"So many of you folks have been kindly inquiring about my health, and I've been quietly evading," the Queen guitarist wrote Dec. 28.
"Usually, I've tended to keep stuff like this private, because I didn't want it to be distracting," he said, adding he "was in pretty bad shape" during his recent concert tour.
May went on to say he underwent successful knee-replacement surgery last summer, but three months later starting getting "bad pains in the backside."
"I thought my hip joint was going the same way as the knee. It's a long story since then, with various treatments, assuming the trouble was in the muscles readjusting; but finally it got really bad about two weeks before Christmas," he wrote. "So bad I had to give up on going anywhere if there was standing up involved. I'm telling the story now because I'm thinking it might be helpful to some folks out there who have similar experiences.
"My [general practitioner] decided to try to get to the bottom of it, and sent me for a set of MRI scans. Well, that's when it all became a 'health scare' [something like a Spooky Mormon Hell Dream ...]
"The scans showed up all kinds of mechanical disc and vertebra problems that might be the cause of the pain, but there were also some abnormalities in the bones -- things that the report said needed urgent attention. So around Christmas I've been having a succession of blood tests, ultrasounds, and various kinds of scans, to see if they could rule out various kinds of cancer. Now, on hearing the 'C' word something happens inside you ... of course.
"I've seen so many of my dear friends fighting it ... and my Dad lost his battle at age 66, exactly the age I am now. So over the last few days I've been in various states of unrest. But the great thing has been that the team my GP assembled to check out the possibilities has moved Heaven and Earth to gather all the information I need quickly over the Christmas period ... not an easy time. ... Well, rephrasing slightly, the REALLY great thing is that so far the tests have eliminated a lot of nasty things. ...
"So ... I guess I'm still in the 'scare' scenario, but with good hopes. My specialist guys have also been really positive, reassuring me that if they did find anything in the 'C' word category, it was almost certainly treatable with success."