Speaking remotely and at one point, on the brink of tears, Robin Quivers, the longtime sidekick of Sirius XM radio shock jock Howard Stern, revealed on Monday, Sept. 9 that she battled cancer and has beaten the disease.
The 61-year-old had taken time off in May 2012 to undergo surgery and revealed on the show the following June, during a remote broadcast from her home, that she had had a mass removed from her pelvic area. On Monday, Quivers said on the program, in response to a question from a caller, that it was cancerous and that she has since been cured.
Quivers, who uses an ISDN line to connect to the live satellite radio show, has not been in the studio physically for more than a year, leading many viewers to ask questions about her absence online -- with some of them making snarky remarks. She has worked with Stern for more than 30 years.
"Robin and I had a discussion over a year ago where it became beneficial to Robin's health not to talk about her situation and not to include the audience because she didn't want you nudniks [Yiddish for "people who nag"] riding her every minute ... and driving her nuts with different medical advice and things like that," Stern said.
Quivers, speaking remotely, said that after she reported having trouble urinating, doctors discovered a tumor "about the size of a grapefruit" that spanned across all the organs in her pelvis. They removed it via an operation that lasted more than 12 hours.
"When I woke up I didn't know what kind of life I was going to have," she said.
"We're going to try to prolong your life"
"I get through the surgery and the doctor comes in the next morning and tells me they got everything that they could and even had to remove some lymph nodes because there was some questionable activity there," Quivers said. "They send the tumor off to pathology to analyze it and stuff and after that, I think it was two weeks later, that's where they started saying, 'We're going to try to prolong your life.'"
Stern said that at the time, he was already making funeral arrangements for Quivers. Quivers said she then went to get a second opinion and a new doctor gave her a diagnosis, which was more optimistic.
"The final thing [the new doctor] said was 'And we're going for a cure,'" Quivers said
She said her treatment plan included radiation and chemotherapy and lasted until the end of 2012. Stern said Quivers missed no more than two episodes since her surgery.
Chemotherapy made her tired and after her second round of it, she lost most her hair, some of which has since grown back.
"I'm still waiting for eyelashes and eyebrows to return," Quivers said. "I do have some hair on my head now."
"About three and a half months ago, I go into my doctor's office," Quivers said. "She just looks at everything and she goes 'You're cured. You're done.'"
Stern said that before Quivers' tumor removal surgery, he cried too many times to count, "like a baby."
"The thought of losing you, it was unbearable," he said. I just would get into tremendous crying jags and my wife did help me with that."
"People don't understand how the people who love them save their lives," Quivers said.
Her voice wavering, She said she and Stern discussed how her quality of life may change following the surgery.
"I had a long and frank conversation with you about how I didn't want to live that way and you said, 'Oh yes, you can' and I was like, 'No, I can't,''" Quivers said.
"And we had this argument about whether I could live with certain conditions or not and before that conversation was over, because I realized how much I meant to you, I was beginning to consider living with things I never thought I could live with and I was going to do that because you loved me so much."
Watch excerpts from Robin Quivers' cancer reveal on the "Howard Stern Show" below.