Senator John McCain is set to continue his job as a lawmaker, but his fight with brain cancer rages on.
As a Senator from Arizona for the past thirty years and a former prisoner of war, McCain knows what it means to fight. As former President Obama tweeted, “Cancer doesn’t know what it’s up against. Give it hell, John.”
Senator McCain has been diagnosed with a glioblastoma. Initial treatment involves surgical removal of the tumor, followed by chemotherapy and radiation to try and shrink the tumor. This is a very common type of brain tumor, but also one of the most malignant and deadly. Senator McCain needs our prayers as he recuperates.
Glioblastomas almost always return, and this is the same type of brain tumor that eventually killed Senator Edward Kennedy from Massachusetts.
News of the brain tumor is new for the McCain family, as he just learned about the tumor after he went for surgery last week in Phoenix to remove a blood clot that had been discovered near his left eye. Despite the dire implications, this is hardly the senator’s first time flirting with death.
Let’s take a look at McCain’s history of beating the odds.
Senator McCain has spent a lifetime serving the United States. In the 1960s, McCain served as a Navy pilot during the Vietnam. He was captured by the communist North Vietnamese and spent five years as a tortured prisoner of war in the camp labeled the Hanoi Hilton.
After returning to the United States, McCain had to undergo extensive rehabilitation because of the treatment he received in the prison camp. In later years, he was a leader in a movement to forgive Hanoi, and fought for reconciliation.
Senator McCain began his political career after winning a house seat in 1982, and then becoming a senator in 1986. He quickly became a prominent member of the Senate, fighting against large campaign contributions, policy in the military, and health care.
The Arizona lawmaker continues to press hard to learn the truth about any Russian interference in the US election process. While his relationship with President Trump has been strained, he supported the Republican candidate throughout the election process. He strongly believes that Russia is America’s adversary, and any intervention in the US election should result in more sanctions against the country.
Senator McCain ran against Barack Obama in 2008 as the Republican party candidate for President of the United Sates, eventually losing to Obama in the final election.
Today Senator McCain is 80 years old. Prognosis for glioblastomas are generally poor, as the median life expectancy for those diagnosed with a glioblastoma is 16 months. This is a hard diagnosis to beat.
Senator McCain is the leader of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he works hard to promote the use of military force to inspire positive change in undeveloped countries. He has also fought hard to change campaign finance laws, despite the objections he receives from others in his party.
Several days ago, daughter Meghan McCain tweeted, “The news of my father’s illness has affected every one of us in the McCain Family. It won’t surprise you to learn that in all this, the one of us who is most confident and calm is my father.”
He is at home with his family, learning about his new diagnosis and discussing treatment options. The glioblastoma was discovered during a routine exam just last week. Senator McCain was not showing any neurological symptoms, despite a blood clot that was found. Pathology was waiting when the clot was removed, and this is when the glioblastoma was discovered.
Doctors have reported that despite his new diagnosis, Senator McCain’s underlying health has been good. His treatment options include radiation and chemotherapy to remove any cancer cells or tumor that may remain.
At 80 years old, Senator McCain is still ready to fight. He is a strong man, growing up as a Christian in the Episcopal faith. Today he identifies as a Baptist, and attends a Baptist church with his wife. His faith got him through his capture in Hanoi, and it will get him through the battle ahead.
~ 1776 Christian