Via a new interview with Spin, Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford opens up about his battle with prostate cancer. Commerford reveals that, just before he went out on tour with the band earlier this year, he had his prostate removed.
Prior to this interview, not many people – besides a close circle of loved ones and that of the band – knew about Tim’s diagnosis. When asked if he has been able to keep a positive outlook on things, Tim ends up speaking about the several stressful thoughts he has had to juggle regarding his battle with prostate cancer. Per Tim:
“You can find yourself in a situation like I’m in where it’s like, fuck, my whole life changed. With everything that happens to me now, I wonder, am I feeling this way because I have cancer? Am I losing my hair because I have cancer? Whatever it is, it makes me wonder if it’s happening because I have cancer. And prostate cancer is a very, very, very tough one because it’s connected to your sexuality. It’s hard to disconnect from that and when you’re forced into that situation, it’s a brutal psychological journey. I’ve been trying to find support groups, and it’s hard to find people and hard to talk about it.
“The suffering part of it, the physical suffering after the surgery, I’ve never felt pain quite like that. I have metal plates in my head and cadaver parts in my body. I’ve done a lot of damage through sports and mountain biking and this sort of thing and I’ve always felt like I had a really high tolerance for pain, and that shit brought me to my knees. After the pain went away, I still haven’t really been able to get up, even though I’m working out and doing shit, but psychologically, the damage is severe. It’s very hard for me to not break down and get emotional.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Tim speaks about how difficult it was for him at times to perform during Rage Against the Machine shows. The interviewer makes a point to say that given the great performances he brought to this tour, you wouldn’t assume anything wrong was going on. In response to this, Tim says:
“That’s the way it went down. You can still be in great shape. When I got my physical, my doctor said I was in the best shape of any 50-year-old he’d ever seen there. There’s plenty of people that are in great shape that have cancer. And I’m hoping to continue as long as I can be that. I work out religiously, and I try my hardest to stay in shape. I’m still very proud of who I am. When I first got diagnosed, it fucked with me on that level. But now I’m starting to feel this level of, ‘I’m going to be the fittest motherfucker with cancer that’s 54 that you’ve ever fucking seen in your life.’”
At the end of the interview, Commerford confirms that he is striving to keep a positive outlook on life. During this absolutely difficult time in life Tim, we want to say that we are thinking of you and send our love <3