He’s offered fans his thanks for their support, saying he didn’t realise until he’d broken his silence just how many other people find it difficult to talk about the killer disease – and that he hopes going public will assist other people in the same situation.
Problems came to light after he required medical attention for back issue that were causing him a great deal of pain, following earlier knee replacement surgery.
May last week wrote on his website: “I thought my hip joint was going the same way as the knee. Finally it got really bad about two weeks before Christmas – so bad I had to give up on going anywhere if there was standing up involved.
“My GP decided to try to get to the bottom of it, and sent me for a set of MRI scans. The scans showed up all kinds of mechanical disc and vertebra problems that might be the cause of the pain, but there were also some abnormalities in the bones; things that the report said needed urgent attention.
“So around Christmas I’ve been having a succession of blood tests, ultrasounds, and various kinds of scans, to see if they could rule out various kinds of cancer.
“Now, on hearing the C word, something happens inside you. I’ve seen so many of my dear friends fighting it, and my dad lost his battle at age 66, exactly the age I am now. I’ve been in various states of unrest. But the great thing has been that the team my GP assembled to check out the possibilities has moved Heaven and Earth to gather all the information I need quickly.”
May now reports that, although he has one more scan to go, the previous procedures have “eliminated a lot of nasty things” and he’s feeling “cautiously optimistic.”
He adds: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the amazing messages you’ve been sending me. It’s taken me by surprise, for many reasons. I really didn’t realise how much you guys were gunning for me.
“I didn’t realise that biting the bullet and mentioning the C word would unlock such an avalanche. I now realise that so many of you have been wrestling with this all along, personally, or in family or friends, and, like me, found it hard to share.
“Hearing of your experiences, courage, hopes, and solutions has been a massive eye-opener for me. I feel like I have a whole new understanding of the way people deal with frightening news, and move on into the next place.
“I know I won’t be able to answer every message, but I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and I’m making a start on some replies now.”