Howard Stern has revealed that during his “personal day” in 2017, he was actually having surgery to remove a growth on his kidney to be checked for cancer.
In his new book, Howard Stern Comes Again, Stern reveals that he spent a lot of time in 2016 and 2017, going back and forth for tests after his doctor located a low white blood cell count during a checkup.
The Howard Stern Show host said that he cancelled his show on SiriusXM on May 10, 2017, which prompted speculation from fans.
He returned to the airwaves five days after, but lied to his audience about his absence, saying instead that he had the flu.
“Why is it such a big deal that I took a f***ing day off?” he asked on air at the time.
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When the growth was discovered, it was believed at first that there was a 90 per cent chance that it was cancerous.
“And now all I’m thinking is, ‘I’m going to die,’” Stern told The Hollywood Reporter (THR). “And I’m scared sh*tless.”
The 65-year-old radio host, who had almost never taken a day off from his SiriusXM show, learned after the procedure that the growth was just a small, non-cancerous cyst.
Stern revealed that he kept his cancer scare quiet, only telling his wife Beth Stern and three daughters, and his Howard Stern Show co-host Robin Quivers, who is a cancer survivor.
He said that going through all of that made him question if it might be time to spend more time with his family and hang up his headphones and turn off his microphone.
Stern said that he’s “thinking about the hourglass, and the sand emptying.”
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“To walk away from what I’m good at?” he said. “I don’t even know that I have it 100 per cent right yet. And maybe there’s more to explore.”
Stern also spoke about his relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump, who used to call into his show or drop by the studio.
“It was a difficult thing because there’s a part of me that really likes Donald, but I just don’t agree politically,” Stern said. “A more self-serving person would have gone all in on Donald because I’d probably be the FCC commissioner or a Supreme Court justice by now.”