Toby Keith Shares Health Update Amid Stomach Cancer Battle
Keith, 61, is currently undergoing chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Toby Keith; Photo via Twitter
Toby Keith issued a health update amid his stomach cancer battle.
While chatting with The Oklahoman backstage at the Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic pre-tournament gala on June 2 at the Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma, the 61-year-old singer/songwriter opened up about his battle with cancer and his current condition.
He Says He’s Feeling ‘Pretty Good’
“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. “Basically, everything is in a real positive trend. You never know with cancer, so you have to prepare.”
He went on to share that his “goal” is to return to the road in the fall of 2023, given that he is able to power through a full-length concert.
“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,” Keith continued, “And if I do, (I’ll) be out on the road this fall.”
He added, “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. That’s living.”
Despite feeling better, Keith is still battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. However, his tumor has already shrunk by a third and his blood tests continue to improve with each new test.
The Oklahoma-based media outlet also reported that he is undergoing “immunotherapy and working with a nutritionist.”
“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,” Toby Keith, who will celebrate his 62nd birthday on July 8, explained.
“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 they (the cancer cells) are in the bullpen regrouping, we’re trying to kill ’em with something different,” he continued.
Fans recently expressed concern for Keith’s health and flooded Toby Keith with prayers when he shared a photo of himself. The photo, posted on June 2, featured Keith sporting a Children’s Miracle Network t-shirt that read “Change kids’ health, change the future” as well as a sticker on his hand for the organization.
“Change kids’ health, change the future. Go to cmnhospitals.org to donate to your member children’s hospital. #ChangeKidsHealth,” he captioned the image.
The post amassed over 5,100 comments, including messages of support from country artists like Jake Owen and Drake White, as well as thousands of fans.
“Love ya TK,” Owen wrote, while White simply commented, “My brotha” with a fire emoji.
Meanwhile, fans shared prayers and love for the country singer, writing “Praying for you and your health!” While others commented: “Supporting our children with cancer as you fight the fight. You are always in my prayers and will always be number 1 in my book” and “What a damn legend you are Toby always fighting a cause for someone the bestest heart in the music industry… wishing you a great recovery, the world needs Toby Keith.”
Toby Keith first revealed his cancer diagnosis with fans in early June of 2022.
“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member wrote at the time.
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.”
At the time of his diagnosis, Keith was forced to cancel all of his upcoming festival appearances and tour dates.
A True Icon
In 2021, Toby Keith released his 19th studio album, Peso In My Pocket. The project includes the fan-favorite track, “Old School,” as well as his current radio single, “Oklahoma Breakdown.” Co-produced by Keith and Kenny Greenberg, the 10-track album includes songs co-written with Sammy Hagar, former frontman of Van Halen, as well as cuts from the Warren Brothers, Ryan Hurd, Maren Morris, Jessie Jo Dillon and more.
Keith, who is regarded as one of country music’s biggest hitmakers with 32 No. 1 single and 40+ million albums sold, has written a chart-topping hit every year for 20 consecutive years, including “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American),” “I Love This Bar,” “Beer For My Horses,” and “As Good As I Once Was.”
The Oklahoma native was recognized for his career success in November 2022 with the BMI Icon Award at the 70th Annual BMI Country Awards. The BMI Icon Award is awarded to exceptional songwriters in recognition of their “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers,” according to a press release. Keith joins an elite list of songwriters who have earned the BMI Icon Award, including Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Jr.
He is also a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (having already been inducted into the all-genre Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015), and was honored with the Academy of Country Music’s prestigious Merle Haggard Spirit Award.
The country hitmaker received countless accolades, including CMA Awards, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, ACM Awards and more. The 61-year-old singer/songwriter has also been nominated for seven GRAMMY awards.
In addition to awards and chart success, Toby Keith is known for giving back through his annual golf classics and his USO tours.
The 19th Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic took place earlier this month and raised a record $1.8 million in support of OK Kids Korral, the cost-free home for families of children battling cancer.
Toby Keith appeared at the two-day event, which included a golf tournament and dinner. The Friday night dinner was headlined by chart-topping country group Sawyer Brown. 750 guests attended the denim and rhinestones-themed soirée, which also included a record-setting auction.
Altogether, the Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic has raised nearly $18 million. The funding supports The Toby Keith Foundation, which helped construct OK Kids Korral in support of Oklahoma pediatric cancer patients.
“Next year, it’ll be the 10th year for OK Kids Korral, 20th year of my foundation party,” Keith told The Oklahoman at the event. “We’re gonna celebrate a 10 and a 20, and we’re gonna blow it out. It’s amazing how much support we get. But it takes that kind of support to handle 300 families a year.”
According to a release, “OK Kids Korral helps make life a little easier for children with cancer by providing a safe, convenient, and hopeful place for families to connect with each other and focus on the well-being of their child. OK Kids Korral provides daytime and overnight lodging for pediatric patients and their families. The state-of-the-art facilities at OK Kids Korral are designed to create a relaxing haven for the entire family.”
To learn more about The Toby Keith Foundation, click HERE.
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