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27 November 2019, 12:19 | Updated: 27 November 2019, 12:24
Actor Gray O'Brien has revealed that he’s been battling tonsil cancer for the past three months.
The former Coronation Street star said he was ‘devastated’ when he was diagnosed after visiting his doctor over the summer with 'swollen glands'.
Since then, Gray O’Brien - who played businessman Tony Gordon in Corrie between 2007 and 2010 - has had 30 rounds of radiotherapy over six weeks and shared a video ringing a bell in hospital to signify his treatment has ended.
In a heartfelt social media post, he said: "When I received the diagnosis of tonsil cancer I was of course devastated - it's cancer.
I have been totally humbled by the response from my tweet. Although this is the end of my treatment I still have a long way to go in my recovery. Best wishes to anyone who is just about to start this journey. This picture was taken on my first day. #CancerAwareness #tonsilcancer pic.twitter.com/Jd67KhIX9M— Gray O'Brien (@RealGrayOBrien) November 26, 2019
"My reason for waiting to ring the bell before I mentioned it publicly is because I wasn't sure how strong I would be in coping with the treatment, indeed could I cope with the treatment?
"Even though I was told what to expect after the chemotherapy and what to expect after 30 rounds of radiotherapy I wasn't sure how my body would react, and now six weeks later I have been able to cope with it and I was able to ring the bell.”
Admitting that he still has a “long way to go” with his recovery, Gray - who has appeared in Casualty and River City - continued: "I have been advised it will get worse before it gets better, and I have no reason to doubt this.
"The accuracy of the medical advice I have received with regards to the treatment and how it's progressed has been spot-on so far.
"As long as I take it a day at a time as I have up until this point I am looking forward to coming through the other side."
He later added: "About 3 months ago a trip to the doctors with swollen glands led to stage four tonsil cancer.
“Today marks the end of my treatment & I couldn't be more thankful to everyone who has supported me along the way. @Beatson_Charity @CRUK_BI #CancerAwareness #tonsilcancer #staystrong.”
Gray's friends were quick to respond, with one writing: “Mate, I had no idea. So sorry you’ve had a hellish time but delighted to see you ring that feckin bell!!! Hugs and love for your recovery!! X”
“Great to see you ringing the bell mate, lots of love,” said another, while a third added: “That is so awful. So pleased to see you “ring the bell”. Sending my very best.”