As he continues his nearly two-year battle with stomach cancer, country music artist Toby Keith says he hopes to be back on tour this autumn, but he is aware that his adversary is a persistent one.
According to the Oklahoman, Keith was diagnosed with the condition in 2021 and has since undergone surgery, radiation treatment, and chemo.
“I’m feeling pretty good. … I’m about another eight weeks from my last scan. So, I expect next time I look for that tumor to be even less — and I’ve only got one that’s shown up,” Keith said in an early June interview.
“Basically, everything is in a real positive trend. You never know with cancer, so you have to prepare,” he said.
He stated that he must prepare for a concert.
“But my goal is, I feel better; I’ve got more wind. And I’m thinking about bringing the band in and setting up, playing two or three days somewhere just to see if I can get through two hours. And if I do, [I’ll] be out on the road this fall.”
Because he is aware that cancer is a difficult disease to conquer, Keith said he is receiving immunotherapy and seeing a dietician.
“They put oxygen in your blood. They give you high doses of vitamin C and good vitamins and nutrient bag you up to where you feel better. And you can start trying to heal your body,” he said.
“Now, they’re trying to fight where the cancer backs up and says, ‘Oh, you’re fighting that tumor? We’re gonna remorph and turn into this kind of cancer.’ … So, while [the cancer cells] are in the bullpen regrouping, we’re trying to kill ’em with something different,” he said.
Keith claims that his love of patriotic music is a natural part of who he is.
“I enjoy being that guy. I was at the Super Bowl for the XFL where Bob Stoops won [the championship], and a soldier was in the next suite. He came over and he’s about to cry. And he said, ‘I saw you three times: once in Iraq and twice in Afghanistan. … Just hearing your voice gives me goose bumps, hearing that real voice, because you are Captain America to us,’” Keith said.
“So yeah, it’s great being associated with … people that mean so much to me — and that I mean so much to them,” he said.
On his Instagram account, he offered his salute to Old Glory on Flag Day.
“Today’s the day we celebrate the stars and stripes…did you know that red, white, and blue were chosen for what they represent? Valor, purity, and justice respectively,” he wrote.
Keith admitted that his cancer battle had been difficult in December.
“It’s pretty debilitating to have to go through all that, but as long as everything stays hunky-dory, then we’ll look at something good in the future,” he said then, according to Page Six.
But now, he is hoping that day has come, according to the Oklahoman.
“All I got to do is see if I can get through two or three nights of work and get a little break in this chemo, and we’ll go back to work. I’m ready,” he said. “That’s living.”
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