“Jurassic Park” actor Sam Neill has revealed his “ferocious” stage 3 blood cancer diagnosis.
Neill, 75, told the BBC that he was diagnosed in March 2022.
“The thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying,” he wrote in the first chapter of his new book, “Did I Ever Tell You This?” To distract himself, Neill turned to writing to “give me a reason to get through the day.”
During a press tour for “Jurassic World Dominion” last year, the actor noticed that glands in his neck did not feel right. After hearing his diagnosis from doctors, Neill said his response was pretty stoic, but it prompted him to “take stock of things.”
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“I thought I need to do something, and I thought, ‘Shall I start writing?'” he told the outlet. “I didn’t think I had a book in me, I just thought I’d write some stories. And I found it increasingly engrossing.”
Neill continued, “A year later, not only have I written the book — I didn’t have a ghost writer — but it’s come out in record time. I suspect my publishers, they’re delightful people, but I think they wanted to get it out in a hurry just in case I kicked the bucket before it was time to release the thing.”
The actor details his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis in his upcoming memoir. He made it clear that the book is not just about his cancer because he “can’t stand cancer books.”
Instead, he chose to focus on his “fun” and “exciting” life.
Per the Mayo Clinic, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is “a type of cancer that begins in your lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s germ-fighting immune system. Advances in diagnosis and treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have helped improve the prognosis for people with this disease.”
According to the BBC, Neill writes in his book that he lost his hair after the first round of chemotherapy and when he looked in the mirror he saw “a bald, wizened old man there.”
“More than anything I want my beard back. I don’t like the look of my face one bit,” he added.
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Even with the diagnosis, Neill has chosen to stay positive.
In an interview with The Guardian, the actor revealed that he is “not afraid to die, but it would annoy me.”
“I’m not afraid to die,” he said, “but it would annoy me. Because I’d really like another decade or two, you know? We’ve built all these lovely terraces, we’ve got these olive trees and cypresses, and I want to be around to see it all mature. And I’ve got my lovely little grandchildren. I want to see them get big.”
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He continued, “But as for the dying? I couldn’t care less.”