Over the course of the past three decades, Rush Limbaugh's audience has become accustomed to his incendiary political tirades.
But today, the 69-year-old pundit delivered his most stunning proclamation to date -- and no one in his audience of 27 million could have seen it coming.
During Monday's broadcast of his wildly popular syndicated radio show, Limbaugh revealed that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
“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,” he continued.
“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,” Limbaugh added.
“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 went on to reveal that he wrestled with the decision of whether or not to tell his audience.
“I thought about not telling anybody,” he said.
“It is what it is. You know me, I’m the mayor of Realville. This has happened and my intention is to come here every day I can, and do this program as normally and competently and expertly as I do each and every day because that is the source of my greatest satisfaction professionally, personally,” Limbaugh added.
In his final remarks, Limbaugh revealed that while he will be away from his show for the next several days as he undergoes his first course of treatment, he is optimistic about his future and has every intention of returning to the airwaves.
“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,” he said.
"Every day I'm not here, I'll be missing you and thinking about you," Limbaugh concluded.
Our thoughts go out to Limbaugh and his family during this difficult time.