Rhod Gilbert was 'p***** off' with cancer diagnosis

Rhod Gilbert has opened up about his cancer battle credit:Bang Showbiz
Rhod Gilbert has opened up about his cancer battle credit:Bang Showbiz

Rhod Gilbert was "p***** off" when he was diagnosed with head and neck cancer.

The 54-year-old comedian told last year he had stage four cancer, though he didn't say what type at the time, and he's revealed how he was left struggling to "speak or breathe" during the early days of his battle with the disease.

In a pre-recorded segment for the National Comedy Awards, which were held in aid of Stand Up 2 Cancer, he said: "I couldn't speak or breathe and I was postponing and cancelling tour shows, I had terrible spasms in my face and a lot of tightness in my muscles.

"Couldn't get to the bottom of 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."

And Rhod joked he assumed he would have "life-long immunity" from cancer after spending 10 years as a patron of Velindre Cancer Center, so he was annoyed when he received his diagnosis.

He said: "I've led five fundraising treks all over the world, I do stand-up comedy nights to raise money, I hosted quizzes… it's been a big part of my life for the last 10 years, so imagine my surprise when I was diagnosed with cancer.

"Which p***** me off no end, because I thought I'd have life-long immunity! Apparently not.

"Apparently you're just as likely to get cancer even if you spend your time fundraising for a cancer hospital. Anyway, I did get it, and it turns out it can come for anybody."

And the Welsh comic noted the "irony" of finding the lump in his neck while on a fundraising event for the organisation.

He said: "The other irony is that I was in Cuba on a trek, fundraising for this cancer centre when the first b***** lump popped up in my neck. I literally left as a patron and came back as a patient.

"I had to have chemotherapy sessions in a room with pictures of me on the way in, grinning down at myself as a patron."

Rhod is now feeling "really happy and really positive" and hopes to soon lead another fundraising trek, though he is still "a little way" off his goal.

He said: "My facial hair is coming back, my voice is back to normal, my weight is coming back, my saliva glands are starting to come back. Basically, I'm coming back. My physically recovery goal is to lead the next fundraising trek to Morocco...

"I'm feeling optimistic and weirdly I'm feeling really happy and really positive."