July 16, 2001 08:50 AM

Rocker Eddie Van Halen, 46, said fighting cancer over the past 18 months has opened his eyes to life. “The way I look at it is like this: I’ve run too many red lights and gotten away with it for a long time, but it kinda caught up with me. I believe that God doesn’t lay this on you unless you’re supposed to learn something,” the guitarist and golfer told Maximum Golf magazine. “All that really matters to me is my son and my wife,” Van Halen said, referring to his son, Wolfgang, and actress Valerie Bertinelli. The Dutch-born musician disclosed in April that he was undergoing cancer treatment but has given few details. His wife has said that he had a lesion removed from his tongue. “I don’t know why people want to know what only my wife and son and maybe my best friends have a right to know,” Van Halen said. “I say to everyone else, ‘Look, all I have to say is that I’m doing great.’ But I’m not about to go into the details until the cancer is completely gone.” He also said that a proposed reunion with former bandmate David Lee Roth (who quit the band in 1985) was halted once lawyers got involved. “Everything looked pretty positive about getting together but, before you know it, the attorneys are involved. These cats had me so beat down and confused it made the cancer seem like a tiny zit on my a–.”

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