Dave Myers, star of Hairy Bikers, has opened out about his ‘destructive’ first round of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer.
The 66-year-old TV chef confirmed his diagnosis in May 2022, joking that he’d be a ‘baldy biker’ for the time being.
In later updates, he assured followers that his disease had become ‘something one learns to live with,’ while his onscreen co-star Si King recalled the ‘distressing’ and ‘tough’ months they’d been through.
Dave has now gone openly about his therapy in a new documentary, after believing he wouldn’t ‘be here’ this Christmas.
Liliana Orzac, his wife, also described how their world ‘collapsed’ when they learned of his condition.
When asked about the moment he found out he had cancer, Dave recalls being on the motorway late at night in France when the doctor called.
‘I can’t remember the rest of the drive home, it was like everything collapsed around us,’ Liliana added.
‘It’s like, “Where do we go from here?”‘ Dave continued, before Si explained his ‘disbelief’ when he found out.
The 57-year-old said: ‘When I first got the call, what went through my mind was disbelief, and a refusal to believe it in a way.
‘It’s the word, isn’t it, the word that everybody fears.’
He went on to say that the moment it ‘became real’ for Dave was when he went to treatment for the first time, before it ‘got truly serious’ when he lost all his hair.
‘The first lot of chemo was very, very destructive,’ Dave shared, recalling how he was told by an oncologist that he would be ‘taken to the edge’.
‘You don’t realise what an impact it can have, the debilitating effects kick in quite quickly.
‘My sense of taste and appetite went, I was poorly, you see your weight drop and you’ve got to eat, but it’s finding something you want to eat.
‘I had sores in my mouth. I would fall over quite a lot.’
‘It was hard, and it is hard to see him physically struggling with the effects of the treatment,’ Liliana adds.
‘By the second lot of chemo, my hair came out. It really is quite radical, it’s not a gradual moulting, your hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, everything just goes,’ Dave went on.
‘It was all about survival, getting through from one week to the next.’
As Si spoke about how he watched Dave suffering through that period, he added: ‘I could not see a way forward, I just couldn’t.’
Dave has previously stated that he has not commented about the type of cancer he has been diagnosed with since it is’my business’ and he does not want speculation about how long he has to live.
‘I was crying inside but I had to be showing him a pretty face and a smile, and maybe push him to get him out of the state of depression,’ Liliana continued, saying it wasn’t ‘easy’ to ‘push’ Dave at the time.
Dave, who was undergoing his 37th round of chemotherapy at the time, rode his bike for the first time in poignant sequences during production.
‘I knew I’d got my man back,’ Liliana said, remembering Dave returning to a bike shop and putting his helmet back on to take his new bike for a spin.
‘It was like a miracle had happened, because it was something we thought he’d never do again. But he does it.’
‘I was jumping for joy, not for any other reason, but to see my best mate doing what he does,’ Si added.
The Hairy Bikers: Coming Home for Christmas is available to watch on iPlayer.