Andrew Lloyd Webber reflects on his brush with cancer

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber


 I was reading in last weekend’s newspapers of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s reflections on his recent brush with cancer. In October last year, Sir Andrew was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and admits that the months since – filled with surgery, hospital appointments and conversations about how to tell the children – have given him ‘something of a shake’.     

So, too, it seems, has the realisation of how easy it would have been for things to have had a very different outcome. ‘A change in timing would have done it, you know,’ he says. ‘I’d finished writing my new musical, Love Never Dies, (the long-anticipated sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera)…but rehearsals for the show weren’t due to start for a couple of months. It shames me to say it, but it was quite by chance that I had “time” to bother about my health.”    

I am sure how much this resonates with many of us! I know I put off visiting my GP at first – too busy to make that appointment. I certainly didn’t have time for cancer in my busy schedule, but cancer was waiting in the wings for me to drop everything.    

Happily the composer is now celebrating  being cancer free. Cancer is a great leveler. No matter who we are in life, it brings us all down to size. We are forced to re-examine our priorities, our goals and our desires in life and Sir Andrew’s story is just one more example of this.    

“It’s the old cliché”, he says, ” but going through something like this does pull you up short and make you think. I mean, we caught my cancer early, so there was always a good chance it would have a positive outcome but, nonetheless, it certainly makes you aware that you are mortal.”