Stern, now 65, shocked his loyal listeners in May 2017 when he took a sudden day off from his SiriusXM radio show. He later told audience members that he had the flu, but he was actually getting surgery to treat a growth on his kidney that doctors said had a “90 percent” chance of being cancerous.
“And now all I’m thinking is, ‘I’m going to die,’” the controversial radio host said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “And I’m scared s–tless.”
Stern woke from surgery to discover that the growth was not cancer, but rather a harmless cyst. While he was happy about the discovery, the whole ordeal was a life-altering situation that made him reflect on his life and his past decisions.
“I was so completely f–ked up back then,” the Private Parts author admitted. “I didn’t know what was up and what was down, and there was no room for anybody else on the planet.”
Now, the longtime broadcaster said he is “at a place now where I am trying to figure out how to spend the rest of my life, however long that might be.” As for retirement? He explained that he has been thinking about it recently, but “it seems weird” to think about not working in radio anymore.
The New York native, who has been the host of The Howard Stern Show since 1975, only told a few people about his health scare while it was happening. One of the pals he told? Longtime radio partner Robin Quivers, who previously battled cancer.
“I gotta be honest, I thought she was a goner,” Stern said in September 2013, shortly after Quivers, 66, revealed her diagnosis. “I’ll tell you how serious this was: I was already making funeral arrangements. Not to make light of this situation — I didn’t know what was going on. I was freaking out.”
Quivers is now in remission.
Stern also discussed his condition with his family, including daughters, Emily, 36, Debra, 32, and Ashley, 26, whom he shares with ex-wife Alison Berns Stern Simon. Stern and Berns, 64, divorced in 2001 and the radio personality married model Beth Ostrosky in 2008.
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