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Howard Stern's longtime on-air partner Robin Quivers made a surprising admission Monday morning on Stern's SiriusXM radio show when she revealed that she's been battling cancer for the past 15 months, but is now cured.
Robin, 61, who's been Howard's sidekick since 1981, decided it was time to finally explain to her fans why she had been doing the show from home for much of the past year. She hadn't physically been in the studio since May 2012.
She explained that she had a tumor in her pelvis the size of a grapefruit, which began in the endometrial tissue of her uterus, and that she underwent months of radiation and chemotherapy.
"It was sounding very dire," she said.
Robin discovered the medical problem when she was at a wedding in Pittsburgh in 2012 and couldn't urinate. She headed to a hospital, where doctors simply emptied her bladder with a catheter and sent her home.
"I went to the doctor again, and for about a week nobody knew what was going on," she explained. "They determined that I just needed to have surgery, and they'd figure it out after they went in ... we did that last show [last spring] before I went in for surgery, and I didn't know if there would ever be another show."
Robin noted that her first operation lasted 12 hours. "I was in surgery for a long time, and when I woke up no one was around. All I knew was that I had been in surgery for a long time. � They were saying they might need to remove my colon and give me a permanent colostomy."
Howard cracked in his trademark humor, "The only good news is that there's no more wiping for the rest of your life."
"When you say they didn't know what it was, at first, they thought it was ovarian cancer, or ..." Howard asked.
"The people that I was originally working with had never seen this before," Robin shared. "You really really need to trust all of the people, and trust the treatment."
Robin explained that there were two reasons the operation took so long. "It took eight hours to remove the tumor because it was so huge that it was lying on all the organs in my pelvis. They literally had to scrape it off when they got to it. But also, they couldn't even figure out how to operate at one point, because it was so massive there was nowhere to attack."
"I gotta be honest, I thought she was a goner," Howard said jokingly. "I was already making funeral arrangements, to give you a sense of how serious this was. Not to make light of the situation, but I didn't know what was going on, and I was freaking out. I was already writing the eulogy � It was just the most awful, awful thing ever. Never mind Robin, it leveled me. Who cares what Robin was going through, what about me?"
"I gotta be honest, I thought she was a goner," Howard said jokingly. "I was already making funeral arrangements, to give you a sense of how serious this was. Not to make light of the situation, but I didn't know what was going on, and I was freaking out. I was already writing the eulogy ... It was just the most awful, awful thing ever. Never mind Robin, it leveled me. Who cares what Robin was going through, what about me?"
But after the rigorous follow up treatments, things turned around. "About three months ago I go into my doctor's office, and she just looks at everything and says, 'You're cured! ... You're done, because you're cured!'"
"The thought of losing you was just unbearable," an emotional Howard said. "I would just get into tremendous crying jags."
Shockingly, Robin only missed two actual broadcasts as a result of her illness. "It never occurred to me not to be on the air," she confessed. "When I was on the air, I was pain-free."
Quivers is about to embark on an extensive fall book tour to promote "The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life," which hits stores in October.
The full episode of Robin's cancer announcement can be seen on Howard TV On Demand starting September 10.