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Howard Stern is 'Unprepared for Life'

Howard Stern is 'Unprepared for Life'
Image: Kevin Kane / Stringer / Getty

On an episode of Fresh Air, host Terry Gross interviewed shock-jock Howard Stern. Gross inquired, “One of the things you reveal in your book is that ... you actually had a really big health scare. ... You had a body scan and there's a little shadow on your kidney, so you had to check that out and have exploratory surgery. Everything was fine, but ... do you feel like that made you think more about like, gee, what if I were dying?”

Stern replied

Oh my God. That's why I wrote the book! I did not react well being told by a doctor that [it's a] 95% chance you have cancer. I freaked out.

You want to know how unrealistic … and unprepared I am for life? I somehow assumed because my parents were 96 and 91 and have experienced very good health that I'm entitled to this. That nothing bad should happen to me … But, man if that doesn't rock your reality and get you into a frame of mind where you're like, wow, how much time do I have left? And what is it I'm really trying to accomplish with that time?

I paint now and I want endless hours to paint. I wish I could go back in time and start as a young child and learn to paint. I have so many things that I'm interested in learning about, and I wish I had more time …

I suddenly realized my age. I realized that I'm not invincible, that things like this are going to occur. And that also influences: Am I going to stay on the radio? Is that how I'm going to end my life—that I'm just going to be on the radio and not have time for all these things I want to do? And what is it I really want to do? The whole thing is mind-blowing.

Source: Terry Gross, “Howard Stern Tells Terry Gross His 'Pure Id' Days Are Behind Him,” NPR Fresh Air (5-14-19)

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