Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh shared how his “deeply personal relationship with God” has sustained him as he battles advanced lung cancer.
On Monday, Limbaugh, 69, told his 20 million listeners he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. The talk show host said he plans to take a brief sabbatical for further medical tests and to determine treatment, but hopes to return soon, Fox News reports.
"This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory, for me, because I've known this moment was coming," Limbaugh said. "I'm sure that you all know by now that I really don't like talking about myself and I don't like making things about me. … One thing that I know, that has happened over the 31-plus years of this program, is that there has been an incredible bond that has developed between all of you and me."
Limbaugh, who began his nationally syndicated radio show about 30 years ago, told his listeners that his job has provided him with the "greatest satisfaction and happiness" of his life.
"So 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. The upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer."
Limbaugh revealed he's been experiencing shortness of breath that he initially thought might be heart-related but turned out to be a pulmonary malignancy. He credited his faith for sustaining his health amid his cancer battle.
"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. "I am, at the moment, experiencing zero symptoms."
Limbaugh said he plans to undergo further testing and will "push ahead and keep everything as normal" as he can.
"I felt that I had to tell you because that's the kind of relationship that I feel like I have with those of you in this audience," he said. "Over 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."
"I hope I will be talking about this as little as necessary in the coming days, but we've got a great bunch of doctors, a great team assembled, we're at full speed ahead on this," Limbaugh said. "It's just now a matter of implementing what we are going to be told later this week."
His longtime producer, Bo Snerdley, also confirmed the news on Twitter.
“Those of you who are listening to the Rush Limbaugh show now. Pray with us. Thank you. God Bless you Rush Limbaugh. Love you so much Rush,” he wrote.
On social media, Limbaugh's announcement, made just ahead of World Cancer Day, was met with prayers and well-wishes from a number of supporters.
Conservative author and Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham tweeted, “We are praying the rosary this week for Rush Limbaugh. May he find treatment that brings healing. Prayer warriors coast-to-coast are hard at work.
Rudy Giuliani tweeted, “Rush Limbaugh was the innovator who spoke for the Americans ignored and disrespected by the elites. He’s done it with powerful rational argument and a truly great sense of humor. He’s been a friend for almost 30 years and all of us are praying for him. America needs Rush.”
Musician Charlie Daniels tweeted, “‘God Speed Rush Limbaugh, my prayers and sincere wishes for a complete and speedy recovery. For thirty years you have stuck to your guns, you’ve set the bar high and brought us the other side of the story and may your voice grace the airwaves for many years to come.”
Christian financial expert Dave Ramsey tweeted, “Our prayers this morning for my friend Rush Limbaugh. The Elvis of Talk Radio, an iconic career. You got this sir. Beat Cancer.”
Mitt Romney tweeted: “Rush Limbaugh is a fighter. In this battle with lung cancer, he will face this fight with the same tenacity in which he has delivered his show for the past three decades. Keeping Rush and his family in my prayers.”