Nile Rodgers, the legendary co-founder of Chic and who has worked with everyone from Daft Punk to David Bowie, has spoken of the moment he discovered he was suffering from “aggressive” prostate cancer, and how he dealt with it.
“Four years ago I was stricken with very aggressive cancer,” he told the BBC’s Hardtalk, “and I remember when I got that phone call from the doctor - and of course I was terrified - but my immediate reaction after I got over that initial shock, I said ‘Doc, can we resume this call on Tuesday when I get back from Rome?’.”
Rodgers explained that he was “walking out the door to go do a show” when his doctor had called. He said the doctor was adamant that Rodgers discuss his options with him in his office immediately, but the musician eventually managed to dissuade him and travelled to Rome to perform his shows.
“I came back [four days later] and said: ‘Now, what were you saying?’”
The writer and producer kept a blog called “Walking on planet C” to document his experience with cancer since his diagnosis and treatment, to share his “appreciation of life, music and people”.
Rodgers explained that after consulting with numerous doctors he “decided to have radical surgery to try and remove the cancer in its entirety”. He prepared for a number of possible outcomes, calling the lead up to his surgery “the most terrifying period of my life”.
He took to making four-mile long walks each day in preparation for his surgery, and said that now his walks have a “dual purpose,” which involves his late song-writing partner and Chic co-founder, Bernard Edwards.
“Do everything in my power to heal and try to put cancer behind me – and share the ‘Good Times’ and happy memories of a lost songwriting partner to anyone who’ll listen. We did fun music meant to lift the spirit – and I’m proud of it.”