John McCain Diagnosed with Brain Cancer

John McCain Diagnosed with Brain Cancer
John McCain Diagnosed with Brain Cancer

Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you’re white or black, old or young, an artist or a politician. It often strikes fiercely and swiftly, causing great devastation in its path. In many ways, America is not only at war with other entities, but with cancer, too, and John McCain is on the front line.
In an America so deeply divided by politics, it seems jarring to stop and set all of those issues aside, even for just a moment. But setting aside politics is exactly what many Americans did this week after the tragic and devastating news that Senator John McCain was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
Doctors discovered the tumor over a week ago after the Senator complained of fatigue and headaches along with double vision. The combination of symptoms created extreme concern and prompted physicians to order a CT scan that revealed a blood clot behind his eye. Further testing identified a malignant glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive brain cancer diagnoses.
McCain has been away from the senate for some time due to the illness, understandably missing votes as he engages in self-care and treatment protocols. One of these protocols included a surgery at the Mayo Clinic Friday, July 14. There, talented surgeons removed both the glioblastoma and the associated blood clot lodged just behind his eye.
The Mayo Clinic, one of the nation’s leading medical facilities, released a statement reassuring the public both of McCain’s health and the success of the surgery.
“The senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. The senator’s doctors say he is recovering from his surgery ‘amazingly well’ and his underlying health is excellent.”
Former POTUS Barack Obama stopped by Twitter to encourage McCain, pointing out his heroic past and telling him to “give cancer hell.”
“John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I’ve ever known. Cancer doesn’t know what it’s up against. Give it hell, John.”
Senator John McCain is no stranger to pain; a shoulder and leg injury sustained during his time as a POW continue to haunt him even today.
McCain spent over six years as a prisoner of war (POW) with the Vietnamese military from 1967 to 1973. During his time as a POW, he underwent botched surgeries, was held in confinement, and was repeatedly tortured for information. Despite an offer from the Vietnamese to release him, the POW refused, telling military leaders he would only agree to be released when all other POWs were released, too.
Several other colleagues had supportive words for the Senator, including former Vice President Joe Biden.
“He’s gotten through so much difficulty with so much grace,” Biden tweeted. “He is strong – and he will beat this.”
South Carolina senator Lindsay Graham spoke of a recent conversation with McCain, revealing his eagerness to return to work, revealing emotional details of the communication.
“He says, ‘I’ve been through worse. God knows how this ends.’ But I do know this: this disease has never had a more worthy opponent.” She also reported that McCain said, “Yeah, I’m going to have to stay here a little bit longer, take some treatments. I’ll be back.”
Senator McCain’s daughter also posted a touching tribute to her father on social media, highlighting just how impactful the diagnosis had been to the McCain family as a whole.
“He is a warrior at dusk, one of the greatest Americans of our age, and the worthy heir to his father’s and grandfather’s name. But to me, he is something more. He is my strength, my example, my refuge, my confidante, my teacher, my rock, my hero – my dad.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if McCain would return to the senate or focus on his own care in the coming days and weeks, though most expect an extended absence.
One of the most important missed votes included the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The politician’s time away delayed the decision, and may have played an important role in giving other Republicans time to speak up about their opposition to the new healthcare bill. Some experts believe this will lead to total repeal rather than replacement, while others believe further absences may lead to further delays.
Nevertheless, what’s most important is that McCain has the space and patience to focus on his health. This is reflected in bipartisan comments from politicians all across the country. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments summed up America’s thoughts best.
“I know that he will face this challenge with the same extraordinary courage that has characterized his life. The entire Senate family’s prayers are with John, Cindy and his family, his staff, and the people of Arizona he represents so well.”
The staff at United Voice would like to extend their concerns and hopes for a successful recovery in the face of such a challenging obstacle. Politics aside, brain cancer isn’t a challenge anyone should have to face.