After battling lung cancer in 2017, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood is cancer-free — and no one is more surprised than he is.

The cancer was contained in one lung and didn't require chemotherapy. Wood, 70, has changed his ways with age, he said. "Just the mere act of getting up in the morning is the big vice for me now," he noted. But he added that he has no regrets about his life of excesses. "Not even smoking for England for over 50 years -- it was a wonder I wasn't riddled with cancer in both lungs. It's a wonder they both didn't explode," he told Metro.

Wood has been lucky that his bout with the disease was over quickly, but he said he had steeled himself for a bigger battle, and advised others with a cancer diagnosis to do the same. "Just be strong and remain positive. I was prepared to remain positive to my dying breath," he said. "I’ve had a great life and I was all ready to go. Wow! I didn’t know I was going to be given the ticket to last this long. What a reprieve."

And he's making the most of it. He'll be heading out on a European tour with the Rolling Stones on May 22, and he said the band is playing at the peak of their abilities, thanks to a mix of performances and time off.

"All of the songs we play have a life of their own," he noted. "Instead of the monotony of ‘Er, not that song again,’ which you would think might set in with us being so weathered and aged, there’s a kind of freshness. 'Satisfaction,' for instance — that takes on a completely different shape every time we play it now, which means it’s more of a challenge to make it ring true with a different presentation."

The key to keeping it fresh, Wood said, is the element of surprise. "We have a rough arrangement, but none of us know what’s coming next," he explained. "So we’re all having to keep on our toes."

 

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