Rush Limbaugh, Just Diagnosed with Advanced Lung Cancer, Now Has the Flu
“My doctors are insisting on a veritable quarantine as I prep for the beginning of my treatment regimen.”
Published Feb 10, 2020 by Sarah Fielding
One week after announcing he has advanced lung cancer, far-right radio host Rush Limbaugh, 69, shared on his website Monday that he has the flu.
“What I thought was the onset of just a cold during Friday’s show turned out to be the flu,” he wrote. “This flu is unrelated to anything else going on with my health. In fact, I could probably be there today but my doctors are insisting on a veritable quarantine as I prep for the beginning of my treatment regimen.”
Given that its flu season, the diagnosis is not overly surprising.
“Patients with cancer are at a much higher risk of getting the flu and, of course, if they get it, they’re going to be much sicker than the average person,” Dr. Jessica Geiger, a medical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center, told SurvivorNet in a previous conversation.
Taking Time Off
His being under the weather was first alluded to near the beginning of his Friday show. “I’ve gotta a cold coming on here, and I’m not gonna worry about hitting the cough switch as often, so just bear with me here,” he said. Later on he added, “Told you I’ve got a little bit of bronchial congestion, a chest cold is coming on.”
Limbaugh noted he would be unable to do “The Rush Limbaugh Show” as planned.
Limbaugh’s Lung Cancer Diagnosis
Limbaugh announced his cancer diagnosis last week, saying, “The upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, diagnosis confirmed by two medical institutions back on January 20th.”
At the time he reported being asymptomatic and that he was implementing an undisclosed treatment plan.
Taking Politics Out of Cancer
Shortly after the highly controversial diagnosis, some people posted comments on social media saying they were glad he was ill. Many others who don’t agree with his politics, however, were wishing him well.
Now, as some social media posts continue with the negativity, a growing number of liberal commentators are pushing back, saying that this isn’t a time to spread hate.
On the Overtime online segment of “Real Time With Bill Maher,” host Bill Maher discouraged people from joking about Limbaugh’s cancer diagnosis. “Yes, I’m not a Rush Limbaugh fan,” he said. “He did some terrible things. But I’m not going to do jokes about that.”
He went on to apologize for mocking sick or deceased people in the past, specifically calling out his torch of David Koch several hours after he passed away.
Then Brian Stelter used his Reliable Sources panel on CNN to speak out about those excited by Limbaugh’s poor health.
“As much as we talk about Trump and misinformation, there is a strain of contempt on the left that also worries me,” Stelter said. “Why can’t people just say, ‘We hope that Rush gets better quickly?” He expressed his desire for people to simply send their best wishes instead of dredging up his controversial comments.
The Flu Shot for Cancer Patients
If you are a survivor, especially in treatment, you might wonder whether it’s safe to get the vaccine. It is.
Dr. Geiger told SurvivorNet that patients with cancer should absolutely get the flu shot, but they should make sure they get the shot, not the “mist.”
The “shot,” which is administered through a needle in someone’s arm, is technically an “inactive” version of the flu virus. The “mist,” which is given as a nasal spray, provides a “live” version of the virus.
Patients with compromised immune systems should make sure that their family members and close friends follow get vaccinated, too, Dr. Geiger said, adding that it’s a good idea for them to stick with the shot version as well.