Elton John was '24 hours from death' after prostate cancer surgery and prayed to God to not let him die

Elton John was '24 hours from death' after prostate cancer surgery and prayed to God to not let him die
Elton John (Getty Images)

In his sensational new memoir, singer-songwriter Elton John has revealed that his secret battle with prostate cancer left him barely "24 hours from death."

The singer who was in intensive care for two days after suffering complications just days before his 70th birthday said he prayed to God to not let him die: "Please don't let me die—please let me see my kids again."

The 72-year-old painted a vivid picture of his illness in the no-holds-barred memoir titled 'Me: Elton John Official' that was serialized in the Daily Mail. "A routine colonoscopy shifted the fluid permanently, days before my 70th birthday," he wrote in the book.

"It was prostate cancer. I wasn’t as shocked at hearing the word ‘cancer’ as I might have been. They’d caught it early. The oncologist told me I had two options. One was surgery to remove my prostate. The other was a course of radiation and chemotherapy that meant I would have to go back to hospital dozens of times. I went straight for the surgery."


Elton John performs at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Hot Pink Party at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on April 12, 2016 in New York City. (Getty Images)

He underwent surgery for prostate cancer in Los Angeles in 2017. Merely ten days later, he started to suffer from unbearable pain and found out it was due to a rare complication from the operation in which fluid was leaking from his lymph nodes. "It wasn’t until I arrived in Las Vegas ten days later for a gig at Caesars Palace that I noticed something wasn’t right," he continued, adding, "As the day progressed, the pain got worse and worse. I’ve worn some ridiculous things on stage in my time, but never a giant nappy."

Unfortunately, the complications after the surgery left him "incontinent" and "crippled with pain." Elucidating the implications of his condition, he added, "I don’t know if you’ve ever stood in front of 4,000 cheering fans, singing Candle In The Wind while literally p***ing yourself, but if you haven’t, I can tell you for a fact, it’s quite an odd experience."


Executive producers Sir Elton John (L) and David Furnish attend the "Rocketman" UK premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on May 20, 2019, in London, England. (Getty Images)

The tropical disease was a total nightmare for Elton as he again started feeling ill and "couldn't stop shaking" during a South American tour. "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. So I was incredibly lucky — although, I have to say, I didn’t feel terribly lucky at the time. I lay awake all night, wondering if I was going to die." 

Currently on his farewell tour, John admitted that seven weeks of "recuperating, learning to walk again" after laying in the hospital bed for eleven days finally helped him get back on his feet. It is then that he prayed to God for recovery so that his husband David Furnish and their two children, Zachary and Elijah, wouldn't have to suffer due to dozens of trips to this hospital for radiation and chemotherapy.


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