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Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi Talks Touring Challenges With Cancer

Robert Cianflone, Getty Images

Black Sabbath are currently making their way around North America, promoting their ’13’ album, but it’s not exactly an easy haul, especially for guitarist Tony Iommi who has been receiving treatment for lymphoma since being diagnosed in 2012.

Iommi told the San Jose Mercury News, “To be honest, I was wondering whether I could do [the tour] as well [as the album]. I have to treat life very differently now. This, for me, has been a big challenge. So far, it’s been OK. The medical thing is still going on. It’ll be ongoing, really, for life. It’s not going to go away. I just have to try to treat it.”

Black Sabbath have coordinated their touring to coincide with Iommi’s treatments, allowing the guitarist sufficient time to recover before returning to the stage. He explains, “I go back to England every seven to eight weeks for a treatment. Then it takes 10 days, two weeks, to start feeling normal again. Then we go back out on the road.”

The guitarist says his whole life has changed as a result of the cancer. He adds, “My attitude has changed toward everything. Life becomes a lot more precious. I appreciate when we’ve got the opportunity to get together and be onstage and play and do what I like to do.”

He concluded, “I think my illness, in one way, has helped everybody, because it’s brought the reality of you really don’t know how long this is going to last. It was easy to take things for granted before. I think everyone now appreciates what we’ve got and what we get to do.”

Next: Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler Hints About Band's Final Tour

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