotted on his lung during a routine checkup ahead of an upcoming Rolling Stones tour.
“I went along to see our good old doctor, Richard Dawood, because we all have to be checked before we go on tour, and he asked me if I wanted him to go deeper and check my heart, lungs and blood. I said, “Go for it.”’
Nothing could have prepared him for what came next:
‘And then he came back with the news that I had this supernova burning away on my left lung. And, to be totally honest, I wasn’t surprised. I knew I hadn’t had a chest X-ray since I went into Cottonwood [a rehab clinic in Tucson, Arizona] in 2002. He asked me what I wanted to do and my answer was simple: “Just get it out of me.”
As with most things in life, it wasn’t that simple. Wood says that there was a week of waiting, hoping, praying and preparing for the worst as doctors waited to see if the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. A father of six with two infant twins, Wood reasoned that if it had spread, he’d had a good, long life – he wasn’t going to put his body through the stress and strain of chemotherapy.
He was preparing to say goodbye to his family when a week later, word came back: the cancer hadn’t spread.
“I just kept the faith it would be all right. A week later they came back with the news that it hadn’t spread and I said, “Let’s get it out now.” Just before I closed my eyes for the operation I looked at the doctor and said, “Let battle commence.”
One year later, Ronnie Wood is ready and rarin’ to go, cancer free and the healthiest he’s ever been. His only vice, he says, is waking up in the morning – and maybe an ice cold can of Coke.
‘I’m OK now. But I’m going to have a check-up every three months. They caught it early. People have to get checked. Seriously have to get checked. I was bloody lucky but then I’ve always had a very strong guardian angel looking out for me. By rights I shouldn’t be here.’