Howard Stern's right-hand woman is beating cancer.

Robin Quivers surprised Stern's Xm Radio audience Monday by saying she's fought cancer the past year.

The 61-year-old Quivers has been absent from the studio since mid-2012 (but broadcasting from home for most of that time), without offering up much of an explanation, according to Us Weekly. On Monday's show, she said doctors found cancer in the endometrial tissue in her uterus about a year ago. She has since undergone successful surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy and doctors believe the cancer is now in remission.

Quivers told listeners it took 12 hours for surgeons to remove a grapefruit-sized tumor last May. "It was so huge that it was lying on all the organs in my pelvis, and they literally had to scrape it off when they got to it," she said. "They couldn't even figure out how to operate at one point because it was so massive."

Stern recalled his initial reaction to the news. "I gotta be honest, I thought she was a goner," he said. "I'll tell you how serious this was: I was already making funeral arrangements. Not to make light of this situation -- I didn't know what was going on. I was freaking out."

Stern said if Quivers didn't recover, his show was done. "Doing a show without Robin is like cutting off my left arm. Or my right arm. Or maybe both," he said during the first broadcast without Quivers last year.


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"She was my backbone, you understand," he said. "Where I would lose courage, Robin always had the courage. She always is the brave one. Always the brave one with me. I could go to her, and I could always rely on her."

When she said last May she was having a "procedure" done on her bladder last May, Stern told her: "I'll (expletive) kill you if you have cancer. I'm not doing the show without you. I'm quitting if you're not doing the show."

Contact Tony Hicks at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/insertfoot.