Rolling Stones Rocker Ronnie Wood Speaks Out on Private Second Battle With Cancer

by Emily Morgan

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood is cancer-free for the second time. On Sunday, the Rolling Stones rocker revealed he has since been given the “all-clear” from his doctors after he secretly battled cancer during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve had cancer two different ways now,” the rock legend said in a recent interview. “I had lung cancer in 2017 and I had small-cell more recently that I fought in the last lockdown.”

In 2017, as a result of “smoking 25 to 30 cigarettes a day for 50-odd years,” doctors had to remove a part of his lung. Recently, the 73-year-old revealed that doctors diagnosed him again with a form of small-cell cancer, which typically affects the lungs or prostate, according to Mayo Clinic. Despite the two previous diagnoses, he’s got good news.

“I came through with the all-clear,” said the father of two twin girls he shares with his wife, Sally Humphreys. He added that he feels that he has been given “a second chance” at life. “I am grateful every day for the continuance of this positive attitude,” he said. “Everybody gets to fight in their own way, live their lives and survive.”

Rolling Stones Guitarist Attributes Second Chance at Life to ‘Higher Power’

According to Wood, he owes that second chance to what he can only describe as a “higher power.” Moreover, Wood had to overcome another disease that — like cancer— also affects many people. After a long battle with drugs and alcohol and eight rehab stints, Wood has been sober for over a decade. Throughout his recovery, his belief in a higher power helped him remain optimistic despite the diagnosis.

“I’m going through a lot of problems now, but throughout my recovery, you have to let it go,” he said. “And when you hand the outcome over to your higher power, that is a magic thing.”

He added, “That brings you back to the (AA and NA’s) Serenity Prayer: ‘Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. That’s incredible. What will be will be, it’s nothing to do with me. All I can do is stay positive in my attitude, be strong and fight it, and the rest is up to my higher power.”

Wood also attributes his positive outlook to the benefits of art therapy. “Art therapy was self-imposed in a way, especially in lockdown,” he said. “The art has got me through it – to express and get lost. I’ve done so much work.”

Today, Wood is taking that same optimism with him to the future. As the pandemic’s restrictions begin to lift, the band is “ready to go” with the rest of their “No Filter” tour.

“I’m just as busy as ever but nowadays I can remember what I’m doing,” he said. “The music is still throbbing away. I’ve got a new album recorded at the Royal Albert Hall with Mick Taylor and my band… I used to never stop. It must have been relentless to be around me, just crazy the stuff I did. I was erratic but none of my enthusiasm has gone. I’m still nuts, still up all night. My energy comes after midnight.”