Richard Simmons, 75, Reveals He Has Skin Cancer Days After Posting About Dying

The fitness expert said he contacted his dermatologist after noticing a "strange looking bump under my right eye" that wouldn't go away

<p>Broadimage/Shutterstock</p> Richard Simmons in 2013


Richard Simmons in 2013

Richard Simmons is opening up about his cancer diagnosis.

On Tuesday, the 75-year-old fitness trailblazer got candid about the moment he learned he had skin cancer in an emotional post on Facebook.

Simmons first said he noticed “this strange looking bump under my right eye” which didn’t disappear, prompting him to call his dermatologist.

“I sat in his chair and he looked at it through a magnifying mirror. He told me he would have to scrape it and put it under the microscope,” the fitness guru wrote. “Now I am getting a little bit nervous. He comes back about 20 minutes later and says the C word. ‘You have cancer.’ ”

<p>Picture Perfect/Shutterstock</p> Richard Simmons in 2013

Picture Perfect/Shutterstock

Richard Simmons in 2013

Related: Richard Simmons Apologizes for ‘Confusion’ Caused by His Message About Death: ‘I Am Not Dying’

Simmons said he was told he had basal cell carcinoma, and advised to see a "cancer doctor" as soon as possible. "I told him to stop calling me dirty names," Simmons joked.

After his diagnosis, Simmons said he went to see Dr. Ralph A. Massey, and he recalled meeting other skin cancer patients in the waiting room.

“I was shocked to see all of the skin cancers that they had. Some had cancer on top of their heads … their face … and their neck,” he wrote.

<p>Ray Tamarra/Getty Images</p> Richard Simmons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013

Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Richard Simmons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013

Related: Richard Simmons Shares Message About Dying — But Is 'Healthy and Happy,' Longtime Friend Assures

“The nurse said, ‘Dr. would like to see you now Richard.’ I slowly walked in this pristine room and Dr. Massey came in to greet me … ‘I have to apologize I just finished eating lox, bagels, and onions.’ He smelled like a deli. But I didn’t care, I just needed his help.”

Simmons went on to share how the doctor explained the treatment process. The former fitness coach said he was told the doctor would “burn my skin to remove the cancer cells."

“There was no numbing, it just had to be done with a small instrument,” he continued. “As he started burning my skin a tear dropped down my cheek ... The burning really hurt my skin. It lasted about 30 minutes."

According to Simmons the doctor told him to come back in "an hour and a half" to find out if the procedure removed all of the cancer.

“I went back to some sad news," he explained. “He burned my face again. This time was worse than before … It was deeper. I did not cry this time but I did grit my teeth."

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But on Wednesday, Simmons posted an update sharing the good news that the cancerous cells were successfully removed.

"Well the third time was a charm. With a smile on [the doctor's] face, he said, 'We got all the cancer cells out.' I gave him a hug."

Simmons continued: "Before I left, he checked my arms, my back, my chest and my legs. I had a little Frankenstein under my right eye for a while. He gave me some cream to put on it which I did religiously. Because of his fine work I don’t have a scar. "

He concluded the post by saying, "I know some of you reading this have had cancer or have known someone in your life who has had cancer. Promise me you will see your doctor and get a complete check up."

Simmons' skin cancer reveal comes days after he shared a message on Facebook about dying, sparking concerns over his health. On Monday, the TV personality clarified he was not dying as he apologized for the “confusion” over his last post. 

“Sorry many of you have gotten upset about my message today. Even the press has gotten in touch with me.  I am not dying,” Simmons wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter). “It was a message about saying how we should embrace every day that we have. Sorry for this confusion."

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