Nationally syndicated conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh acknowledged on his show Tuesday that his cancer battle is taking a toll.
Limbaugh first announced in early February that he had been diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer.
A day later, he was brought to tears during the State of the Union address when President Donald Trump announced he was being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
On Tuesday, Limbaugh revealed that he is in the third wave of treatment, and that it is “kicking my a–.”
“There have been many cycles, but this is the third wave, and this current wave, I have to tell you, is kicking my a–,” he said, according to a transcript on RushLimbaugh.com.
“For the last seven days, I have been virtually worthless, virtually useless. I haven’t left the house. I haven’t done much of anything except just try to rest and relax. All of this was told to me; it was gonna be a factor.”
The fact that the battle is taking a toll isn’t surprising, Limbaugh said, but it’s difficult nonetheless.
“I mean, nothing is happening that was not told me to me,” he said. “Nothing I haven’t been warned about. And this is what I mean by those of you who have gone through this, you know what it is.”
“It’s the cost. It’s the price that you pay if you make the decision to go ahead and do treatment to try to prolong your life. I’m doing extremely well, all things considered, the fact that I’m even here today.”
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Every day, Limbaugh said he wakes up and thanks God that he alive. He knows others are praying for him as well, and said he believes those prayers are working.
“Just waking up is a blessing,” Limbaugh said. “I know many of you are praying daily and nightly. I happen to believe that they work. I believe that they are sustaining me, and I pray for the energy to be able to do this.”
Even doing his daily radio show saps him of energy, Limbaugh said.
“I do not have the energy that I used to have,” he said.
“I didn’t realize until I got sick … I honestly didn’t. You’re gonna think this is strange. I didn’t realize how much physical and mental energy doing these three hours — the way I do them, with no guests — and, you know, I don’t do anything to give myself a break during the three hours to take, not even that many phone calls on a normal basis.”
Limbaugh said he is currently in the second week of the third phase of treatment.
“There has been one particular kind of treatment that works in 97 percent of patients and did not work in me, and it’s because of a 1 percent mutation I have that led to my lung cancer in the first place,” he said. “That 1 percent mutation is theorized to nullify the second phase of treatment that we tried.”
“Even in the first phase where I was in the midst of a clinical trial — stage two of a clinical trial, not even stage three, and these are relatively brand-new drugs. These are the drugs that kept me out of here for two weeks and I didn’t even know where I was. They did a number on the tumor. They shrunk the tumor and related effects. But it would have killed me if I’d have stayed on it.”
Amid this difficult time, Limbaugh said he is thankful for the constant support of his wife, Kathryn.
“I have never experienced anybody so selfless. I marvel at her selflessness. I don’t know how she does it. This is as devastating for her as it is me,” he said.
“But she doesn’t allow herself to get down — or, if she does, I don’t see it. She has this ability to immerse herself in other people’s sadness and disappointment and make them feel better. And not with pep talks. Not with things like that.
“Just by virtue of her countenance and her being. She is able to appear optimistic, happy. I mean, bouncy on occasion,” Limbaugh added.
“No complaining. Which is such a blessing, ’cause I don’t know how to deal with people that complain, since I don’t complain much. But the things that she is doing to ease me through this and to make it as less arduous for me that it can be, I’m blessed.”
The conservative radio show host has previously expressed confidence that his fans’ prayers are working.
“I’m thinking there are more prayers for me in this country than can be counted, than can be tabulated,” he said in mid-February.
“And I just am confident as heck that they matter, that they’re effective. So please accept this as an ongoing and neverending thank you to everybody.”
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