Appendicitis-Hit Elton John 'Grateful to Be Alive'

By the Associated Press | July 10, 2013 | 6:35 AM EDT

En esta foto del 30 de junio del 2012, Elton John canta durante un partido de fútbol de la Eurocopa 2012 en Kiev, Ucrania. El músico británico canceló un concierto en el Hyde Park de Londres luego que le diagnosticaron una apendicitis que requerirá cirugía, informó su publicista en un comunicado el martes 9 de julio del 2013. (AP Foto/Efrem Lukatsky, Archivo)

LONDON (AP) — Elton John says he is grateful to be alive after learning he had been playing European tour dates while suffering from undiagnosed appendicitis.

The 66-year-old musician is quoted in The Sun newspaper Wednesday as saying he had struggled through the shows in pain, thinking he had food poisoning.

He later learned "I was a ticking time bomb. I guess I could have died at any time."

He added: "I feel so lucky and grateful to be alive."

On Tuesday John canceled a show in London's Hyde Park and other summer dates while he is treated for an inflamed appendix and surrounding abscess.

He is due to have surgery in the next few weeks after treatment with antibiotics.

John's new album, "The Diving Board," is due out in September.