Ronnie Wood: Rolling Stones Guitarist Reveals Lung Cancer Diagnosis

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Here's a sad story for music fans ...

Ronnie Wood, guitarist for the Rolling Stones for over 40 years now, has just revealed that earlier this year, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Ronnie Wood

And he's sharing intimate, heartbreaking details about his journey in a new interview with Daily Mail's Event magazine.

"Did I think I'd ever make it to see this?" he began. "Hell no! Someone up there must like me. And luckily someone down here likes me too."

Honestly, it is kind of shocking that he's still around making music -- with all the booze, drugs, and smoking, he hasn't exactly been kind to his body in his 70 years.

But thankfully, he's been sober for a while now, and he quit smoking last year when his wife gave birth to twins, two little girls they named Gracie and Alice.

Still, Ronnie said "I had this thought at the back of my mind after I gave up smoking a year ago: 'How can I have got through 50 years of chain-smoking -- and all the rest of my bad habits -- without something going on in there?'"

As he found out a few months ago though, there was something going on in there.

Ronnie Wood Photo

"I've had a fight with a touch of lung cancer," he revealed.

"There was a week when everything hung in the balance and it could have been curtains -- time to say goodbye. You never know what's going to happen."

He said that he found out about the cancer back in May, when he got a check-up ahead of this fall's Rolling Stones tour.

As he explained, all the band members are required to have physicals before any touring can happen, and when he got his, the doctor "asked me if I wanted him to go deeper and check my heart, lungs and blood."

"I said, 'Go for it.'"

"And then," he said, "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."

Ronnie Wood Picture

He hadn't had a chest x-ray since he went to rehab in 2002, and with how much he smoked, and considering he only quit last year, it makes sense.

The doctor asked Ronnie what he wanted him to do, "and my answer was simple: 'Just get it out of me.'"

After the discovery of the tumor, he underwent more tests to see if the cancer had spread, and "if that had happened, it would have been all over for me."

"I was prepared for bad news but I also had faith it would be OK," he said.

He and his wife didn't tell anyone at all about what was going on, "because we didn't want to put anyone else through the hell we were going through."

"But," he added, "I made up my mind that if it had spread I wasn't going to through chemo, I wasn't going to use that bayonet in my body."

Ronnie Wood Pic

Not for any deep reasons though -- he said that he planned on refusing chemo because "I wasn't going to lose my hair. This hair wasn't going anywhere."

Luckily he didn't have to make that decision for real, because the cancer hadn't spread, and he and his doctors made a plan to remove the tumor as soon as possible.

"Just before I closed my eyes for the operation I looked at the doctor and said, 'Let battle commence," he recalled.

Now, three months later, Ronnie says that he's "OK," but he still has to have checkups every few months.

"I was bloody lucky," he admitted, "but then I've always had a very strong guardian angel looking out for me. By rights I shouldn't be here."

And it's a good thing, too -- he's got two little babies to care for, and three adult children, too.

Best wishes, Ronnie!

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