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Jennings writes note of thanks to his viewers

Newscaster announced April 5 that he has lung cancer
/ Source: The Associated Press

Peter Jennings, undergoing treatment for lung cancer, wrote a letter to viewers saying their “anecdotes, mementos, home recipes and general all-purpose guidance and concern have all been so deeply appreciated.”

The anchorman’s note was posted on Friday.

Jennings announced on April 5 that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Although ABC News colleagues said he’s been involved shaping “World News Tonight” by phone and e-mail, he hasn’t appeared on the air since.

“Yesterday I decided to go to the office,” Jennings wrote. “I live only a few blocks away. I got as far as the bedroom door. Chemo strikes.

“Do I detect a knowing but sympathetic smile on many of your faces? You knew this was coming.”

He said Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who has undergone chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease, wrote a note saying the only way to get through therapy is to work your way through it.

“He’s a tougher man than I am,” he said.

Jennings said a woman at work showed up at his home recently to show him “that bald really is beautiful.” Another time, leaving the hospital, a woman approached him and said, “Me, too. Lung cancer.”

“Instinctively, immediately, we gave each other a hug, a real hug,” he wrote, “and we went on our respective ways knowing that we had been strengthened by the connection.”