In an upcoming memoir, serialized in the Daily Mail, Sir Elton John reveals he was “24 hours from death,” after suffering complications following surgery for prostate cancer.
While John has never previously spoken about his fight with prostate cancer, he is now revealing that he had surgery to cure him of the disease in 2017. The surgery, which removed his prostate, was chosen by him over chemotherapy, but as a result of the procedure, the singer suffered complications that landed him had him in and out of hospitals for months.
“It turned out that I had a rare complication from the operation,” John wrote. It was discovered the singer had a rare complication in which fluid was leaking from his lymph nodes. He spent two and a half months dealing with the “agony,” getting the fluid drained, before doctors cured it by accident in a colonoscopy.
“A routine colonoscopy shifted the fluid permanently, days before my 70th birthday,” John said. With this new development, the performer headed to South America, where he nearly died.
During the tour, on a flight back to London from Santiago, the singer “couldn’t stop shaking,” and was eventually taken to a hospital after “feeling worse than I ever had in my life.” It was revealed that John had a serious infection, contracted in South America.
"There were MRI scans and God knows how many other procedures,” John wrote in his memoir “The doctors told David I was 24 hours away from death. If the South American tour had gone on for another day that would have been it: brown bread."
He spent 11 days in the hospital, where he prayed for life.
“In the hospital, alone at the dead of night, I’d prayed: please don’t let me die, please let me see my kids again, please give me a little longer,” he wrote. “In a strange way, it felt like the time I spent recuperating was the answer to my prayers: if you want more time, you need to learn to live like this, you have to slow down.” He spent weeks recovering after being released from the hospital.
At the time, the singer’s management company announced that he had to cancel eight U.S. shows between April and May at The Million Dollar Piano, including a performance at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and a show in Bakersfield, California, due to a "harmful and unusual bacterial infection." They did not reveal the details of the infection.
John is currently on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour which began in Allentown, Pennsylvania in September of last year. It is intended to be John's final tour and will consist of more than 300 concerts worldwide.
“It’s time to come off the road so I can fully embrace the next important chapter of my life,” John says on his website about the tour.
John’s memoir, Me: Elton John Official Autobiography will be released on October 15th.