John Tesh Cancer Journey and Memoir

Five years ago, doctors gave musician John Tesh 18 months to live. Metastatic prostate cancer was the diagnosis, and the conversation turned to insurance policies, burial plots, and life without John. But life has a way of turning around.


Tesh opted for a laparoscopic cancer procedure followed by chemotherapy and radiation. He underwent a second round of treatments in 2017 when cancer returned.


Now 67, the former Entertainment Tonight host is detailing his cancer journey in a memoir,

Relentless: Unleashing a Life of Purpose, Grit, and Faith, that gives a raw glimpse into his life and radio, TV, and music careers.


“Part of what I was trying to do with [writing about] the cancer stuff was to be of service,” said Tesh, who hosts the syndicated radio show The John Tesh Radio Show – Intelligence for Your Life. “When I was diagnosed, there were very few books out there or other stories of a similar type of cancer,” he said. “So, that’s one of the reasons I went through all the details, but also to show the love story between me and Connie.”


“Connie” is his wife of 28 years, actress Connie Sellecca. “If it hadn’t been for her,” Tesh admitted, “I probably would’ve taken myself out.”


In 2015, Tesh feared radio stations would drop his program if word got out that he had cancer. Sellecca, however, had an idea: share the cancer journey with his listeners.


“Eventually she said, ‘Why don’t you be honest about this and [tell them] how you’re using your faith along with the medical treatments to get healed. You could really speak to people. It’s this thing where you open up, and people can be touched by it in some manner,’ ” Tesh told The Press of Atlantic City. “That was a lesson to me that I needed to let people watch this process.” [1]


Tesh’s wide-ranging career includes a stint as a part-time newsreader for Rick Dees at WKIX-Raleigh, N.C., in 1974. (Two years later, Dees would have a Billboard chart-topper with Disco Duck and then host the syndicated radio show The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown.) Tesh also worked as a news anchor and reporter at WSM-TV in Nashville, Tenn., during the same time Oprah Winfrey, whom he dated briefly, was at Music City rival network WTVF.


A native of Garden City, N.J., Tesh’s trophy case features six Emmys and four gold albums, and an Associated Press award for investigative journalism. Tesh has been nominated twice for a Grammy and has sold more than eight million records. His live concerts have raised more than $7 million for PBS. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2019.


In an interview with the New York Post, Tesh said the cancer journey opened his eyes to the toll prostate cancer takes on couples. “Unless you have someone really helping you like I did, you’re ready to strap on the kettlebell and jump in the pool because you can’t get to the other side of it,” he said.


“What’s really sad is that, once you’ve entered this world, you learn that a lot of spouses have split up. Because prostate cancer is in your “engine room,” it’s tough on your body, and a lot of couples don’t survive it. I told [my doctors] that if couples want to have that conversation with us, we will – and we’ve done this many times, telling them how we got through it.”


Tesh said he had a blood test in 2018 that showed his tumor markers were clear. Since then, he has focused on life ­– not the possibility of death. “I got cancer the same exact year almost to the month my dad died of cancer,” he said. “DNA is not programmed like that – I manifested that cancer in my body because I worried about it my whole life.”


Not everyone can afford the treatments that Tesh chose to fight his cancer. Not having health insurance – or the cost of medical care not covered by health insurance – can lead to “financial toxicity.” Having to pay for more medical care than you can afford is seated in angst and anxiety and can lead to depression, which affects your well-being.


However, you may be overlooking a valuable asset already at your fingertips: selling an existing life insurance policy. The Center for Disease Control estimates one in five American adults struggle to pay medical bills. Additionally, 10 million adult Americans have bills they cannot pay despite having health insurance.


Selling even a portion of your life insurance policy can provide the financial freedom to pay for healthcare. LifeGuide Partners offers expert financial guidance, access to an experienced referral network of planning professionals, and a safe and secure process. There is no risk to see if selling your life insurance policy is an option to pay for health costs and enjoy the best life has to offer.





[1] Merging music with faith, John Tesh still touring while fighting cancer.


[2] John Tesh reveals his battle with cancer in new memoir.

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