Rush Limbaugh has been diagnosed with "advanced lung cancer," the conservative radio host announced on his show Monday. Limbaugh said he first realized something was wrong on his birthday, January 12.
"I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn't have to tell you. It's a struggle for me because I had to inform my staff earlier today," he said. "I can't help but feel that I'm letting everybody down with this. But the upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer."
The 69-year-old talk show host explained to listeners that he began to experience shortness of breath that he at first believed to be asthma, but turned out to be a "pulmonary problem involving malignancy." Limbaugh had the lung cancer diagnosis confirmed by "two medical institutions" later that month, he said.
"The one thing that I know, that has happened over the 31 plus years is that there has been an incredible bond that has developed between all of you and me," he said. "It is a family-type relationship to me, and I've mentioned to you that this program — this job — is what has provided me the greatest satisfaction and happiness that I've ever experienced, more than I ever thought that I would experience."
He considered keeping the diagnosis a secret, he said, but changed his mind after realizing he would have to miss his syndicated talk show to undergo treatment. He said he is currently experiencing "zero symptoms," but will miss his next couple of shows to "figure out the treatment course of action, and have further testing done."
"It is what it is. You know me I'm the mayor of Realville so this has happened and my intention is to come here every day I can and to do this program as normally and as competently, and as expertly as I do each and every day. Because that is the source of my greatest satisfaction professionally, personally," he said.
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