It’s been less than a week since it was revealed that Tony Iommi had been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, and the metal world is still shocked. And after staying quite for the most part, the Black Sabbath guitarist has spoken out for the first time since the diagnosis.

In a statement released late last night, Iommi had the following to say:

“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”

While he doesn’t give much more information than we already know, it’s great to hear that he’s in good spirits. It’s also great to hear that the original lineup is still hard at work on a new album despite the recent news. However, hopefully we’ll find out whether or not any of their previously announced tour dates will be affected in light of Iommi’s health, especially considering the rumors surrounding Coachella.

Until then, we’ll keep hoping for the best for Iommi and that he makes a full recovery soon.