John Tesh recalls how faith gave him hope during cancer battle: ‘I was begging God for healing’

John Tesh recalls how he was ‘ready to take’ himself ‘out’ while battling cancer: ‘I was angry at God’

Author and musician John Tesh gets candid about his battle with cancer in his new book, ‘Relentless’.

EXCLUSIVE: John Tesh is determined to keep the faith during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The former “Entertainment Tonight” co-host told Fox News he has always relied on the Bible to provide him comfort during tough times.

And the 68-year-old is all too familiar with facing personal obstacles in his life. In 2015, Tesh was diagnosed with a rare form of prostate cancer and given only 18 months to live. During treatment, he and his wife Connie Sellecca would read the scriptures together.

“At that time, I was trying really hard to believe that everything was going to be all right,” Tesh reflected. “I was begging God for healing. And when Connie and I read the scriptures together, we learned that God wants us to have health and wellness, healing and prosperity. And the Bible speaks truth. It’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

Former ‘Entertainment Tonight’ host John Tesh with Mary Hart.
(Paramount Television/Courtesy of John Tesh)

“I think people will really be surprised to read what the Bible has to say if they take a break from their phones and just read the scriptures each day,” Tesh shared. “I really recommend the Book of Romans and just take a deep breath.”

Tesh admitted that like many people, he’s been a victim of “doom scrolling,” or mindlessly reading negative, heartbreaking news articles and social media posts non-stop. Test said this self-destructive behavior can easily impact one’s mental health during unprecedented times.

“I think it’s incredibly important to stay informed and educated,” he explained. “But I also think it’s just as important to take a step back and disconnect. You can’t constantly consume all the negativity all day, every day.”

“It may sound ridiculous coming from me because I fell for it myself, but I found myself being pulled in so many different directions,” he continued. “We need to take care of ourselves and our hearts. And reading the Bible does that for me. It helps me understand my truth and it connects me with my family, especially during difficult times.”

John Tesh was only given 18 months to live during his cancer battle.
(Photo courtesy of John Tesh)

Tesh said he does take time to connect with fans on social media where he frequently speaks out about his cancer battle. In February 2020, he released a book titled “Relentless: Unleashing a Life of Purpose, Grit and Faith,” which detailed his journey to healing. 

In his memoir, Tesh also described the many ups and down’s he’s faced over the years, including being homeless and recording a song that would send his children to college.

“I’m healed and I feel good,” said Tesh. “I take care of myself. But when you go through such suffering like that, you can never really forget it. And it has made me grateful each day that I can wake up every morning and be with my family. I thank God every day for my healing. I can’t just put aside that suffering I’ve experienced. It’s a part of me. And it’s taught me that when faced with an enemy, I’m strong enough to pick up that sword.”

Tesh is aware that when it comes to staying positive these days, it’s easier said than done. But he said spending more time than ever at home gives us the gift of reconnecting with our faith – as well as our loved ones.

Connie Sellecca and John Tesh take the stage during the Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Induction Ceremony at Gotham Hall on November 08, 2019, in New York City.
(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Radio Hall of Fame)

“Socialization is healing at any level, even if it’s through Zoom or a simple phone call,” said Tesh. “That’s one piece of advice I would give to anyone right now. Find a way to call someone who hasn’t heard from you in 10 years. Check in on your loved ones. I know when I socialize with my loved ones, I certainly feel good.”

Back in 2020, Tesh spoke to Fox News about how he struggled with his cancer diagnosis and the treatments that came with it.

“We got really smart and started finding doctors who could help save my life,” he said at the time. “But I was not prepared for the suffering. People who have had chemo know what this is about.  When I had chemotherapy, I have something called androgen deprivation therapy where they take the testosterone out of your body, which basically gives you male menopause. Then I had two major surgeries and I had complications from those surgeries.”

“So I was pretty much ready to just take myself out, grab some weights from my backyard and strap them to my ankles and jump in the pool,” Tesh admitted. “I was a terrible, terrible patient and the only reason I was able to get out of that was my wife who not only was my advocate but also helped introduce me to some powerful scriptures that when I manifested those and when I got the revelation of those, I knew I could get healed.”

John Tesh said he is healthy and feeling good today.
(Photo By Lyn Alweis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

However, Tesh said that embracing his faith during cancer didn’t come so easily.

“[Initially], I was angry at God,” he explained. “I was angry at everybody. And for some reason, I was angry at my wife. I was drinking too much scotch whiskey. When you get a cancer diagnosis like this, you become very popular and people are whispering around you and you can get anything. You can get Vicodin if you want. You can drink as much as you want and you can just feel sorry for yourself as much as you want.”

“And when that happened, I almost lost my wife because I walked out,” he shared. “I walked out of the house and I went on a bicycle journey to try and figure myself out. Fortunately, she forgave me because that was nothing more than disrespect to her because she had been working so hard as an advocate. Feeling sorry for yourself will also get you killed.

“If I stood with Connie and we stood on faith and we stood on the scriptures that could get me healed, that that’s where God wanted me to be. I was angry at God at the beginning because I thought that maybe God had put this sickness on me to either teach me a lesson or for me to have a ministry but there’s nowhere in the new covenant in the Bible that says that God wants you anything but well.”

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