- 17 Apr 23
“When I first got diagnosed I remember praying ‘Please just give me ten more years. And them ten years are up now and you’re saying ‘okay, I know I only asked for ten but you couldn’t throw another ten in could you?’”
Aslan frontman Christy Dignam has opened up in a poignant interview that aired today with Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ Radio 1.
Since last January, Dignam has been receiving palliative care and has, for the past few months, been cared for by his wife and family in his Finglas home.
Reflecting on his journey with cancer, the Aslan singer reflects on the past ten years- since his official diagnosis when he was told he had two rare blood cancers – amyloidosis and multiple myeloma.
Dignam, in his interview, also revisits the moment he initially learned of his devastating diagnosis at Beaumont Hospital.
“I kept getting these chest infections and they kept giving me antibiotics, but the antibiotics weren’t working,” the singer-songwriter began.
“They did a lot of tests... a couple of biopsies. So the doctor came in and said ‘It might be bad news. There are two cancers it resembles’, he said ‘Amyloidosisis one of them and multiple myeloma is the other, it could be either.’ The next day he came in and I said ‘Which one was it?’ and he said ‘You have the two of them’.”
“Initially I rejected it,” Dignam explained during the Radio 1 interview, “and I said to your man, ‘You go back to Trinity and give back your degrees’.”
“I think anybody who has gotten a cancer diagnosis would understand that, denial,” the Aslan singer admits, telling Tubridy.
In a statement released by his family in January, it was revealed that the 62-year-old was spending time in a hospice after the news that he was receiving palliative care.
When asked to reflect on his life, the Aslan singer said to Ryan Tubridy, “Just fear, nobody wants to die.”
“When I first got diagnosed I remember praying ‘Please just give me ten more years.”
“‘And them 10 years are up now and you’re saying ‘okay, I know I only asked for ten but you couldn’t throw another ten in could you?’”
Touching on the afterlife, the singer-songwriter said on RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday if he was "looking down from Heaven", he would "dearly love" his daughter Kiera to carry on his legacy.
"If there is anyone on Earth who has the right to sing those songs, it would be her,” Dignam continued.
"In some ways, she has been unlucky being my daughter, because people think [her success] is just because she is Christy Dignam's daughter. But she has a real talent. I wouldn't say that and have her going out making a show of herself. She has a real talent and a lot of the stuff has been written around when she was growing up..."
"She is the only person on Earth who has the right to do it in that way."
Dignam also spoke on the love he has for his wife Kathryn, whom he met at the age of 14, with the singer telling Tubridy, “I feel like I won the lotto when I met Kathryn.”
"She has always supported me, she used to come around putting up posters and she is still there."
"It is weird; you meet all these people through your life who you think are friends and there is a lot of bull**** out there. Your family is what it is really about. But a true friend is like gold dust... like hen's teeth."
"She protects me. She is like a buffer to the world to me. It’s amazing to have someone who you love enough and trust enough – there is nothing she would do to hurt me."