Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Discusses Lymphoma Remission
Lead guitarist of Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi, revealed his lymphoma diagnosis in early 2012, shortly following the band’s announcement of a reunion tour and a new album. All throughout the recording of the album, as well as the tour that followed to promote it, he underwent treatment. When his doctor told him that he had cancer, Iommi stressed that he went to bed every night wondering if he would be here the following morning. “You think all the doomiest bloody things. But in the end, you realize that life carries on. And the one thing that you’ve got to do, more than anything, is fight for it,” he said.
And fight for it he did
Back in August 2016, the rock legend revealed the good news that his cancer is in remission during a plaque unveiling at Spire Parkway Hospital’s Specialist Care Center in Solihull, England. It was the exact care center where he had been receiving treatment for lymphoma and he praised it for its warm and welcoming environment. “I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me and others like me,” he said.
That same year in an interview, Iommi said that the lowest point in his life was receiving a cancer diagnosis. “You automatically wind yourself up saying, ‘That’s it then,’ but that is not always the case. When they tell you, you think, ‘Oh God.’ That was a low time. I have had a few low times in my life like everybody has, but that was one that stuck in the head,” he said.
Lead singer of Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, praised Iommi for how he never let his condition take him over or slow him down. “My hat goes off to him ‘cause he really is Iron Man. I mean, that chemotherapy knocks you sideways, you know,” he said. Osbourne went on to explain how his wife had cancer a few years back and it would take a lot out of her. “It’s scary stuff. But he came down, plugged in and carried on. He’s my hero, I swear to God he is,” he said.
Ozzy Osbourne: “With Black Sabbath, nothing is ever easy”
After reuniting back in 2011, things started to spiral out of control for Black Sabbath, begging the question how the album, titled “13”, ever got made. “Sometimes it felt like there was a curse on us. That’s why we called the new album 13. First, Bill had a heart attack. Then Tony got cancer. And before that, Ronnie died. We’ve had to overcome a lot,” said Geezer Butler, bassist for Black Sabbath.
Read on to learn more about how Tony Iommi trekked through his cancer journey alongside many other battles.
Photo: Heaven & Hell en Chile 2009 by Victor Varela Millanao