Toby Keith opened up about his battle with stomach cancer for the first time since announcing his diagnosis in June.
The 61-year-old country music star shared an update on his health and future touring plans during an appearance on CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown.
“I’m thinking about getting back into fighting shape,” Keith said in a preview of the interview shared on social media.
He continued, “I need a little bit of time to rest and heal.”
TOBY KEITH REVEALS DIAGNOSIS OF STOMACH CANCER; “CHEMO, RADIATION AND SURGERY” RECEIVED
“It’s pretty debilitating going through all of this,” the ‘A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action’ hitmaker admitted.
“But as long as everything stays okay, let’s look at something good in the future.”
The singer revealed in posts shared on his Instagram and Twitter accounts that he is battling stomach cancer and is taking time off to recover from treatment.
“I was diagnosed with stomach cancer last fall,” he wrote. “I’ve spent the last 6 months undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. So far so good. I need time to breathe, rest and relax.”
He added: “I look forward to spending this time with my family. But I’ll see the fans sooner than later. I can barely wait for it.”
The “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer canceled all of his scheduled shows for the rest of the year. However, he made a surprise appearance at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Lexington, Kentucky on November 4, where he reportedly performed songs like “I Love This Bar” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”
On November 8, Keith received the BMI Icon Award at the BMI Country Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, joining a prestigious list of previous honorees that includes Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn and belong to Hank Williams. jr
During the ceremony, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church paid tribute to Keith by performing covers of “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and “I Love This Bar.”
A long-time advocate for families diagnosed with cancer, Keith helped found Ally’s House in 2004, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping Oklahoma children with cancer and their families.
The nonprofit organization was named after Allison Webb, the two-year-old daughter of Scott Webb, Keith’s original band member, and his wife Lisa. Allison died of kidney cancer in 2003 before her third birthday.
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Following in Ally’s House’s footsteps, he founded the Toby Keith Foundation in 2006 “to promote the health and happiness of pediatric cancer patients.”
“In 2014, the Foundation opened OK Kids Korral, a free, convenient, and comfortable home for pediatric cancer patients treated at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, Stephenson Cancer Center, and other nearby facilities,” the mission statement reads the Foundation.
Earlier this week, Keith shared a heartwarming photo on Instagram of him holding a young cancer patient while they both smiled and gave a thumbs-up.
“Thumbs up if you celebrate #GivingTuesday by donating to the @tkfoundation1!” he wrote in the caption. “Your donations enable the OK Kids Korral, a home for children with cancer and their families.”
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Fox News’ Tracy Wright contributed to this report.