Black Sabbath begin a world tour next Saturday in Auckland, New Zealand. Guitarist Tony Iommi has spoken of his battle with cancer, as he prepares to go on tour with Sabbath.
The Birmingham Mail reports Iommi has been receiving regular treatments at the Parkway Hospital in Birmingham, England.
“I have to have an antibody administered by drip every six weeks or so to keep the lymphoma in check,” Iommi says. “It sort of coats the cancer cells, stops it from going anywhere else. I have to come back home no matter where I might be in the world. The tour dates are arranged so that I can always get back for treatment. It’s the only way I can manage my illness and keep on the road. I’d love to play more shows than we’re doing but my health has to be sorted out first.”
“The infusions I have are part of the chemotherapy regime,” Iommi continues. “It’s relatively new treatment and they don’t know what all the side-effects might be yet, but I wanted to try it. After each session I feel sick and tired, and that lasts for a week or so. I’m finding that it takes around 10 days to fully recover from each round of treatment, but if that’s what it takes, I have to accept it.”
“In myself I’m feeling OK now,” sums up the riff legend. “When I first found that I had the illness, it was a dark time and I was a bit spaced out. Since we’ve been in rehearsals and recording sessions, I’ve felt pretty good – great even. I think that the album and tour have given me something immediate to get my teeth into, something to accomplish.”
Gibson.com wishes Tony well, of course. Black Sabbath release their new album 13 on June 11.