Sam Neill has opened up about his health, revealing in a recent interview that he was diagnosed with blood cancer.
The “Jurassic Park” star told the Guardian in a feature published Friday about the “dark moments” of the last year, when he learned of his cancer.
“Those dark moments throw the light into sharp relief, you know, and have made me grateful for every day and immensely grateful for all my friends. Just pleased to be alive,” he said.
According to the Guardian, Neill, 75, experienced swollen glands while promoting 2022’s “Jurassic World: Dominion.” The actor’s doctor diagnosed him with Stage 3 angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, shortly after he noticed the swelling.
According to the American Cancer Society, a non-Hodgkin lymphoma is Stage 3 when the disease is present either in the lymph nodes on both sides (above and below) the diaphragm, or in the lymph nodes above the diaphragm and in the spleen.
Neill reportedly received chemotherapy and started a new chemotherapy drug when the first treatment started to fail. The Guardian reported that Neill, now cancer-free, will be taking the drug every month “for the rest of his life.”
The actor, who has appeared in the TV series “Peaky Blinders” and “The Sullivans,” also spoke to the outlet about his upcoming book, “Did I Ever Tell You This?”
“I never had any intention to write a book. But as I went on and kept writing, I realized it was actually sort of giving me a reason to live and I would go to bed thinking, ‘I’ll write about that tomorrow … that will entertain me,’” he said. “And so it was a lifesaver really, because I couldn’t have gone through that with nothing to do, you know.”
Readers, however, shouldn’t regard Neill’s “Did I Ever Tell You This?” as a “cancer book.”
“I can’t stand them,” he said. “I am never going to read another bloody cancer book in my life.”
Instead, the actor sees his illness as a “spiral thread” that’s present throughout the book.
Earlier in the Guardian’s story, Neill said that he “couldn’t care less” about dying but wants “another decade or two” to bask in the life and home he has.
“We’ve built all these lovely terraces, we’ve got these olive trees and cypresses, and I want to be around to see it all mature,” he said. “And I’ve got my lovely little grandchildren. I want to see them get big.”
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