Sam Neill does not want his illness to be the centre of attention.
In a Saturday social media post, the actor best known for his roles in “Jurassic Park,” “The Piano,” and “Peaky Blinders” stated that he was “alive and thriving” after news of his battle with Stage 3 blood cancer made global headlines overnight.
“My news seems to be everywhere at the moment, and it’s sort of ‘cancer! cancer! cancer!’ which is a bit monotonous because, as you can see, I am alive and well,” he said in an Instagram video.
The 75-year-old Neill told his admirers that he has been in remission for eight months, “which feels great.” He added that he was working on an imminent television adaptation of “Apples Never Fall” by Liane Moriarty.
During publicity for his impending memoir titled “Did I Ever Inform You This?,” which will be released on Tuesday and mentions his diagnosis, the news of his cancer became public.
“The fact is, I’m a criminal. According to the Guardian, who published an interview with him on Friday, he writes in the book’s initial chapters, “possibly dying, I may have to hurry this up.”
He stated that the book provided him with a project to focus on during his treatment last year.
“I am accustomed to going to work, and I was abruptly unable to go to work, so I wrote the book,” he said in an Instagram video posted on Saturday. Clearly, as a first-time author, I was very anxious.
He characterised the tone of the book as “surprise” because he never anticipated a career in film acting.
Neill told the Guardian that he first observed enlarged glands while promoting “Jurassic World: Dominion” in 2022. He is best known for portraying palaeontologist Alan Grant in the blockbuster dinosaur film franchise.
Later, he was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, an uncommon form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and he stated that he underwent chemotherapy and began a new chemotherapy medication, which he must take monthly for the remainder of his life.
Symptoms can include high fevers, skin lesions, and autoimmune disorders, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues, according to the Lymphoma Research Foundation of the United States. Combinations of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow or stem cell transplants may be used to treat cancer.
One relieved fan wrote in response to Neill’s video, “Not sure if the cancer news or when they mentioned your age of 75 was more shocking to me.”
“My favourite film is Jurassic Park, and you are my favourite actor. “I’m happy to hear you’re feeling better, and I can’t wait to start reading this book,” said another.
The award-winning actor from Northern Ireland and New Zealand is also a vintner and raises animals on his New Zealand farm, in addition to playing cricket and the ukulele, according to him.
“I am filled with gratitude as I reflect on my existence,” he said. In allusion to his health, he continued, “Let’s not fret too much about ‘all that,’ because I’m great — alright!”