Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood has revealed how he prepared ‘to say goodbye’ to his young family after being diagnosed with lung cancer. In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine today, 70 years old tells how the diagnosis, which he has kept secret until now, led to darkest period of his life. The star also recalls how he took agonising decision not to have chemotherapy because he did not want to lose his iconic head of hair. Father of 6 told ‘I’ve had a fight with a touch of lung cancer. There was a week when everything hung in the balance and it could have been curtains, time to say goodbye.’ Wood, who quit smoking a week before his 1 years old twins Gracie and Alice were born, was diagnosed 3 months ago during a routine medical with the band’s doctor Richard Dawood. On this occasion, Dawood asked Wood if he could ‘go deeper’ and check star’s heart, lungs and blood.
‘I said go for it 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” ’ recalled Wood. The star’s third wife Sally, who is 31 years his junior, became his rock as he endured a week of tests to see if condition had spread. Wood added ‘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.’ The guitarist told he was adamant that whatever happened, he was not going to undergo chemotherapy. He continued ‘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. It’s more I wasn’t going to lose my hair. This hair wasn’t going anywhere. 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.” ’ Wood has long been 1 of rock ’n’ roll’s most notorious hell-raisers and for decades enjoyed a long ‘love affair’ with booze and drugs. The star, who joined The Rolling Stones more than 40 years ago, admits that given everything he has been through he has been ‘bloody lucky’. He told ‘I had this thought after I gave up smoking, “How can I get through 50 years of chain-smoking, and all the rest of my bad habits, without something going on in there?” Someone up there must like me.’