“My father expressly prohibited his own doctor…”RJ Gibb’s statement regarding Barry’s Daily Mail interview
In a statement (July 6, 2013, Facebook) regarding Barry’s Daily Mail interview, RJ Gibb revealed for the first time that Robin’s surgery in August 2010 was not just for "intestinal blockage" as had been reported but "a surgery to remove" "a growth in his bowel blocking his intestine" and of how Robin had refused to "verify the nature of the blockage to see if the growth was benign or if it was a malignant tumour" until it was "too late."
Statement by RJ Gibb about the Barry Gibb’ Daily Mail interview
It seems the press have got their facts wrong. I say the press because first of all I can’t think of a good reason why my Uncle would doubt the love my father had for him. The one thing my father so heartbreakingly wished for in this world was to once more work side by side with his brother, to perform with him and to produce studio albums together again. It was a subject that my father could not let a day go by without mention. When he finally had the scans and he first knew he had cancer, when most men might seldom think of anything else other than the dreadful news at hand, the first thing that my father was voicing his fear about was of never having that chance should something happen to him. Second of all I have had the press skew my words before and insert "extras" and "speculative truths".
The truth of the matter is that my mother and I went against my father’s wishes not to tell a soul and told Barry and Linda about his growth and the subsequent surgery to remove it in 2010. You see, what the paper didn’t print was the fact that nobody knew for sure until about 8 months before his death that he actually had cancer as my father had refused to go for screening. Up until then all anybody knew was that there had been a growth in his bowel blocking his intestine which he had removed, but in the wake of his surgery, unfortunately he would not go for the appointments, or for the scans and would not receive the phone calls from the hospital or the specialists to verify the nature of the blockage to see if the growth was benign or if it was a malignant tumour. He expressly prohibited his own doctors from telling him or his own family a thing.
By the time he relented and had the first scans and let his doctors speak to us,(as at this stage he still wasn’t allowing the doctors to tell him anything directly!) it had become secondary and spread to his liver. It was then that our worst fear and suspicion was realised and we knew for certain that we might be dealing with a situation where too little too late could be done and additionally chemotherapy can be a rough sea to cross. We related the news to the rest of the family that night in September that the blockage he had removed in 2010 was malignant and had spread.
Had my father allowed the oncologists to diagnose and treat him immediately after the 2010 surgery then he might still be with us. So, far from there being a cover up there was nothing to cover up, as my father was in denial of their being an anomaly to investigate in the first place.
The best advice I can give to anyone who has just been diagnosed with or knows somebody who has just been diagnosed with colorectal cancer is to seek treatment immediately, the earlier the better and don’t keep it from your family, don’t demonise your doctors, especially your oncologist and remember this: After my father knew for certain that he had colon cancer he was more afraid of the chemotherapy than the cancer. This also caused even more delays and cancelled appointments (cancelled in this case means him pretending to be asleep and not getting out of bed, not getting in the car, not showing up altogether and not receiving possibly life saving treatment) but once he got into the routine he thought it was not as bad as he had first reckoned it would be. That didn’t stop him wasting precious time and losing those vital treatments though.
The notion that my father wanted a solo career is just not correct either because you see, apart from getting back together with Barry being his strongest desire, the whole reason my father was worried about Barry finding out in the first place was because he was afraid that if his brother knew he had a growth of any kind he may tell him to take it easy for his health’s sake and not to perform on stage and hence not work with him but not out of malice but out of concern. But we had to tell Barry and the rest of the family immediately in 2010 and then again when we found it was malignant in 2011, and on both occasions Barry never said to my father what he feared he would say (to take it easy, don’t perform etc…). But sadly my father never recovered enough to realise those dreams of touring together again.
The Bee Gees may have tried their respective solo paths in the past but my father at least had long given up that notion, he just wanted to do with his brother what they had always done best and bring into a new century what they had done as the best writing team in my view of the 20th century.
（Paragraphs edited by BGD)
This is by far the most coherent account that has so far come out from Robin’s family about the delay of Robin’s diagnosis or treatment which had such a heart-wrenching outcome.
(Thanks: Bee Gees Italy)
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