By Hayden Wright
Black Sabbath’s Toni Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma five years ago, but recovery has been an ongoing battle. In 2016 the guitarist announced his illness had gone into remission, though subsequent procedures have treated non-cancerous lumps in his throat. In a new interview with Loudwire, Iommi says he remains on the defensive with cancer and it’s “never gonna go away.”
Nevertheless, the rocker is trying to balance taking care of himself with living life to the fullest.
“Since I was diagnosed, I have to sort of be careful and not stay up too late and get some rest, which I wasn’t, because we were traveling after the show,” Iommi told the site. “So by the time you get to the hotel, [it’s] three or four o’clock in the morning. And I normally wake up early — I wake up when it’s light — so you don’t get many hours sleep.”
The road life might not lend itself to rest and rejuvenation, but Iommi says he’s focused on doing what he loves.
“There’s nothing I can knock about it,” he said. “I love playing on the road, I love being in the band, I love playing to the fans, but it’s just the other side. You can only do what you can do and your physical side takes over and you get tired. And after doing so many shows, I really did get tired.”
Despite the remission, Iommi says it’s likely the cancer will return—though his attitude seems fairly positive.
“To me, it’s never gonna go away; it’s always gonna be there,” he added. “According to my oncologist, the professor, he said it’s probably gonna come back. So it’s hard to sort of go, ‘Oh, well, that’s brilliant then.’ But I do live [day] by day now, and just every day is a winner, really. And we’ll see. I hope it doesn’t come back, but you never know.”