New Zealand actor, Sam Neill has revealed that he is being treated for stage-three blood cancer.
In his memoir due to be released next week, the actor says although he’s had dark moments in the past year, he is ‘not afraid to die, but it would annoy me’.
The Jurassic Park star disclosed the news in his upcoming memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This, where he writes in the first chapter that he is ‘possibly dying.’
In an interview with The Guardian, the 75-year-old actor said: ‘The thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying.’
He added: ‘I may have to speed this up. I found myself with nothing to do. ‘And I’m used to working. I love working. I love going to work.
‘I love being with people every day and enjoying human company and friendship and all these things. And suddenly I was deprived of that.
‘And I thought, “What am I going to do?”‘ Neill also told the BBC that he has had ‘a ferocious type of aggressive’ non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
He began writing his memoir as a distraction and to ‘give me a reason to get through the day.’
The book will look back on the New Zealand actor’s 50-year career on screen, as well as his sudden illness.
Neill revealed that he sought medical treatment after noticing that he had lumpy glands on his neck while doing a publicity tour last year for the film Jurassic World Dominion.
The Piano star stayed calm when doctors told him of his diagnosis, and he immediately began plotting to write a book of his life.
‘I thought I need to do something, and I thought, ‘Shall I start writing?’ he told the BBC. ‘I didn’t think I had a book in me, I just thought I’d write some stories. And I found it increasingly engrossing.
‘A year later, not only have I written the book – I didn’t have a ghostwriter – but it’s come out in record time,’ he said proudly.
And about the literary effort he also said he ‘never had any intention to write a book.’
Sam explained, ‘But as I went on and kept writing, I realised it was actually sort of giving me a reason to live and I would go to bed thinking, ‘I’ll write about that tomorrow… that will entertain me.’
‘And so it was a lifesaver really, because I couldn’t have gone through that with nothing to do, you know.’
The Guardian says Neill first experienced swollen glands during publicity for Jurassic Park Dominion in March last year and was given the diagnosis soon after.
It says when the chemo failed he embarked on a new drug, which he will take monthly for the rest of his life, although he is now cancer free.
He is currently preparing for a role in a television adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel Apples Never Fall which will be filmed in Australia.