BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi spoke to The Guardian about his ongoing battle with cancer, with which he was diagnosed at the end of 2011. He said: “I’m okay at the moment, dare I say it. It’s stage three lymphoma, so it could come back at any time. That’s one of the reasons why we’re [SABBATH] stopping touring. It’s not the playing [that is taking its toll] — it’s the long flights and arriving at a hotel at 4 a.m. That’s not good for me, because it affects the blood cells. But I love playing with the band, and it’s sad to think this is the last tour.”
Iommi, who was treated all through SABBATH‘s extensive 2013 world tour, was also hospitalized last year with back problems, and he still requires blood tests every six weeks to monitor his lymphoma.
Although he completed his treatment a couple of years ago, Iommi admitted, “The surgeon told me he doesn’t expect the cancer to go away. There’s a 30 percent chance that it could, but more than likely, it will come back. I look at life differently now. I could be here another ten years or just one year — I don’t know.”
The original lineup of SABBATH reunited in late 2011 for a new album called “13” and a world tour. Although founding drummer Bill Ward was on board at first, he dropped out over what he called contractual issues. Ward is not part of the farewell tour either.
BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne told The Pulse Of Radio that Iommi never let his treatments slow him down during the making of “13”. “My hat goes off to him ’cause he really is Iron Man,” the singer said. “I mean, that chemotherapy knocks you sideways, you know. I mean, when my wife had cancer a few years back, she was having three chemo things a month and it would knock the life out of… Literally every time she’d have a treatment, she’d have a seizure. It’s scary stuff. But he came down, plugged in and carried on. He’s my hero, I swear to God he is.”
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