“My news seems to be all over the news right now, and it’s sort of a ‘cancer! cancer! cancer!’ which is kind of exhausting because as you can see I am alive and well,” he said in a short video posted to Instagram.
Neill, 75, told fans he was in remission for eight months “which feels really good”. He added that he was working on an upcoming television adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel ‘Apples Never Fall’.
I survived cancer. Everyone wants to know how I did it.
News of his cancer emerged during publicity for his forthcoming memoir titled “Did I Ever Tell You This?”, to be released Tuesday, which details his diagnosis.
“The thing is, I’m a crook. Possibly dying, I may need to speed this up,” he writes in the opening chapters, according to the Guardian, which published an interview with him on Friday.
He said the book provided a project to work on while he was undergoing treatment last year.
“I’m used to going to work and all of a sudden I couldn’t go to work – that’s why I wrote the book,” he said in Saturday’s Instagram video. “Of course I was very nervous as a first author.”
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He described the tone of the book as one of “surprise” as he never expected to make a career out of screen acting.
Best known for playing paleontologist Alan Grant in the blockbuster dinosaur movie franchise, Neill told the Guardian he first noticed swollen glands when he was doing publicity for “Jurassic World: Dominion” in 2022.
He was later diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and said he was undergoing chemotherapy and started a new chemotherapy drug, which he will have to take monthly for the rest of his life.
The cancer may be more common in the elderly, and symptoms may include a high fever, skin rashes and autoimmune disorders, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues, according to the US-based Lymphoma Research Foundation. Treatment may include a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow or stem cell transplants.
“Not sure if it was the cancer news or they said you’re 75 that shocked me more,” one relieved fan wrote in response to Neill’s video.
“Jurassic Park is my favorite movie and you are my favorite actor. I’m glad you’re doing better/well and can’t wait to dive into this book,” said another.
The award-winning actor from Northern Ireland and New Zealand has also devoted himself to raising animals on his New Zealand farm in recent years and is a vintner, playing cricket and his ukulele, he says.
“I look back on this life with gratitude,” he said. “Let’s not worry too much about ‘all that,'” he added, referring to his health, “because I’m fine – okay!”