Toby Keith has opened up about his battle with stomach cancer and shared his first health update with fans.
The country music star is remaining optimistic about his future. “I’m thinking about getting back in fighting shape,” Keith said in a clip of an upcoming CMT Hot 20 Countdown interview. “I need a little time to just rest up and heal up.”
Keith revealed that the condition is “pretty debilitating” to go through chemotherapy and radiation, but he’s keeping a positive outlook on what’s to come. “As long as everything stays hunky dory, then we’ll look at something good in the future,” he said.
Keith announced in June that he would be stepping away from music to focus on his health and receive treatment. He was given his stomach cancer diagnosis in fall 2021. “Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” he wrote via Instagram. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good.”
Initially, Keith didn’t stop playing concerts and performed at the Heroes Honor Festival in Daytona Beach, Florida, and at the San Antonio Rodeo in February. After six months of treatment, however, the star realized he was ready for a break.
“I need time to breathe, recover and relax,” the singer explained after recognizing he needed to press pause on his career. “I am looking forward to spending this time with my family.” He assured fans that he’d be back on the road soon and added that he “can’t wait.”