Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh told his 20 million-member audience Monday that he's been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
Fox News reports Limbaugh, 69, said he will take some days off for further medical tests and to determine treatment, but hopes to return soon.
"This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory, for me, because I've known this moment was coming," Limbaugh said. "I'm sure that you all know by now that I really don't like talking about myself and I don't like making things about me… one thing that I know, that has happened over the 31-plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that had developed between all of you and me."
The radio host then told his listeners that his job has provided him with the "greatest satisfaction and happiness" of his life.
"So, I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn't have to tell you. It's a struggle for me because I had to inform my staff earlier today," he said. "I can't help but feel that I'm letting everybody down. The upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer."
Limbaugh called himself the "mayor of Realville" in announcing his illness. He'd been experiencing shortness of breath that he initially thought might be heart-related but turned out to be a pulmonary malignancy.
"I told the staff today that I have a deeply personal relationship with God that I do not proselytize about, but I do, and I have been working that relationship tremendously," Limbaugh said. "I am, at the moment, experiencing zero symptoms."
Limbaugh said he plans to undergo further testing and will "push ahead and keep everything as normal" as he can.
"I felt that I had to tell you because that's the kind of relationship that I feel like I have with those of you in this audience," he said. "Over the years, a lot of people have been very nice, telling me how much this program has meant to them but, whatever that is, it pales in comparison to what you all have meant to me."
"I hope I will be talking about this as little as necessary in the coming days, but we've got a great bunch of doctors, a great team assembled, we're at full speed ahead on this," Limbaugh said. "It's just now a matter of implementing what we are going to be told later this week."
Limbaugh's announcement comes at a tumultuous political time, as the conclusion of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial nears.
He started his national radio show in 1988 from New York, later relocating to Palm Beach, Florida.
The broadcaster has served as a Republican kingmaker through his decades on the radio.