John Berry was understandably shocked when he found out that he had throat cancer. After months of treatments, including chemotherapy, the singer reveals he is doing well, and ready to return to making music.
"I'm better than I thought I would be," Berry told PopCulture.com. "I'm recovering nicely from this cancer. The treatment was worse than the cancer."
Berry, who is now finished with receiving treatment, was initially in disbelief when he was given the unfortunate news.
"The first thing that went through my head was, 'You gotta be kidding me,'" Berry recalled. "I've been making records forever. I've been singing forever. I've made my living like this almost my entire adult life, and now I've got throat cancer. I never smoked. I never drank, yet here it is."
Berry is happy to be moving on with his life, and ready to put the cancer ordeal firmly in his past.
"I've had my treatments," Berry said. "I'll go back for periodic check-ups and have a pet scan done again. That pet scan shows if any cancer has shown up. What they're looking for is that two-year mark that says there's no cancer. That's kind of when they can say, 'Have a good life.'"
Berry is getting help in moving forward from several of his famous friends. The 59-year-old is the guest of honor at a tribute concert, We All Come Together, on Tuesday night (April 23) in Nashville, Tennessee, with artists like Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, Oak Ridge Boys, Suzy Bogguss and more offering their talents to help raise money for Berry.
"It's quite humbling," Berry conceded. "Because no matter how prepared you are, for the cancer, the treatments and all that stuff, the fact is that all of a sudden you're out of work for five or six months. Little things you just don't think about. Insurance is wonderful, but they don't cover life. It was quite overwhelming when my manager Brian [Smith] came to me and said, 'There all these people that wanted to do something. We think the perfect venue would be City Winery. They've offered to let us have it there.
"I was really moved," he added. "I hope they have lots of Kleenexes. I can be really emotional at stuff like that. I'm really grateful."
The We All Come Together event is sold out, but fans will soon be able to catch Berry in concert. He is planning on hitting the road soon for plenty of shows, including a few where he will serve as the opening act on the Clint Black Adkins' co-headlining Hits, Hats, History Tour. Find a list of all of Berry's upcoming shows at JohnBerry.com.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Rick Diamond