Talk radio king Rush Limbaugh stunned his 20-million member audience Monday with the announcement he’s been diagnosed with “advanced lung cancer.” The 69-year-old conservative talk pioneer closed his broadcast with the grim news, saying he will be leaving his golden EIB microphone for treatment, but hopes to return later this week. “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 had developed between all of you and me.” The radio icon then told his audience that his job has provided him with the “greatness 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 told listeners that the disease will keep him off the air on certain days when he’ll receive treatment. He said two medical institutions confirmed the diagnosis since he first realized something was wrong on Jan. 12 when he experienced shortness of breath. “I thought about not telling anybody,” he said. “It is what it is. You know me, I’m the mayor of Realville. This has happened and my intention is to come here every day I can, and do this program as normally and competently and expertly as I do each and every day because that is the source of my greatest satisfaction professionally, personally.” “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,” he said. “I am, at the moment, experiencing zero symptoms.” Limbaugh said he will undergo further testing and planned to “push ahead and keep everything as normal” as he could. “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.” The radio veteran — widely considered one of the most powerful voices in conservative media — said he “can’t describe” the feeling but he’s aware his audience understood him. “The rest of the world may not,” Limbaugh said. “But, I know that you do.” Limbaugh called his listener base one of “the greatest sources of confidence” that he’s ever had in his life. “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.” He said he “hopes” to be back on Thursday. “If not, it’ll be as soon as I can,” Limbaugh said. “Every day I’m not here, I’ll be thinking of you and missing you.”
And we’ll be missing you, and praying for you here at The Daily Buzz, Rush So, hang in there! I started listening to Rush back in the early ’90s shortly after Clinton was elected, and then read his first two books. He inspired and motivated me to get involved in local politics. His fans, called “dittoheads,” are legion. We’re all pulling for ya, Rush! For more on this story, click on the text above.