New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey has confirmed his cancer diagnosis but remains upbeat due to its curable nature.
During lockdown Impey developed a cyst the size of a golf ball on the back of his skull.
This was surgically removed and a biopsy conducted. Impey was then informed he had non-Hodgkin lymphoma - a curable and in his case confined cancer of the blood.
The treatment is six chemotherapy treatments spread over 18 weeks. Side-effects can include nausea and hair loss.
Impey informed all New Zealand Rugby staff, including provincial and Super Rugby bosses and life members, of his diagnosis on July 9. NZR board member Stewart Mitchell will fulfil his duties should his health deteriorate, but Impey intends to carry on in his role as chairman as usual.
"I'm feeling very positive. The specialist advice is this is curable," Impey told the Herald. "I was told that if you are going to get a cancer this is one of the best to get.
"It's six treatments of chemotherapy of which I've had two. I've had no side-effects so far and I expect to be all through by the end of October.
"When I got the diagnosis the first thing the specialist said was it is curable. When you get diagnosed with cancer you think 'oh shit'. I knew something was wrong – that's why we went to the specialist – but the diagnosis was more of a relief than a shock."
Impey, alongside NZR chief executive Mark Robinson, will be pivotal in shaping the game's future in the coming months. He chaired last week's NZR board meeting which signed off an eight-to-10 team Super Rugby structure for next year and beyond that involved the significant breakaway from South Africa and Argentina.
That process also included the three-month Aratipu review which will evoke further change to the high performance pathways within all levels of the New Zealand game.
In the coming weeks, NZR will work with their Australian counterparts to try to reach an agreement over the number of Super Rugby teams that may join the New Zealand franchises next year while also attempting to get a Pacific side off the ground.
"I'm not planning on taking on any time off - in fact it's the reverse," Impey said. "It's important to keep physically and mentally active. Having all these issues within rugby at the moment is a welcome distraction."
Impey is also a director of Yellow Pages Group, Director of Strategy for Ports of Auckland and was chief executive of MediaWorks between 2000-2009.