Veteran conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh revealed to his listeners that he was recently diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, and will miss several upcoming shows due to treatment.
Limbaugh, 69, made the announcement on Monday, telling the audience he was diagnosed on January 20 and will be undergoing therapy. He added that he hopes to be back to work on Thursday.
“I feel like I’m letting everybody down. Every day I’m not here, I’ll be missing you and thinking about you,” he said before signing off.
Limbaugh is the most-listened-to radio show host in the US, with an estimated 14 million listeners – and the second-highest-paid, at $84 million a year.
The news has caused an outpouring of support from conservatives across the US, including fellow talk show hosts Wayne Dupree and Michael Savage.
Limbaugh has smoked cigars for decades, and is on the record calling them “just a tremendous addition to the enjoyment of life.” He has also struggled with addiction to prescription opioids over the years. He also went deaf due to an autoimmune condition in 2001, but was able to get back to work after receiving a bionic cochlear implant.
On the political left, the news was mainly met with ghoulish glee. There were exceptions, however, who pointed out that the left and the right can and should unite against cancer.