CANCER-battling singer, Joe Longthorne, faces an agonising eight-day wait to find out if a bone marrow transplant has been a success.
The entertainer is recovering in an isolation ward at a Manchester hospital after undergoing the transplant last Wednesday.
And even though it is still too soon to say whether the operation has worked, the irrepressible star is already planning his comeback gig.
His close friend and manager, Tony Jo, said today: "All the signs so far are hopeful. Joe is feeling pretty unwell but strangely enough that is a good sign according to the doctors.
"He was up and about the day after the operation laughing and joking with everyone. And although he is quite sick at the moment he is still in very good spirits and has already booked to perform a New Year's Eve concert in Blackpool, although I can't say where yet."
Joe, who is currently in remission from lymphatic cancer, cancelled a planned summer season at the Pleasure Beach's Paradise Rooms to undergo the life-saving operation.
The donor, a 28-year-old Welsh woman, was found after the singer's fans launched an international appeal for a suitable match.
Joe turned 50 last month and celebrated by putting on a two-hour birthday show for fan club members. He promised adoring fans that after the operation he would be back in top form – and with more hair.
Tony said: "We will find out next week whether it has worked and we are all very optimistic. If it works he won't need anymore treatment and if anybody deserves it Joe does.
"He is fighting like the fighter he is.
"Everyone has been so impressed by how brave he is being and has been throughout his illness.
"Because of the risk of infection he has to stay in isolation so he hasn't been able to have too many visitors, just family and close friends, but he has had so many supportive messages from fans he can't wait to get back to work and thank them the best way he knows how, with a great show."
Joe will remain in Manchester Royal Infirmary until next week. Doctors say he will then need six months to convalesce – but Tony Jo said owing to the star's personality, he will be keen to get back a lot sooner.
Last year the singer had to cut short a show at the Opera House on doctor's orders and he underwent extensive chemotherapy.