Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh told his audience Monday that he is relying on his faith in God as he battles an “advanced lung cancer” diagnosis that will force him to miss an unknown number of shows while undergoing treatment.
“I’ve had so much support from family and friends during this that it’s just been tremendous. I told the staff today that I have a deeply personal relationship with God that I do not proselytize about. But I do, and I have been working that relationship tremendously,” Limbaugh said, laughing, “which I do regularly anyway, but I’ve been focused on it intensely for the past couple of weeks. I know there are many of you in this audience who have experienced this, who are going through it yourselves at the same time.”
Limbaugh revealed he had an advanced lung cancer diagnosis that was confirmed by “two medical institutions” Jan. 20. He began sensing something was wrong with his health around Jan. 12, his birthday, when he had shortness of breath. Limbaugh is 69.
He initially thought it might be asthma or a heart problem.
“My heart’s in great shape, ticking away fine, squeezing and pumping great. It was not that. It was a pulmonary problem involving malignancy,” Limbaugh said. “So I’m gonna be gone the next couple days as we figure out the treatment course of action and have further testing done. But, as I said, I’m gonna be here as often as I can.”
Limbaugh said he considered keeping the diagnosis private, but knew he would be missing days for treatment. Further, he said he considers his audience part of his family.
“It is a family-type relationship to me, and I’ve mentioned to you that this program and 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 said. “... [O]ver the years, a lot of people have been very nice telling me how much this program has meant to them. But whatever that is, it pales in comparison to what you all have meant to me.”
Limbaugh has a “great bunch of doctors, a great team assembled,” he said.
“We’re at full-speed ahead on this, and it’s just now a matter of implementing what we are gonna be told later this week,” he said. “So, I’ll be back here. I hope I’ll be back Thursday. If not, it will be as soon as I can – and know that every day I’m not here, I’ll be thinking about you and missing you.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/John M. Heller/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.