July 10th, 2013
10:13 AM ET
After canceling the remainder of his European tour because of appendicitis, Elton John is counting his blessings.
The 66-year-old legend told U.K. paper The Sun that he's "lucky to be alive" after falling ill during the tour.
John was diagnosed with an "appendix abscess," and will undergo surgery in the U.K. in the coming weeks. Initially, the singer thought his stomach pain was from food poisoning, but by Friday's concert in Germany the suffering became too much and he sought treatment.
"I was a ticking time bomb. I guess I could have died at any time," John said. “I feel so lucky and so grateful to be alive. I played nine gigs and the White Tie and Tiara Summer Ball in agony.”
The father of two does plan to return to the road after recovering from surgery, which will take place once "doctors can be confident they have sufficiently reduced toxins within the inflamed appendicitis site," John's rep said Tuesday.
"Elton is incredibly disappointed to postpone these tour dates," his rep continued. "To know that he made such super-human efforts and continued to perform to thousands through his illness only confirms his dedication to his European fans. He is eager to be back on top form and return to play the remaining shows starting in early September 2013."
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