Everyone loves a happy ending.
The story of Wilko Johnson and his 'battle' with cancer is a remarkable one; to be diagnosed with terminal cancer and then find himself on the road to recovery made for a whirlwind of the last couple of years. But as surely as he felt thrilled to be alive, his imminent death never registered as something to be feared.
An amazing story comes to life in Julien Temple film
Now the Dr. Feelgood singer and guitarist has had his tale of miracles immortalised in a stunning documentary by Julien Temple entitled 'The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson', and within it he has a lot of lessons about the purpose of life and death.
Despite being diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and given 10 months to live in 2013, Johnson was thrown by how little he feared his mortality. 'I was absolutely calm. Not a flutter', he reveals in the film. 'It was as if he was telling me something I'd known all my life. I knew it meant that I was going to die.'
What happened next was something he never could have expected. A blissful feeling you'd never normally associate with such a tragedy. 'I remember walking out of the hospital... it was a beautiful winter's day, looking at the trees against the sky and suddenly I felt this elation. It was almost an ecstatic feeling. You're vividly alive', he said. 'By the time I got home I was almost euphoric.'
He admits that he initially thought the feeling was shock, but when it never faded, he knew it to be something else. 'I've had a splendid life and to demand more seems greedy in a way', he comments, with a wry smile.
The documentary also explores his venture to Japan and wish to do a string of farewell gigs for his fans, as well as recording a last album with Roger Daltrey entitled 'Going Back Home'. From there it follows how, in 2014, he underwent surgery having previously rejected chemotherapy and found himself miraculously cured. 'Save the NHS, it saved me!' Was what Johnson had to say on the matter.
'Now it looks like I'm going to live, I just hope I can carry some of these lessons that I've learnt along with me.'
'The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson' is available to view on BBC iPlayer.