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Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi: I Will Be Fighting Lymphoma for the Rest of My Life

Tony Iommi
Robert Cianflone, Getty Images

Although Tony Iommi‘s health has been improving since his early 2012 cancer diagnosis, some unfortunate news has been made public by the iconic Black Sabbath guitarist. Having thought his lymphoma was gone, Iommi was recently informed by his doctor that he most probably never be completely cancer-free.

Iommi’s cancer battle has been one of music’s most inspirational stories in recent history. Having been forced to postpone Black Sabbath’s recording and touring plans, Iommi fought through the worst of his lymphoma all while composing monster riffs for a future release. Despite the setbacks, Black Sabbath have completed recording their first album featuring Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler in 35 years, but Iommi’s health hardships may never completely leave him.

In the newest issue of Guitar World magazine, Iommi went in-depth about his current health status:

When I’d finished the chemo and the radiotherapy, I went to see the doctor again for my regular blood tests. I said, ‘So it’s gone now?’ And he said, ‘No, it’s not going to go. You’re not going to get rid of it. But we can treat it and work with it.’ I got all dismal, because I thought it was gone. He said there was a 30 percent chance of it going away, but I was probably going to have this for life. Now I get treatments to keep it from spreading. So every six weeks I go in for an infusion of Rituximab, which is one of the four ingredients when they give you the chemo. It takes a few hours, and it makes you feel a bit crap inside and a bit sick. But a couple weeks after, I start perking up again. So that’s how we are working it with the shows. I go out, then come back and go into the hospital for more treatment, more blood tests and all the rest of the rubbish. And then we do it all over again.

Stay strong, Tony. We’re all pulling for you. Black Sabbath’s ’13′ album will see a June 11 release date, and we can’t wait to hear it in full!

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