The metal community was rocked earlier this week by the revelation that Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was suffering from lymphoma. His diagnosis came right in the middle of Black Sabbath's comeback trail, which includes a new album and touring. A flood of support from fans and fellow musicians followed the announcement of his illness. Now, the legendary axeman has issued his first personal statement on the matter.

Iommi stated that he is "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of love and support he received in the wake of the diagnosis, and that he is eager to embark on a course of treatment, which will be determined by some test results he is waiting for.

Even with this potentially devastating diagnosis, Iommi remains focused on the new Sabbath. What a dedicated, infallible man!

Iommi's short and heartfelt post read as follows:

My fans, friends & colleagues -

I just want to say how overwhelmed I am with all your messages of support, thank you so much.

Well it's not what I wanted for Christmas, that's for sure, but now I can't wait for the test results to come in and get going with the treatment.

It's really good that the guys are coming over so that we can continue working on the album as things are going great in the studio.

Well, not much else to say at this time, so thanks again.

Bless you all,

Tony

The entire metal community is in your corner, Tony!