Rhod Gilbert says he couldnt speak or breathe as he opens up on stage 4 cancer diagnosis

Rhod Gilbert says he couldnt speak or breathe as he opens up on stage 4 cancer diagnosis


Rhod Gilbert has spoken up about his Stage 4 cancer diagnosis, while giving a speech at the National Comedy Awards.

The comedian, 54, who was diagnosed with the disease in July last year, said that he feels as though he is "coming back" from the disease after responding well to treatment.

He added that he has been finding the humour in his diagnosis, which came after he'd spent years fundraising and campaigning to help fight the disease.

Rhod said: “I’ve led five fundraising treks all over the world, I do stand-up comedy nights to raise money, I hosted quizzes… it’s been a big part of my life for the last 10 years, so imagine my surprise when I was diagnosed with cancer.

"Which p***ed me off no end, because I thought I’d have life-long immunity! Apparently not.

"Apparently you’re just as likely to get cancer even if you spend your time fundraising for a cancer hospital. Anyway, I did get it, and it turns out it can come for anybody."

He continued: "The other irony is that I was in Cuba on a trek, fundraising for this cancer centre when the first lump popped up in my neck. I left as a patron and came back as a patient.

"I’d been struggling for a while anyway, with pain in my neck and a sore throat and I couldn’t speak or breathe, and I was postponing tour shows, I had terrible spasms in my face and tightness in my muscles.

“Couldn’t get to the bottom of it, turns out after a biopsy that I have something called head and neck cancer. Cancer of the head, sounded pretty serious.”

Prior to receiving treatment at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, Rhod had spent the last decade as a fundraising patron for the centre, which he said led to some rather strange moments.

"I had to have chemotherapy in a room with pictures of me on the way in!" he explained, "Grinning down at myself like, ‘Come on, you can do it!’, which was a bit odd.”

He added: “But, my care has been faultless, my facial hair is back, my voice is back to normal, my weight is starting to come back, my saliva glands are coming back. Basically, I’m coming back!

“My physical recovery goal is to lead the next fundraising trek to Morocco, we’re a way off that at the moment but I’m feeling really optimistic. Weirdly, I’m really happy.”


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