The actor Sam Neill has revealed that he was diagnosed with "a ferocious type of aggressive" non-Hodgkin lymphoma a year ago in March 2022. Lymphona is a type of cancer that is treatable, and although Neill is reported to have had stage three of the disease, with equally aggressive chemotherapy his cancer is now in remission. But believes he'll have to have treatments monthly for the rest of his life. "I'm not off the hook as such, but there's no cancer in my body," he said, adding. "I'm just pleased to be alive,” reports the BBC.
Neill (75), who was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, has family roots in Belfast. He writes in his new memoir Did I Ever Tell you This? that when he was given the news by doctors he thought: "I'm crook, I'm dying.”
The star of Jurassic Park, The Piano and Peaky Blinders — in which he played Royal Irish Constabulary Chief Inspector Campbell — was unable to work. So he started writing as a distraction and to "give me a reason to get through the day," he told the BBC.
In the book he discusses his career that has spanned more than fifty years.
He also goes into detail about his reaction to the news that he had cancer
He first noticed he had lumpy glands in his neck on a publicity tour for Jurassic World Dominion last year. He was subsequently diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma
When doctors gave him the diagnosis he said that he took stock of his life. He told the BBC: "I thought I need to do something, and I thought, 'Shall I start writing?'"
Which is exactly what he did, and a year later he has the finished product, with the aid of a ghost writer.
There are, he says, "dark days”, he told The Guardian in an interview. He lost his hair after his first treatment of chemotherapy and writes in the memoir that when he looks in the mirror, "There's a bald, wizened old man there."
A spokesperson for Neill confirmed to CNN that the actor is in remission, and that he's doing "very well", having returned to work: specifically a project for Peacock called Apples Never Fall, co-starring Annette Bening.