I regret returning to 97.1

This week marks the four-year anniversary of my life changing forever.

This was the week when my voice turned into a drunken slur. This was the week when it became impossible to write a simple tweet or facebook post because my fine motor skills were shot. This was the week I almost died.

Four years ago I took a five minute ambulance ride from my doctor’s office to West Bloomfield’s Henry Ford hospital after suffering a stroke. Even as they wheeled me down for a 3 a.m. catscan that night I was thinking of ways for me to return to my career in radio.

I regret thinking that way. I regret returning to 97.1 four months later. I should have stayed gone.

Even at age 57 I was stupid and didn’t know any better. I had hustled and busted my ass ever since I was in high school. I was used to working but sometimes it is OK to relax in life. If I had to do it all over again I never would have returned for that three month stretch in 2017 where I rejoined the Valenti and Foster Show.

I was like Willie Mays striking out and dropping fly balls at the end. I was like those poor boxers who kept making unsuccessful comebacks.

I felt like an outcast and wanted to quit a week into my return. I was in a very emotional state and wondered why none of my radio partners visited me at the hospital when I needed them most. That really bothered me.

People used to ask me to call into the station just to say hello. They want to hear my voice. To be honest I never want to be on that station again. I don’t even want to set foot in that building. I may tell you why in a future post but I need to run it by one person because I fear he could get in trouble.

I knew I wasn’t my old self. I was still sick, but did not want to admit it. I kept thinking that the old Terry Foster would return the next day like a raging tiger. But it never happened.

Instead I got sick after every show. Although I was on a low sodium diet, eating grilled fish and steamed pea pods just about every day, my blood pressure began boiling by the second hour of each show.

My head pounded. My blood pressure spiked. My drive from the station to my house was just 16 minutes, but I was barely making it home without falling asleep. I’d take my blood pressure and read startling numbers like 192/110. 201/100. One time I celebrated because my blood pressure after one show was only 182/95.

Those were the same numbers I posted when I had my stroke. One doctor said if I continue doing the show I would either die or be paralyzed.

I quit the next day. It was the best decision I’ve made the last five years. This same doctor told me not to return. I called him a quack, but he was right.

My wife Abs was going to give me two more weeks before she pulled the plug. She didn’t do it sooner because she knew how much the show meant to me. She wanted me to enjoy a few more days of glory.

I was chasing those Benjamins. I did not want it to end. But what fun is having money when you are dead or in a wheel chair? What fun is it when you have two children who would be worried about daddy all the time? What fun is it going to a job you hate?

Besides I have two very important dates I want to make. I want to dance with my daughter Celine at her wedding. I will cry by the way because it will hit me that it is a date I could have missed.

And I want to help my son Brandon into his tux on his wedding day.

If I had continued doing radio I would have missed both dates.

I got a little emotional while helping move Celine into her dorm room as a freshman in college. That day was also not promised.

Why risk that by being in a place where you are not wanted? Why risk that while reading Ticket text that say.


I hope you have another stroke.

I’m sorry you ever came back.

Sometimes you hang onto a dream for too long. My dream turned into a nightmare, one that was sending me to my early grave.

I didn’t mean to get sick.

Shit happens.

Find Terry Foster Podcast here:

Published by terryfoster8

I am a 58 year old retired sports journalist, husband and father of two living outside of Detroit in search of his next big adventure in life.

21 thoughts on “I regret returning to 97.1

  1. Terry Foster…I too worked with you in that same building and had to leave for reasons that it was stealing my soul…I may not have had a terrible change of life illness like you had at the time…but my soul wasn’t right with the groups of people that were there. I no longer chase the radio world dream and enjoy “working from home” which in my eyes in my final bow in the world of Media. I love it and glad I left when I did cuz it changed my whole life & career. I’m sorry you went thru this and as a fellow Chippewa…I keep tabs on how you are doing and know that you were always so nice to me when I did see you at the station.

    Take care & Be Well!!!
    Kathleen – Fire Up Chips!!!

    1. We are always on the same team because you went to the Aerosmith concert with me. Thanks. You are good people and I enjoyed whenever you came around. I am sure there were toxic people around. Are you up for another game of squares? (: Fire Up

  2. Terry, I’ve been listening to you for many years, dating back to your days at WDFN.
    I’m an old radio guy myself.
    I was sorry to hear about your stroke but I thought you did a great job at the ticket after your return.
    I didn’t notice much difference on the air when you returned.
    You have to do what you think is right so I respect your decision to leave the radio waves behind.
    I retired at age 62, and feel very good about that decision.
    Stay healthy and safe.

  3. I thoroughly enjoy listening to you and reading your columns as well as your blogs more recently. Keep doing what makes you happy. You’ve put in the work your whole life and done an exemplary job at it, know matter what platform its been. You have made a positive impact on my life for sure and although I can’t speak for anyone else I’m quite positive I’m not the only one. Although I would love to hear you on the radio again someday I will take solace in knowing your happy and healthy. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.

    God bless, Random fan

    1. Thank you James. I guess you don’t know the impact you make in life because you are just grinding every day trying to keep your head above water.

  4. Terry,
    You were one of the staples of my childhood. I can’t even count the amount of car rides I sat through with my dad as he drove me to and from games and practices. Not only did I love the show but you brought conversation into the car and helped grow the relationship between my father and I. Thank you for your impact. You’re a Michigan legend. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different!

  5. Terry, you are now, and have always been, A CLASS ACT. I would have visited you in the hospital if I had known you were there. Take care, my brother.
    Jim Dwight

    1. I know you would have been there. I just thought if you were working in close proximity with someone and talk of us being a brotherhood that you should show up one day. even if it is just one person.

  6. You did radio a long time and if it taught anything it should’ve been people are assholes. Love your takes then and now.

  7. God bless you brother. I’m sorry anyone would say anything like that to you. I honestly stopped listening to the ticket after you left. I hope you see your children get married and hope you make several more dreams within that time and see them all.

    1. I was taken aback by people telling me to die or have another stroke. But when you allow people to become nameless and faceless they become ass holes.

  8. Terry, those of us survivors of near death experiences all have experienced the following, in no particular order post trauma:
    DENIAL, ANGER, BARGAINING, (“I will do ‘X’ if I could be back to my old self’”), DEPRESSION. Then finally ACCEPTANCE. We will NEVER be the same person we were before the day we survived. We are survivors and those who aren’t wont understand. It’s not their fault, either.

    Peace be with us all!

    1. Thank you for the education. I guess I expected to return to 100 percent but that is not possible. I have reluctantly accepted that. It’s hard sometimes but these are the cards we are dealt.

  9. Terry, I met you a couple years ago while you were volunteering at Creek Middle School coaching football. I told you then that I appreciated both your work as a writer and as a sane rebuttal to your half cocked colleague on the Ticket. I fear that there are far fewer Foster’s and Samuelson’s in broadcasting than the egotistical, me me’s that dominate the airwaves. I also understand the need to end things on your own terms (I returned to work after suffering a massive cardiac arrest) and in your own way regardless of strength and advice of loving friends and family. Just last year I walked my daughter down the isle and with gods help will someday enjoy spoiling a grandchild. I’m very happy for you and look forward to you reaching those family milestones all the while informing us of your opinions, thoughts, views, and most of all your stories. In the spirit of Joe Falls, Mike Downey, and my favorite Bob Talbert, keep bringing the joy. Hope to hear your innermost feelings about 97.1 and the experiences there.

    1. Big Dan. Thank you for reaching out and filling me in for what I have to look forward to. I forgot about spoiling grand children. Let me put that on my bucket list.

  10. Hi Terry!
    You were always great in whatever you did! I listened to or read what you wrote with envy because it was always so well said! I suffered a pulmonary embolism at 42 and after nearly dying twice realized my grinding for the Benjamins (to give my family a better life) wasn’t what my family wanted. I left a career I loved where I made a difference in people’s lives to start making a difference in the 4 lives that mattered most, my wife and 3 sons! I’ve never been happier and I pray you feel the same! Keep living brother so you can dance with Celine and help Brandon look sharp!!

  11. Hi Terry,
    I briefly met you at your book signing at Barnes and Noble some years back across from Lakeside Mall. I bought your book. You signed it. I thanked you for writing your book and being so cool on 97.1. Valenti and you were the best. No one has been able to fill your shoes. It was a sad day to learn about your stroke but I’m glad you retired soon afterwards. My wife had a stroke 1 and a half years after she retired from teaching. It sounds like you’re enjoying your family. Sure I’ve missed listening to you on the radio but I’m really happy to hear you’re enjoying retirement.

    1. You left out an important fact. How is the wife doing? I hope she is getting around and enjoying life. Strokes are weird. I am enjoying life. Things are a little different but I am able to enjoy my family and pop my son upside the head now and then. A woman on my street had a stroke and has been in a facility for three years. My child hood friend Lamont died from a stroke. So how is your favorite lady doing? And did you like the book?

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