In an interview with Mail on Sunday’s Event Magazine, Wood revealed that he had been recently diagnosed with a “touch of lung cancer.”
The 70-year-old — who welcomed twins Gracie and Alice in May 2016 with wife Sally, 38 — decided to quit smoking one week before his daughters were born.
But the musician had some doubts as to whether his hard partying rock’n roll bad-boy lifestyle of chain-smoking, drugs and alcohol wouldn’t catch up to him.
During a routine medical checkup three months ago ahead of their upcoming European tour with band physician Dr. Richard Dawood, Wood said Dawood asked if he could “go deeper” to check his heart, lungs and blood, he said.
“I said go for it,” Wood said. “And then he came back with the news that I had this supernova burning away on my left lung. And to be totally honest, I wasn’t surprised. I knew I hadn’t had a chest X-ray since I went into Cottonwood (a rehab clinic in Tucson, Arizona) in 2002. He asked me what I wanted to do and my answer was simple, ‘Just get it out of me.’ ”
Wood also revealed that he underwent a five-hour operation to remove part of his lung and prepared himself to say goodbye to his friends and family.
“There was a week when everything hung in the balance and it could have been curtains, time to say goodbye,” the father-of-six said. “I was prepared for bad news but I also had faith it would be OK. Apart from the doctors, we didn’t tell anyone because we didn’t want to put anyone else through 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 admitted that although he wanted to “battle” the cancer, he also couldn’t bear losing his iconic hair.
“It’s more I wasn’t going to lose my hair. This hair wasn’t going anywhere,” he said. “A week later they came back with the news that it hadn’t spread and I said, ‘Let’s get it out now.’ Just before I closed my eyes for the operation, I looked at the doctor and said, ‘Let battle commence.’ “
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Wood also said his third wife Sally helped him get through the ordeal.
“If that had happened, it would have been all over for me. So there was this one week when I didn’t know what was happening. Sally was amazing. It’s only since we’ve got through it that she has been able to tell me how it was the worst seven days of her life.”