07/29/2002 AT 01:00 PM EDT
Devoted husband Ozzy Osbourne announced over the weekend that as of Sunday he would take a three-week hiatus from headlining his annual Ozzfest concert tour to be at the side of his wife, Sharon, who is beginning her chemotherapy treatments for cancer on Monday, reports PEOPLE and Reuters. His Sunday Ozzfest performance was to have taken place in Atlanta, says the news service, which notes that Ozzy, 53, intends to resume his musical duties in Denver on Aug. 22, according to the statement he released. While he is away, the band System of a Down will take up his slot on the bill. "This has been one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, and I'm hoping that my fans will understand," Osbourne's statement said, according to Reuters. "Ozzfest must continue with or without me since it's Sharon's baby." As PEOPLE reported in its exclusive cover story last week, five days after her July 3 surgery to treat colorectal cancer, Sharon's doctors told her that the disease had spread. "It was not the best news," the MTV matriarch, 49, told the magazine. But Ozzy and their children have rallied around Sharon, who plans to include footage of her chemotherapy treatments in the second season of the family's runaway hit series, "The Osbournes." "We need to get a different vibe going," she said of the treatment facility to PEOPLE. "I think I'll bring some music, introduce myself, maybe we can sing some songs and cheer the place up."