Following an announcement from Ozzy Osbourne last October that Black Sabbath plans to put together one more tour and album, guitarist Tony Iommi has expressed sentiments of uncertainty as well as perseverance when it comes to the prospect of living and touring with cancer.
Following a diagnosis of lymphoma in 2012, Iommi has received chemo therapy treatments, which have affected his ability to participate in recording and touring with the band. Though his lifestyle has changed drastically, members of the band have been supportive, according to an extensive interview in the Mirror.
During the interview, Iommi was able to explain both the difficulties he’s faced and the personal triumphs that he’s felt as he continues to fight cancer and work with Black Sabbath. According to Iommi:
“Because I had two different operations at the same time, one on my prostate and one on my lymph nodes, I had too many scans last year and too much radiation.
So I can’t have any more scans yet. Every day I feel around for lumps and bumps. Every time I get a pain in my stomach I think, ‘Oh God, it’s cancer’. It’s horrible. I even dream about it.
But that’s my life now. The surgeon told me he doesn’t expect the cancer to go away. There’s a 30 per cent chance that it could, but more than likely it will come back and it could be any time.
I look at life differently now. I could be here another 10 years or just one year – I don’t know.
Sometimes I wonder if I should try to live a more peaceful life. Then I think, ‘I don’t want to let the illness take over’. After all, I enjoy where I’m at now.
I’ve even become a guest lecturer at Coventry University after they awarded me an honorary doctorate.
If someone had suggested that to me years ago I’d have turned it down, but I’ve been through a lot and I’ve learned from it, so it feels good to pass that on.
These kids are fans too, so I love spending time with them. After everything that has happened, I couldn’t wish for anything better than that.”
Around May of last year, Iommi announced that the band would take its final bow at their Barclaycard British Summer Time Performance. As hinted in comments above, though, Iommi must have recovered enough for Osbourne to announce a final album and tour, presumably to allow the band to end on it’s own terms before the band members go their separate ways.