Comedian Rhod Gilbert shares cancer recovery goal

Comedian Rhod Gilbert said he is “coming back” to his former self after undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer.

He announced in July that he had stage four cancer and was being treated at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, where he has been a fundraising patron.

The 54-year-old from Carmarthen said his big recovery goal was leading a fundraising trek to Morocco in October.

But he admitted he was “a little way off that at the moment”.

In a pre-recorded video message for Channel 4’s The National Comedy Awards for Stand Up To Cancer, he explained how the cancer centre had been a “big part” of his life as a patron for 10 years.

“So imagine my surprise when I was diagnosed with cancer… because I thought I’d have lifelong immunity,” he joked.

He said he was in Cuba on a fundraising trek when he noticed a lump in his neck.

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“I had a sore throat and I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t breathe and I was postponing and cancelling tour shows and I had terrible spasms in my face and a lot of tightness in the muscles,” he said.

“It turns out after a biopsy of this lump in my neck that I have something called head and neck cancer. Cancer of the head sounded pretty serious.

“So before I knew it, I was having surgery. I was in daily sessions of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.”

He described his treatment as “faultless” and said he was “coming back” to his former self as his facial hair was regrowing, his voice was back to normal and he was regaining weight.

His recovery goal was to lead the cancer centre’s fundraising trek to Mount Toubkal, in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, the highest point in North Africa, in October, Gilbert added.

“I’m a little way off that at the moment, but I am feeling optimistic and weirdly feeling really happy and really positive,” he said.

In December, Gilbert has postponed a string of live shows after being told he needed additional surgery due gallstones and recurring gallbladder infections that “kick like a donkey”.

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