In an emotional statement at the end of his radio program Monday, Rush Limbaugh informed his audience doctors found him to have an advanced form of lung cancer.
What follows are his full, uninterrupted remarks:
This has been one of the most difficult days for me in recent memory for me, because I’m known that this moment was coming in the program today.
I’m sure that you all know by now I really don’t like talking about myself, and I don’t like making things about me – other than in the usual, satirical, joking way.
I like this program to be about you and the things that matter to all of us. The one thing that I know that has happened over the thirty-one plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that has developed between all of you and me.
Now this program is thirty-one years old and in that, people – you hear them call all the time – they’ve been listening the whole time. They’ve been listening 20 years or 25 years. I just had somebody say they they’ve been here three years. But whatever – 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.
So I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you. And it’s a struggle for me because I had to inform my staff earlier today.
I can’t escape – even though people are telling me it’s not the way to look at it – 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. Diagnosis confirmed by two medical institutions back on January 20th.
I first realized something was wrong on my birthday weekend January 12th. And I wish I didn’t have to tell you this. And I thought about not telling anybody. I thought about trying to do this without anybody knowing because I don’t like making things about me.
But, there are going to be days that I’m not going to be able to be here, because I’m undergoing treatment or I’m reacting to treatment.
And I know that that would inspire all kinds of curiosity with people wondering what’s going on – and the worst thing that can happen is that when there is something going on and you try to hide it and cover it up, it’s eventually going to leak and people a gonna be, “Why didn’t you just say it? Why’d you try to fool everybody?”
And it’s not that I want to fool anybody it’s just that I don’t want to burden with it, and I haven’t wanted to. But it is what it is, and 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, as competently, as expertly as do each and every day because that is the source of my greatest satisfaction professionally, personally.
I’ve had so much support from family and friends during this that it’s – it’s been tremendous. I told that 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 – which I do regularly – but I’ve been focused on it intensely for the past couple of weeks.
I know there’re many of you in this audience that have experienced this or are going through it yourselves.
At the same time I am, at the moment, experiencing zero symptoms other than – look, I don’t want to get too detailed in this – let’s just say shortness of breath that I though might have been asthma or – you know I’m 69 – it could have been my heart. My heart’s in great shape – ticking away, squeezing and pumping great. It was not that. It was a pulmonary problem involving malignancy.
I’m going to be gone the next couple of days as we figure out the treatment course of action, and have further testing done. But as I said, I’m going to be here as often as I can – and, as is the case with everybody who finds themselves in this circumstance – you just want to push ahead and try to keep everything as normal as you can, which is something that I’m going to try to do.
But, I felt that I had to tell you, because that’s the type of relationship I feel like I have with those of you in this audience. And I say this every Christmas, which is when I feel more thankful than at Thanksgiving – and I feel thankful at Thanksgiving but at Christmas it really get’s to me – but 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.
Now I can’t describe this, but I know you’re there every day. I can’t see you – it’s strange how I know you’re there. I know you’re there in great numbers. And I know you understand everything I say. The rest of the world may not what they hear it, expressed a different way – but I know that you do.
You’ve been one of the greatest sources of confidence that I’ve had in my life. So, 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 full speed ahead on this, and it’s just now a matter of implementing what we are going to be told later this week.
So, I’ll be back here – I hope I’ll be back on Thursday. If not, it’ll be as soon as I can. And know that every day I’m not here I’ll be thinking about you and missing you.
Thank you very much.
Watch his statement:
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