Listeners to Rush Limbaugh’s radio program got an unwelcome update from him on Monday. Limbaugh was recently diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer, and will be taking a noticeable amount of time off in the coming months as he undergoes treatment. He said as the program closed that he needs further tests, and is still waiting for the details of a treatment plan.
“I wish I didn’t have to tell you this and I thought about not telling anybody,” he told his audience. “I thought about trying do this without anybody knowing, because I don’t like making things about me. But there are going to be days when I’m not going to be here because I’m undergoing treatment or I’m reacting to treatment.”
He used trademark Rush-isms to keep it light: “It is what it is. And you know me, I’m the mayor of Realville. My intention is to come here every day I can. And to do this program as normally” as usual.
But at one point, when referring to his relationship with God, Limbaugh found himself unable to speak for an unusually long interval – a solecism for radio hosts that he knows better than anyone to avoid, if possible, as a professional matter. Some things, it seems, are outside of our professional control.
Limbaugh didn’t go into much detail, but did disclose that his first indication was shortness of breath, experienced during his recent birthday weekend: “What led to shortness of breath that I thought might have been asthma or — you know, I’m 69 — it could have been my heart. My heart’s in great shape, ticking away fine, squeezing and pumping great. It was not that. It was a pulmonary problem involving malignancy.”
Rush Limbaugh has had his national broadcast going every weekday since 1988. His listeners are accustomed to hearing from fill-in hosts from time to time throughout the year, usually at predictable vacation or holiday breaks. He and the show have recovered from extended absences before, as when he was diagnosed with hearing loss in 2001.
Numerous well-wishers chimed in on Twitter to offer prayers, thoughts, and blessings.
Rush Limbaugh is a National Treasure who has made a difference on the airwaves of America for 30 years. Rush, Karen and I will be joining millions across this Country in praying for your swift recovery. God Bless You!
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) February 3, 2020
Radio talk show host @RushLimbaugh announced today that he's been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Rush has been a conservative voice of reason for years. I know he would appreciate your prayers—he certainly has mine. #PrayforRush https://t.co/tpEHpPuo74
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) February 3, 2020
Prayers tonight for @rushlimbaugh a man who loves our country deeply and has devoted his life to giving voice to his patriotism. Go beat this, Rush! Cheering you on!
— Martha MacCallum (@marthamaccallum) February 3, 2020
Please pray for Rush Limbaugh, who has announced he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
He is going to undergo treatment. Rush, you can beat this. You will beat this. Trust God through this process.
You have our sympathy, our prayers, and our best wishes.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) February 4, 2020
Thank you for the service that you have given this great country, #RushLimbaugh. It's people like you who have been making America great. On behalf of the entire Heritage family, we will be praying for you and your family that God gives you the strength to get through this. https://t.co/rGusCKrU4M
— Kay C. James (@KayColesJames) February 3, 2020
Just heard the news about Rush Limbaugh's diagnosis with lung cancer… sending prayers to him, his family, and his show staff for the coming days ahead. God bless you Rush!
Psalm 46:1 – "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble."
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) February 3, 2020
Praying for @limbaugh! Thank you for your ability to speak the truth to the people in the sight of confusion and divide.
— Fr. Frank Pavone 🇺🇸 (Text LIFE to 88022) (@frfrankpavone) February 3, 2020
One of the people who played a crucial role in my early development as a Conservative from the late 1980's and into the 1990's was Rush Limbaugh.
I could not actually listen to the radio show due to being deaf, but I found transcripts in AOL chat rooms.
— Brian Cates // Digital Soldier for Flynn ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ (@drawandstrike) February 3, 2020
Rush Limbaugh Has Raised Over $47 Million for Leukemia and Lymphoma Through His Show https://t.co/JZFaq5iYts
— Big League Politics (@bigleaguepol) February 4, 2020
.#Rush you are in our prayers. We live in a time of modern miracles. Millions are Praying you find one.
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) February 3, 2020
Ill-wishers showed up too, and you know what? They’re not worth bothering with. If you want to read their ugly sentiments, knock yourself out. (They could use some praying for, of course, if you feel the calling.)
Cancer is a tough foe. We wish Rush Limbaugh a full and speedy recovery, and many more years of success as one of the GOATs of radio broadcasting.