Sam Neill unsure how long he would live after blood cancer diagnosis

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The actor revealed he had cancer earlier this year (Picture: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Jurassic Park actor Sam Neill revealed he rushed to finish his memoir as he wasn’t sure how long he would live after being diagnosed with stage-three blood cancer.  

The Peaky Blinders star underwent chemotherapy treatment last year after being diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.

The Hunt for the Wilderpeople star was told he had the disease shortly after experiencing swollen glands during publicity for Jurassic World Dominion in March 2022.

He revealed the diagnosis in his memoir Did I Ever Tell You This? and admitted that he penned it hurriedly because he had no idea if he’d live long enough to finish it.

‘When I sat down, I wasn’t intending to write a book. I just had to find something to do to fill my time, while undergoing this initial burst of chemotherapy,’ he told Empire magazine, adding that he was writing the stories for his children. 

‘I was really just writing stories for my children, and it wasn’t until I had maybe 40,000 words under my belt that I thought, ‘Maybe I do have a book in me,’ said the actor, 75. 

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Sam Neill was diagnosed after the Jurassic Park publicity tour (Picture: Getty)

‘I was writing hurriedly because, frankly, I didn’t know how long I had to live. And I finished it in about four months, writing pretty much every day.’ 

While he is now cancer-free, it is expected The Piano actor will continue treatment monthly for the rest of his life.

He added that the outpouring of support that he received when he announced his cancer diagnosis completely took him ‘by surprise’, saying that he was ‘very touched’.

However, he explained that he was slightly frustrated as much of the news coverage failed to mention that he was in remission.

Neill told fans he was ‘alive and well’ and in remission (Picture: Getty)

‘[It] completely took me by surprise,’ The Tudors star continued. ‘I was very touched by all of that. I didn’t think anyone would be particularly interested, but that blew up, that cancer thing, and a lot of the headlines mentioned The Big C, but none said, ‘He’s OK now!’

‘Which would have been handy because I’ve spent a lot of time going, ‘Look! Don’t worry! I’m in remission! Everything’s fine, touch wood.’

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Neill said at the time: ‘My news is all over the news at the moment, and it’s sort of [like], “Cancer, cancer cancer” and it’s slightly tiresome because as you see, I’m alive and well.’

‘I have been in remission for eight months, which feels really good. And I’m alive and kicking and I’m going to work.’

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MORE : Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill has ‘never felt better’ months on from blood cancer remission


MORE : Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill receiving chemotherapy after stage 3 blood cancer diagnosis

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