In the book, Neill revealed he was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma after suffering from swollen glands during publicity for the latest film in the franchise, but is now cancer-free after undergoing chemotherapy.
“I can’t pretend that the last year hasn’t had its dark moments,” he said of his experience. “But those dark moments throw the light into sharp relief, you know, and have made me grateful for every day and immensely grateful for all my friends. Just pleased to be alive.
“I never had any intention to write a book. But as I went on and kept writing, I realised it was actually sort of giving me a reason to live,” he continued. “I would go to bed thinking ‘I’ll write about that tomorrow… that will entertain me.’ And so it was a lifesaver really, because I couldn’t have gone through that with nothing to do.”
Neill revealed further that he switched chemotherapy treatments in order to be closer to his family in New Zealand, with the new drug being one he has to take every month.
“I’ve never felt so well or happy in my life, it was fabulous to be able to taste everything,” he said of the most recent Christmas. “The wine was glorious and the food was superb. I swam every day down in my dam, and it was the most marvellous time… I had my family and all the grandchildren. It was just fantastic.”
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