Steve Jobs: I'm not dying, relax

On the eve of the Macworld 2009 keynote, Apple's prolific CEO has written a public letter to say he isn't on his death bed after all—and we should all "relax and enjoy the show tomorrow."

The press and Mac blogs have been abuzz with rumors about Steve Jobs' health for months, and the buzzing only intensified after Apple announced that Jobs wouldn't show up at Macworld this year. (Apple will also skip the show in the future.) At the heart of the buzzing: Jobs' increasingly gaunt appearance, which he claims to be a "hormone imbalance" in today's letter:

As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.

Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been "robbing" me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.

The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I've already begun treatment. But, just like I didn't lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple's CEO during my recovery.

Jobs goes on to say he'll be "the first one to step up and tell [Apple's] Board of Directors" should he be unable to fulfill his duties.

The rumor mill kicked into high gear last month after Gizmodo quoted a "previously reliable source" as saying Jobs' health was "rapidly declining," and he would finally speak about it this spring. One blogger went as far as to interview a "local yogurt store" for more dirt on Jobs' health. The staff claimed Jobs was "in great health" when he came in two weeks prior.

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