Ali Carter says his treatment for lung cancer has been successful so far and he hopes to be playing on the snooker circuit soon.
Speaking to Andy Goldstein on Talksport’s Sports Bar show on Friday night, the three time ranking event winner said: “It has been a tough few months but I’m bearing up and looking forward to the future. I have finished the chemotherapy. I had 21 days of it, spread over the course of two and a half months. It’s three weeks since the last session, so I’m feeling like myself a bit more now.
“When I had testicular cancer it took me a while before I was brave enough to go to the doctor and get it investigated. Looking back on it now, I probably wouldn’t have had this secondary cancer in my lung if I had gone and got myself checked out quicker. After the testicular cancer I was under surveillance and having monthly blood tests so luckily they picked up the tumour in my lung very early.
“The professor called me and asked me to come in. I had an ultrasound and a CT scan. Then he called me and said I had a shadow on my lung. I was in absolute bits straight away. I had a PET scan then he said it was a tumour and that I would need to have chemotherapy. Luckily I have endured that now. I’m not out of the woods yet. I need to have another procedure next week to burn the remaining part of the tumour away.
“My Crohn’s disease affects my immunity, and the chemo knocked me sideways so much that it was dangerous to give me any more, so I only had three cycles rather than four. That’s why I’m having the radio frequency ablation. Hopefully after that it will be job done. The scans are good, there’s no activity there any more. The professor is very well known in the field of cancer treatment, he’s a top man so I just do what he tells me.
“It has all happened quickly and I’m now trying to get back to normality and start playing snooker again. I have tried to get out in the sun and on my mountain bike, breathing in the fresh air, looking around me and thinking life is good. Maybe the mental side-effects will catch up later on, but I’m doing ok. Friends and family and everyone around me have been brilliant. I’d like to thank my mum who has been my rock throughout this. The cancer nurses in the hospital have been unbelievable, they deserve recognition.
“After I found out I had cancer, I got home and my four-year-old boy was sitting on the sofa. He said ‘daddy, you’re my best friend.’ I thought to myself that I could either lie down and die, or I could fight this. I had no choice other than to just be positive and expect the best possible outcome. Of course there have been dark times and dark days, but I have tried to remember that my son needs me and I have to get through it.
“It has totally changed my outcome on life. Snooker is important to me because it’s my career and I love the game. When I play I’m going to try to win, but knocking a few balls around the table just doesn’t matter. I have been playing throughout my treatment. The first two cycles of chemo affected my eyesight and I’d go to the snooker club all starry-eyed, but that seemed to go away during the third cycle. I have the shakes a lot of the time. But generally the practice is going well. I haven’t had the best temperament throughout my career, but I’ve been missing easy balls and getting kicks and just laughing and smiling. Everyone might be pleasantly surprised by my attitude when I come back.
“I’m looking forward to travelling and seeing all the boys on the circuit again. I’m a competitive animal so I want to get back amongst it. Jason Ferguson has been great, he’s been on the end of the phone, and secured my seeding position because I didn’t want to lose ground.”
To listen to the full interview, click here and scroll to the 23:00 to 23:30 section, then 4min 30sec.