Robin Quivers, Howard Stern's co-host, talked on Monday about her 15-month battle with cancer and how she was cured. “After undergoing treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering -- which included chemotherapy and an ileostomy, a surgical procedure to allow intestinal waste to pass out of the body through an opening in the skin and into a pouch -- Quivers said doctors told her three and a half months ago that she is now cancer-free,” reported CNN on Sept. 9, 2013.
Robin Quivers’ revelation of her battle with cancer came when a caller asked when Robin Quivers would return to the studio after she had been working from home since May of last year.
When the caller inquired about Robin Quivers’ absence during Monday’s show, Howard Stern directed the question to Robin Quivers. "Do you want to fill the audience in on what happened since then so that they understand why you haven't been in the studio?"
"Sure. I'm ready to talk about it now, I guess. Yeah, so I went to a doctor that afternoon and for about a week the story was that nobody really understood what was going on. They knew that there was a mass in my pelvis but nobody knew what it was, and eventually it was determined that I just had to have surgery and they'd figure it out after going in."
The afternoon that Robin Quivers is referring to was right before her last day in the studio last year. According to her account, Robin Quivers had been at a wedding in Pittsburgh when she discovered that she was not able to urinate.
During a trip to the emergency room, Robin Quivers’ bladder was drained using a catheter but the problem still persisted. During the following week, doctors discovered the mass in Robin Quivers’ pelvis but it was not until her 12-hour surgery that doctors could determine that the mass was cancerous and involved uterine tissue that had migrated outside her uterus.
"The tumor was about the size of a grapefruit," explained Robin Quivers. "There were two reasons that the operation was so long. It took eight hours to remove the tumor because it was so huge, it was lying on all the organs in my pelvis, and they literally had to scrape it off when they got to it. But also, they couldn't even figure out how to operate 'cause it was so massive."
Besides having the tumor surgically removed, Robin Quivers’ cure included chemotherapy and an ileostomy. During an ileostomy surgical procedure, an opening is constructed that directs the small intestine out onto the surface to the skin so that intestinal waste can pass out of the ileostomy into an external pouch which is usually placed above the groin on the right hand side of the abdomen.
According to the ileostomy guide provided by the American Cancer Society, having an ileostomy either temporarily or permanently might leave someone discouraged, alone, and isolated. However, an ileostomy does not prevent someone from having a regular social life that includes travels, sporting events, eating at restaurants, or any other enjoyable activity.
In talking about her cure from cancer, Robin Quivers emphasizes that surgery, chemotherapy, and an ileostomy need one more major ingredient – love and support. Robin Quivers said that Howard Stern was one of those people who supported her through her illness.
During Monday’s show and Robin Quivers’ account of her 15-month battle with cancer and her cancer cure, Howard Stern was at times emotional recalling how he was worried that his friend would not survive.
"I was already making funeral arrangements. Not to make light of this situation, but I was freaking out. It was just this f***ing crazy thing that came out of left field and it was going down real quick. I can't tell you when you see a friend, a life-long friend, going through this, what it's like," Howard Stern said about having to watch his friend Robin Quivers fight for her life. "I'll be honest. I thought she was a goner. You bet against anybody else except Robin."