Man, I nearly forgot that Chuck Billy battled cancer some ten years ago. So much has happened since then, I guess I just erased it from my brain’s filing cabinets.
Legendary Rock Interviews, a favorite new site of the Blabbermouth dudes who refuse to pick up our stories, spoke with Chuck recently, and the Testament frontman talked about kicking cancer in the crotch, and slitting its proverbial throat. More importantly, perhaps, he spoke about how he learned of his cancer.
“I had started smoking cigarettes at that time. I had been smoking for about two or three months and I was just walking up the stairs in my house and just huffing and puffing and thinking, ‘Man, these cigarettes are just killing me. I gotta stop smoking, I can’t breathe,’” Chuck recalls.
“That was the first thing I noticed. I think I was just really fortunate and blessed and had an angel looking down on me because I probably would have just kept right on smoking anyway, and I was the kind of guy that never went to the doctor,” he says.
“I probably hadn’t been to the doctor since my high school physical to play football. One day, totally out of the blue, a real estate agent knocked on my door and told me that she had somebody who wanted to buy my house. My house wasn’t even for sale but she just had someone she was talking to who had told her that they wanted to buy my house. I told her I wasn’t interested but just wondered how much she’d sell it for and when she told me how much she could sell it for I was like, ‘Well, okay, if you can sell it for that much than maybe I am interested,’” Billy adds.
“So she did. She sold it and at that time I was playing with these guys in Antioch, which was about an hour from my house and hanging out in this really nice little country town with not a lot going on out there. So when we sold our house, I told my wife, ‘Hey, let’s move out there. It’s quiet, on a river. Let’s go there.’ So, the drummer I was working with there was a guy from Sadus and his wife worked at a hospital there and recommended a doctor, and my wife and I decided to switch doctors and dentists and everything and meet them and all of us go get a physical. The doctor called back and everything was fine with my wife but they wanted me to come in for a CAT Scan on my chest and further X-rays.
“That’s how they found it. So it was kind of like a fluke situation. If that lady never knocked on my door to sell my house, I probably would have died and never see it coming because I had a tumor in my chest that was the size of a squash. It was growing off of my heart and pushing on my lungs, which is why I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t have any space in there for my lungs to expand.”
Just reading this makes me want to see a doctor.