‘I still have my sense of humour’: John Blackman’s remarkable resilience after life saving surgery

Jan 29, 2024
Despite the hardship, Blackman remarkably retained his sense of humour, emphasising its importance as a beacon of light in his life. Source: Getty Images.

Iconic Australian television personality John Blackman has shared the profound impact that life-saving surgery has had since being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, an uncommon and aggressive form of skin cancer.

The 76-year-old, best known for his role on Hey Hey It’s Saturday, recently opened up about the challenges he has faced following a 10-hour surgery that involved removing his jaw and replacing it with a bone from his leg.

The journey began in 2018 when Blackman received the devastating news of his diagnosis. The cancer had taken root on his chin, posing a significant threat to his health and career. The ensuing surgery was not just physically demanding but also emotionally taxing for the television legend.

“When I went to my surgeon to get the results of the test he said, ‘Look, John, your life is going to change completely from now on’,” he told the Herald Sun.

“Professionally, financially, emotionally, it is never going to be the same again. You will never work in front of a mic again.”

The prediction proved true as Blackman found himself facing a new reality. The surgery had taken a toll on his career, leaving him unable to engage in activities he once loved. Despite the hardship, Blackman remarkably retained his sense of humour, emphasising its importance as a beacon of light in his life.

“Everything the surgeon said has come true. Even now talking to you, it is painful. I can’t do what I love,” he went on.

“Thankfully, I still have my sense of humour, they did not remove that.”

In a previous interview, Blackman regarded himself as “the luckiest person on earth” despite his adversities. He acknowledged that everyone faces some form of adversity in life, no matter who they are.

“Adversity, doesn’t matter how important or smart you think you are, everyone has some sort of adversity in their life,” he said.

Having experienced a challenging battle with cancer, Blackman recently shared insights into John Farnham’s recovery following the singing icon’s own shocking cancer diagnosis in 2022.

At the time, Blackman highlighted the lengthy recovery ahead for the fellow entertainer. He conveyed hopes for Farnham to navigate through the ordeal with minimal angst, emphasising the importance of support from family and loved ones.

Blackman revealed that he cried when he heard about the entertainment legend’s diagnosis.

As reported by 7News, Blackman said his fellow entertainer has a tough, lengthy recovery ahead.

“Hopefully John will get through this with as little angst as possible, and he’s going to need all the support he can get,” Blackman said.

“I know his family is very loving and they’re all going to gather around him.”

Fortunately for Farnham, he was given the “all clear” by doctors in July 2023 and was declared cancer free.

To celebrate the incredible news, Farnham issued a statement to fans on Wednesday, August 23, his first since receiving surgery in 2022.

“It’s been a year since my first surgery and to be honest I’ve lost count as to how many other procedures there’s been since then,” Farnham said at the time.

“I’m sure someone’s kept track of them all – let’s just say, there’s been a few. But, I’m home now and I’m a very grateful and happy man. I’m sitting here in my living room lapping up the attention from my beautiful wife, Jill, my boys Rob and James and my mini Schnauzer, Edmund.

“It’s only now that I can start to appreciate and comprehend, for myself, how many messages of love and support have been sent to me over the past year. I don’t know what to say, other than thank you so very much. It honestly means the world to me. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write and send a message.

“Today is a special day. And I’m going to mark it by having a pizza – because I can! I can’t wait to see what might be next on the menu. Bring on 2024.”

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