Rhod Gilbert has revealed that he has stage 4 cancer, but says that he remains optimistic about his chances of recovery.
The comedian first announced that he was being treated for cancer in July, but didn’t specify what type of cancer he had or how severe the initial diagnosis was.
Now, in a new interview with BBC Radio Wales, he has gone into more detail about the symptoms he was experiencing and how it led him to be diagnosed. He is currently receiving treatment at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, which he had been fundraising for over the last decade.
Gilbert first began experiencing symptoms in April, forcing him to cancel shows on his Book of John tour. “I had a terribly sore throat, tightness through my neck. I was having to cancel shows because I couldn’t breathe,” he said. “I was having all sorts of problems and we couldn’t get to the bottom of it.”
In May, his symptoms began to worsen while he was in Cuba fundraising for Velindre. “In May, I noticed lumps started popping up in places they shouldn’t be. It turns out I’ve got Stage 4 cancer,” he recalled.
“I also caught Covid on that walk as well. I came home with cancer and Covid from a Velindre fundraising trek… the irony of that! I went as a Velindre patron and came home as a patient.”
Gilbert also said he has undergone chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery but does not know yet “if it has worked”. However, he was keen to stress that he remains optimistic about his recovery – “I’m feeling happy, positive and optimistic. I’m feeling good and feel like I’m recovering day-by-day.”
He reckoned his illness could also form the inspiration for a future comedy show, especially as he’s been writing new material when he’s been feeling well enough. “I’ve got a feeling when I’ve got through all this there’ll be a show in it.
“The things people say when they find out you’ve got cancer… people panic. There’s a lot of humour in it. Hopefully I’m going to jot it all down and one day bring it to the stage.”