FILE - This May 14, 2012 file photo shows conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh speaking during a ceremony inducting him into the Hall of Famous Missourians in the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, Limbaugh won the Childrens Choice Book Award for author of the year for his best-selling Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims." (AP Photo/Julie Smith, File)
Like millions of Americans, I received the sad news on Monday that Rush Limbaugh has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. I’ve been a fan of his for 27 years, and I can’t help but imagine how difficult it is for him to miss the show as he undergoes treatment.
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.
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, ’cause I don’t like making things about me. But there are going to be days that I’m not gonna 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.
He’s a trouper to do as much as he can while treating his cancer, and I have no doubt that being able to still do radio as often as he can will help boost his spirits.
I don’t have many earthly heroes, but Rush is definitely one of them. I’ll never forget where I was the first time I listened to him. It was the day after Bill Clinton’s first election, and it was a best-of show. I was a sophomore in college, and I had never heard someone express the same things I believed about politics with such aplomb and humor.
Over the years, I’ve appreciated his explanations of world events, the parodies, and his grasp of politics and human nature. During various seasons, I’ve been blessed to get to hear all three hours of his show, and I learned so much from him.
Rush is a resilient man. He has survived battling his demons of addiction, and he faced losing his hearing with grace. He’s navigated various controversies and came out smelling like a rose. I pray that he can survive this diagnosis just as well.
One of the most difficult things about getting older is realizing that your heroes are human. Rush has played a role in my political development, and he has entertained the hell out of me. I know I’m not alone. President Trump gave Rush the Medal of Freedom at last night’s State of the Union, and it’s such a well-deserved honor.
My prayers are with Rush and Kathryn, as well as their family and his staff. I pray for healing, strength, and encouragement. I pray that he defeats this cancer, if it’s God’s will, and returns to broadcasting every day better than before.
We conservatives are better for having Rush tell it like it is for over three decades, and I hope we don’t take for granted what a treasure he is.