Sam Neill has revealed he has been in remission for eight months after undergoing chemotherapy for stage three blood cancer.
The actor, 75, shared the surprise news of his diagnosis in his new memoir Did I Ever Tell You This, which was released last week, and has since confirmed he is returning to work after completing treatment.
Speaking in Lorraine on Tuesday, the Jurassic Park star said he decided to write his book while undergoing chemotherapy, after being ‘lifted up’ by writing stories about his life and career .
He explained: “I had a cancer scare about a year ago but I’ve been in remission for 8 months now, starting work next week so I’m fine.”
‘I had to go through chemotherapy, I had nothing to do so I thought why not start writing. So after a few months I thought there might be a book in there.
On the mend! Sam Neill has revealed he has been in remission for eight months after undergoing chemotherapy for stage three blood cancer
Sam added: “It would lift my spirits and make me feel better thinking about the minor stories and accomplishments.”
During the interview, Sam discussed his failed audition for James Bond in the 1990s, before his friend Pierce Brosnan landed the role.
He said: “I auditioned for a role I never wanted to do”.
“Nobody wants to be the James Bond nobody likes, and my friend Pierce Brosnan wanted him and I wanted him to get it.”
In his recently published memoir, Sam shared his cancer diagnosis, writing in the first chapter that he is “maybe dying”.
And following his news making headlines, Sam took to Instagram on Saturday to provide an update on his health, telling his followers he was in remission.
He wrote in a caption alongside a video: “Hi, I’m Sam Neill, actor of sorts, winemaker and author for that matter.”
He went on to suggest he was going through the worst of things, continuing, “I’m alive and well and have been in remission for eight months, which feels really good.” And I’m alive and well and I’m going to work.
Revelation: The actor shared the surprise news of his diagnosis in his new memoir Did I Ever Tell You This, which was released last week
Recovery: Speaking in Lorraine on Tuesday, Sam said he decided to write his book while undergoing chemotherapy, after being ‘lifted up’ by writing stories about his life
Detailing his excitement to get back to what he does best, Sam added: “I’m very happy to be back at work.” We start filming in seven days. I’m doing something called ‘Apples Never Fall’ with Annette Bening, and a really wonderful cast. So here I am.
It comes after the movie star said in an interview with The Guardian: ‘The thing is, I’m a crook. Maybe dying.
He added: “I might have to speed this up. I found myself doing nothing.
“And I’m used to working. I like to work. I love going to work. I like to be with people every day and enjoy human company and friendship and all those things. And suddenly I was deprived of it. And I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’
Neill also told the BBC he had ‘a fierce type of aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma’.
He started writing his memoirs as a distraction and to “give me a reason to get through the day”.
Neill revealed he sought medical treatment after noticing he had lumpy glands on his neck while on a publicity tour last year for the film Jurassic World Dominion.
The Piano star remained calm when doctors told him of his diagnosis, and he immediately began plotting to write a book about his life.
Update: Following the headline-grabbing news of his cancer, Sam took to Instagram on Saturday to provide an update on his health, telling his followers he was in remission
Sam’s specific disease was diagnosed as angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.
He is now in remission but will be on chemotherapy treatment for the rest of his life.
According to Lymphoma.org, AITL is “a rare, often but not always, aggressive form of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL).”
Statistically, this specific type of blood cancer accounts for only one to two percent of all NHL cases in the United States.
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