TESTAMENT Singer Talks About Beating Cancer

D.X. Ferris of the Cleveland Scene reports: TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy's father had grown up on a Pomo tribe reservation, but he didn't want his kids to. As a child, Billy was vaguely aware of his heritage. In 2000, one of his friends told him she wanted him to meet another pal, a Native American medicine man named Charlie. Later, she said she had a dream in which Billy and the shaman were sitting around a campfire, putting on war paint and preparing for battle. Billy laughed it off.

Months later, he was diagnosed with cancer. Doctors found a tumor the size of a squash in his chest cavity. Billy battled the disease for the next two years and began taking steroids to offset a five-days-a-week chemotherapy regimen. His 6-foot-4 frame quickly ballooned from all the water weight. One day, Billy was reeling from the treatments when Charlie showed up at his door, offering to perform a healing ceremony.

The medicine man cleared Billy's living-room floor and told the singer to lie down and close his eyes. Charlie then took Billy on a healing journey, which the TESTAMENT frontman today refers to as a "mystical experience." Billy felt the healer dancing around him, chanting and playing a flute. Feeling like he was floating into space, he recalls hearing both howls and blowing wind, as Charlie invoked Mother Earth. The medicine man brushed an eagle feather across Billy's chest, and he felt something move inside. After finishing the ritual, Charlie told him, "The wind is going to be your spirit guide to get you through all this."

Read the entire article from the Cleveland Scene.


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