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Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson feels 'vividly alive' after cancer diagnosis

USMagazine, Friday, January 25, 2013, 6:00am (PST)
  • Fans will be happy to know that Wilko Johnson is in very good spirits after doctors diagnosed him with terminal pancreatic cancer. The Dr. Feelgood guitarist, who has a minor role on the popular TV show "Game of Thrones," shared the heartbreaking news on Jan. 10 on his Facebook page and is now opening up about how he's doing.

    In an intimate interview with Radio 4's "Front Row" (via the BBC), Johnson, 65, explained that he went to the doctor after feeling a lump in his stomach, which he initially ignored. When his doctors gave him the shocking diagnosis, he explained, it strangely energized him.

    PHOTOS: Stars who have battled cancer

    "We walked out of there and I felt an elation of spirit. You're walking along and suddenly you're vividly alive. You're looking at the trees and the sky and everything, and it's just 'whoa,'" Johnson said. "I am actually a miserable person. I've spent most of my life moping in depressions and things, but this has all lifted."

    Johnson opted not to receive any chemotherapy after he learned such treatment could prolong his life by only two months. With about nine or 10 months to live, according to his doctor, the star says he plans to live his life to the fullest until the end. The musician is scheduled to perform a farewell tour with shows beginning February in France.

    PHOTOS: Celebrity health scares

    "If the cancer kicks in before that, then I can't go on stage. I'm not going to go on stage looking ill -- I don't wanna present a sorry spectacle!" he said. "I'm not hoping for a miracle cure or anything. I just hope it spares me long enough to do these gigs -- then I'll be a happy man."

    PHOTOS: British stars

    The talented star says he still bursts into tears thinking about his late wife, Irene, who died of cancer eight years ago, but has managed to keep his spirits up when thinking about his own death.

    "Right now it's just fantastic -- it makes you feel alive," Still, he observed, "This position I'm in is so strange, in that I do feel fit and yet I know death is upon me."

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