Bill Turnbull has said his energy levels are up after finishing gruelling rounds of chemotherapy – but he has “an awfully long way to go”.
The 62-year-old former BBC Breakfast presenter was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the end of last year, after long-term aches and pains were no longer being alleviated with pills.
Turnbull said the first few days after his diagnosis were the “darkest”. He said: “I did nine rounds of chemotherapy, which is a bit of a grind, to be honest. That finished a few weeks ago.”
“The effects of the chemo have been wearing off, which means my energy levels are back up and I feel a lot better…
“I’ve still got the disease and we’ve got an awfully long way to go, but for the moment, I’m feeling OK.”
He described being diagnosed, as he was recording The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer, on Channel 4, as a “bombshell” moment.
He said: “It’s one of the hardest things that you’ll face in your life.
“It will happen to hundreds of people today, when they’re told, not just that they’ve got prostate cancer, but other types of cancer. You have to push through it really. It’s a really numbing, shocking moment.
“The consolation is the first days are the darkest days. If you get through those and have people around you… you can start putting things into context.
“It’s not great. It’s a constant thing on your mind, but if you get through that first week or so, it will get a little better.”
Both he and Stephen Fry have been praised for raising awareness through their experiences with the disease.
Turnbull said it had been “gratifying”.
He added: “As soon as I went public, there was an enormous response on Twitter … to wish me well, but also men saying they had been made by their wives and family to get a test, because they had been putting it off.”
Turnbull, who had been given the all-clear when he had been tested at the ages of 40 and 50, and had not seen a GP for four years, said: “A diagnosis of cancer today is not a death sentence by any means. Many, many people survive.”
And he joked of the “Turnbull and Fry effect”: “A song-and-dance routine, just occasionally, might be a good idea.”
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