Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year during a routine medical exam. His doctor examined the rocker’s heart and lungs and discovered what Wood, 70, called “a supernova burning away on my left lung,” reported The Guardian. Wood added, “He asked me what I wanted to do and my answer was simple: ‘Just get it out of me.’”
Fortunately, the cancer didn’t spread, but doctors removed a lesion on his lung during a five-hour operation. Wood smoked for five decades before quitting when his wife, Sally Humphreys, gave birth to their twin daughters Gracie and Alice in May 2016.
The guitarist told the Mail on Sunday he spent several agonizing days waiting for test results. “There was a week when everything hung in the balance and it could have been curtains, time to say goodbye,” he explained.
And, perhaps surprisingly, Wood chose not to have chemotherapy for vanity reasons: “I wasn’t going to use that bayonet in my body. It’s more I wasn’t going to lose my hair. This hair wasn’t going anywhere. I said, ‘No way.’ And I just kept the faith it would be all right.”
People treated with chemotherapy take medication to attack cancer cells. Unfortunately, the treatment can also affect healthy cells and result in hair loss. Other side effects including vomiting and diarrhea.
As a result of his diagnosis, Wood is warning others to visit their doctors regularly, noting: “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.”
Wood is scheduled to go on a European tour with the Rolling Stones in September. He tweeted over the weekend: “Thank you for all your words of support today ~ I’m feeling great and ready to see you on the road next month.”