'I wasn't expected to be alive': Emotional Rush Limbaugh thanks listeners amid cancer battle
Rush Limbaugh expresses "great gratitude" while battling lung cancer.
The longtime conservative commentator, 69, opened his final radio show of 2020 by pretending to be "The Rush Limbaugh Show" among listeners and supporters.
"I had a year to really think about the things that are really important ... the things that are absolutely relevant and important to me," Limbaugh said. "And you are all in this large conglomerate of things that are very important to me."
Limbaugh said he "did not expect to be alive today".
"I didn't expect to make it through October and then November and then December," he said. "And yet I got some problems here and now, but I feel pretty good today ... God knows how important this program is for me today."
Rush Limbaugh says his stage 4 lung cancer has progressed 'in the wrong direction'.
Limbaugh revealed he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in February, a "final diagnosis" confirmed by multiple doctors in late January. The radio host said he was “shocked” by his “dire” illness and added, “I'm Rush Limbaugh. I'm Mr. Big ... I am indestructible. It can't be right, but it was. "
"I can't get involved, if that's the tendency, when you are told that you have a due date," he said emotionally. "You have an expiration date. A lot of people are never told that, so that's not how they see life."
President Trump awarded Limbaugh the President's Medal of Freedom in the State of the Union Address in February.
“So many people have put me first in all of this,” Limbaugh said. "I feel very happy and happy. And because I survived the diagnosis, I was able to receive, hear and process some of the most wonderful, beautiful things about myself that I might never have heard if I hadn't gotten sick. "
Rush Limbaugh Reveals Advanced Lung Cancer Diagnosis; Megyn Kelly sends support
More: Rush Limbaugh was stunned when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at State of the Union.
Rush Limbaugh receives the Medal of Freedom from First Lady Melania Trump as President Donald J. Trump delivers the State of the Union Address from the Chamber of the United States Capitol in Washington on February 4, 2020.
Limbaugh fought back the tears, saying he "learned what love really is from it".
"My point in all of this today is gratitude," he said. "My goal in all of this is to say thank you and to tell everyone involved how much I love you from my deepest, growing and still beating heart."
Limbaugh gave his wife Kathryn and family a special greeting.
"It has helped me to see so much about the goodness of people and their decency," he said. "And it's corroborated so much about my instinctive beliefs about people."
Limbaugh is the leading conservative talk radio host who has been an Airwaves star for more than three decades, starting in the 1970s. Limbaugh is the most-watched radio host in the country, according to Talkers, which tracks audience numbers for talk radio, with 15.5 million listeners a week as of December 2019.
Contributors: Maria Puente
Rush Limbaugh is open about his fight against advanced lung cancer
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Rush Limbaugh thanks the audience in the midst of the cancer battle and gets emotional
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