Saturday 19 January 2019

'Chemo brain has made me forget so much', says Christy

Christy Dignam wishes he could have been a better dad to daughter Kiera. Photo: Arthur Carron Photography
Christy Dignam wishes he could have been a better dad to daughter Kiera. Photo: Arthur Carron Photography

Aslan frontman Christy Dignam says he has forgotten parts of his life as a result of his cancer treatment.

Dignam will undergo another round of chemotherapy in the next two months to treat his amyloidosis.

The singer appears in new RTE documentary This Is Christy and said filming the programme helped him to recall fading memories.

"It was very surreal and strange. I'd forgotten so much because of the medication. I call it 'chemo brain'," he said.


"They showed me an interview I did on The Late Late Show with Gay Byrne and I couldn't remember it at all. I couldn't remember a thing. There were interviews and other TV shows I had completely forgotten about.

"So it was a very emotional experience, seeing all this forgotten archive footage."

The documentary follows Dignam's career from the release of Aslan's 1988 debut album Feel No Shame to their most recent gig in the Iveagh Gardens last Friday night.

The singer also talks about his regrets about being a "bad dad" to his daughter Kiera.

"I try not to regret things because I think it's a bit of a waste of time having regrets, but I knew that I wasn't the best father I could have been," he said.

"With Kiera, I just felt so bad that I wasn't there for her as a father. I caught her one day, I said, 'Look Kiera, I'm really so sorry I wasn't there for you'.

Christy Dignam performing with Aslan
Christy Dignam performing with Aslan

"I've tried to show her over the years that I was sorry and tried to be the grandfather that I wasn't as a father."

The singer also speaks about battling with drug addiction and coming to terms with the sexual abuse he suffered as a six-year-old.

"People don't realise the amount of damage sexual abuse can cause to a person," he said.

"It has affected my wife, it has affected my family, it affected all my brothers and sisters, it affected all the band and all their families. It is like a ripple effect."

Dignam was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and lives with amyloidosis - a rare disease that occurs when an abnormal protein is produced in the bone marrow.

He will soon undergo more chemotherapy.

Asked how he has maintained a positive attitude despite his hardships, Dignam said: "I don't know, really. That's just me. I have that positive part of my personality."

This Is Christy is on RTE One tonight at 9.35pm

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