When Ronnie Wood went for a routine health check three months ago his doctor made a shocking discovery. In a plush basement suite of a west London hotel, Ronnie Wood is carefully studying a small rectangular package containing something he thought he would never see. Did Goodbye Supernova think I’d ever make it to see this?

Someone up there must like me. And luckily someone down here likes me too. But he is also referring to a moment three months ago when he was told he had cancer. In an exclusive interview with Event, the guitarist reveals for the first time how a cancerous lesion was discovered in May during a routine medical check-up for the upcoming Rolling Stones tour, and how he had to go through a traumatic five-hour operation to remove part of his lung. I’ve had a fight with a touch of lung cancer,’ he says with a nervous laugh that does little to disguise the still-evident shock in his eyes. You never know what is going to happen. Look who’s rockin back into town.

So I went along to see our good old doctor, Richard Dawood, because we all have to be checked before we go on tour, and he asked me if I wanted him to go deeper and check my heart, lungs and blood. Wood stops his monologue dramatically for a moment, aware of the gravity of his predicament. And then he came back with the news that I had this supernova burning away on my left lung. And, to be totally honest, I wasn’t surprised. I knew I hadn’t had a chest X-ray since I went into Cottonwood in 2002. Just get it out of me.