Normally, a cancer diagnosis can sideline a person from work, play or otherwise. In the case of Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, the riff master is as productive as ever in the wake of the devastating news that he is battling lymphoma.

Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler posted a blog update yesterday (Jan. 19) about the band's progress, saying that Sabbath have got "the engines back up and running" at Iommi's home studio in England and that the diagnosis has not dampened the guitarist's spirits or his ability to create music.

In fact, it's only pushed him to work harder. Butler stated that "Tony had already written the music for two new songs" and that his level of activity effectively administered a "kick up the rump" to his bandmates, encouraging them to do the same.

Butler also took a moment to thank fans for their outpouring of support in the wake of Iommi's diagnosis. The love and good vibes from the fans is like the fuel that keeps that Sabbath gears grinding.

The entire blog post is as follows:

Greetings Earth people,

Today [Jan 19th] we got the engines back up and running @ Tony’s home studio. Far from being down and depressed about his lymphoma diagnosis, Tony had already written the music for two new songs, and I must say it has given us all a kick up the rump -- it’s great to hear him churning out those riffs again, assuaging the Demon C. Takes more than that to stop Tony. Can’t wait for you all to hear our workings, it has been great working on this stuff.

I want to thank the lovely encouraging emails sent to this site giving Tony love and encouragement and great vibes. It really does help, not only Tony, but us as a band- it raises up our spirits and restores our faith in this tarnished world. Sabb fans are good people, time and again you have proven your faith in us and boosted our endeavour.

Thanks, love, peace.