County music star Toby Keith has been battling stomach cancer, and the award-winning entertainer has provided fans with a critical update on his progress.
The 61-year-old “I Love This Bar” hitmaker shared an update on his health and future touring plans during an appearance on CMT’s “Hot 20 Countdown,” Fox News reported on Saturday.
“I’m thinking about getting back into fighting shape” Keith said in a preview for the interview that was shared on social media, sharing what sounded like good news regarding his prognosis.
He continued, “I need a little bit of time to just rest up and heal up.”
“It’s pretty debilitating to have to go through all that,” Keith, who took “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action” to the top of the charts, admitted.
“But as long as everything stays hunky-dory, then we’ll look at something good in the future,” he continued.
The singer originally announced that he was diagnosed with, and was being treated for, stomach cancer via social media.
“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” he wrote. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.”
He added: “I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”
Fox News noted further:
The “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer subsequently canceled all of his planned shows for the rest of the year. However, he made a surprise appearance at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Lexington, Ky. on Nov. 4, where he reportedly performed songs including “I Love This Bar” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”
On Nov. 8, Keith was presented with the BMI Icon Award at the BMI Country Awards in Nashville, Tenn, joining a prestigious list of past recipients that includes Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams, Jr.