Ex-Dr. Feelgood Guitarist Wilko Johnson Declared Cancer-Free
Guitarist Wilko Johnson has been given a clean bill of health by doctors two years after being told he had 10 months to live -- and weeks after undergoing a lengthy operation to remove a massive tumor from his pancreas.
The former Dr. Feelgood member shared his good fortune with reporters at the Q Awards, telling the BBC, "It was an 11-hour operation. This tumor weighed 3kg [6.6 pounds] -- that's the size of a baby. Anyway, they got it all. They cured me."
As the BBC's report notes, Johnson believed he was recording his swan song when he entered the studio to work on his most recent album, 'Going Back Home,' with Who vocalist Roger Daltrey. In fact, as he admitted elsewhere in the interview, he'd made peace with the idea that his time was running out.
"I accepted it, I didn't lose a minute's sleep about that," he said of his terminal diagnosis, adding that he spent the following year "calmly accepting the idea that I was going to die." Ultimately, he said, "I decided that was the way to deal with it -- not to curse it or fight it or anything like that. Just try and enjoy the time left, which I'd done."
Eventually, however, doctors realized Johnson's tumor was actually operable -- which, as he pointed out, posed its own emotional challenges. "It's so weird and so strange that it's kind of hard to come to terms with it in my mind," he admitted. "Now, I'm spending my time gradually coming to terms with the idea that my death is not imminent, that I am going to live on."
As for what he intends to do creatively with that new lease on life, Johnson's understandably unsure. Asked what he planned on doing next, he shrugged, "I don't know, really."