By Lisa Respers France
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood revealed in a new interview that he “had a fight with a touch of lung cancer” that started three months ago.
Wood told the Daily Mail’s Event magazine in an interview that was published over the weekend that things were touch and go for a bit after doctors discovered a cancerous legion during a checkup in May.
“There was a week when everything hung in the balance and it could have been curtains — time to say goodbye,” he said. “You never know what is going to happen.”
Wood, who at the age of 68 became a father to twin girls last year, said that after 50 years of smoking, he quit a week before his daughters were born.
“I had this thought at the back of my mind after I gave up smoking a year ago: “How can I have got through 50 years of chain-smoking — and all the rest of my bad habits — without something going on in there,” he said.
It was while he was getting a routine checkup before going on tour with the Stones that his doctor discovered “I had this supernova burning away on my left lung,” Wood said.
The musician said there was a week of tests to determine if the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. Wood decided to stay quiet about the health news and said his wife called it “the worst seven days of her life” as they awaited the test results.
“I was prepared for bad news but I also had faith it would be OK,” Wood said. “Apart from the doctors, we didn’t tell anyone because we didn’t want to put anyone else though the hell we were going through. But I made up my mind that if it had spread I wasn’t going to go through chemo, I wasn’t going to use that bayonet in my body.”
Wood said he decided against chemo because he wasn’t going to part with his famous mop of full hair.
“A week later they came back with the news that it hadn’t spread and I said, ‘Let’s get it out now,’ he said. “Just before I closed my eyes for the operation I looked at the doctor and said, ‘Let battle commence.'”
The rocker says he’s now fine, and will be getting check ups every three months. He also had a message for fans.
“People have to get checked. Seriously have to get checked,” he said. “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.”
On Sunday, Wood tweeted a link to the Daily Mail interview and assured fans he is well and ready to work.
“Thank you for all your words of support today,” he tweeted. “I’m feeling great and ready to see you on the road next month.”
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