John Tesh is now a two-time survivor of prostate cancer.
On October 9, during his first livestreaming concert event, the former Entertainment Tonight host-turned-popular musical performer aims to become a beacon of education and inspiration in regard to the devastating disease that is expected kill approximately 34,000 Americans in 2021.
After being first diagnosed some five years ago, and confronting a dire prediction that he had just 18 months left to live, Tesh, with the help of his wife, Connie Sellecca, managed to reverse the disease. Hopes that he had it in remission were dashed in October 2020 when a scan showed that cancer had returned. Through the course of several operations and doses of chemotherapy, Tesh lost a kidney and had his prostate removed — all amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
But he is now, once again, cancer-free.
“Part of what I was trying to do with [writing about] the cancer stuff was to be of service,” Tesh, 69, told The Post upon the release of his memoir, “Relentless: Unleashing a Life of Purpose, Grit, and Faith,” last year. “When I was diagnosed there were very few books out there or other stories of a similar type of cancer. So that’s one of the reasons I went through all the details — but also to show the love story between me and Connie.”
Now, his second, mid-pandemic battle against the disease will be a central theme of Tesh’s concert this Saturday. “There’s going to be a lot on there about hope and motivation and stories of healing,” he told People. “I’ll be talking to people and answering people’s questions about what I did.”
Of course there will be the music that his fans love — 12 songs are anticipated — but, between them, Tesh plans to share “messages about inspiration and hope and really specific detail about how I approached healing in my life.”
Tesh knows whereof he speaks. During his first bout of cancer, in 2016, he responded poorly to the prognosis and began to drink heavily: “The doctor wants you to have Vicodin so you can feel better, and people look the other way when you’re drinking scotch every night and mixing the two … When you’re in that situation — we thought I was terminally ill — that identity gives you a lot of free rein.”
But he quickly came to his senses and decided to put up a fight. With the help and support of his wife — who, Tesh said, became so educated in the treatment of cancer that physicians thought she had a medical background — he beat the often fatal disease, at least temporarily.
This time around, Tesh told People, “I went back into the trenches — I was battle ready. I felt less like a guy who was sick trying to get well and more like somebody who was healed well resisting sickness.”
Tesh attributes some of his success with battling cancer to his religious beliefs and maintaining the proper mindset while undergoing mainstream medical treatments. Now feeling healthy and geared up for a performance that will have no shortage of inspiration, he told People that the timing of his affliction came with a valuable lesson from which we can call gain insight: “A lot of us learned this during COVID: ‘I can either spend the next year and a half worrying, or I can renew my mind and get busy with my life.’”