It seems Senator John McCain’s brain cancer is progressing and it doesn’t look good for him. Sources in the Senate are saying that his health is in steady decline and that side effects from his therapy are keeping him from the Senate. He also looks increasingly frail. These same sources say that McCain, who is 81, has not been nearly as vocal in GOP meetings as he usually is. He’s been absent this week while he’s checked in at the Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment and recuperation. Radiation therapy is given to treat the kind of tumor McCain has. Its purpose is to attack the cancer’s cells, but it can cause swelling in and around the tumors.
McCain’s energy levels have noticeably dropped, which is causing his colleagues to worry that he may not be able to continue his duties as he is fighting for his life against the cancer that is slowly spreading in his brain. I lost my sister-in-law to brain cancer. It’s not a pleasant way to go.
McCain’s close friend Lindsey Graham spoke with his wife Cindy about how he is holding up while undergoing treatment: “He is receiving treatment for the side effects of therapy,” Graham said. “I feel pretty good about the way the treatment is affecting his underlying cancer. But the treatment has a downside. So he is trying to rest up. I am very confident that he will come back and continue to participate for a long time to come.”
That may be wishful thinking on Senator Graham’s part. Once my sister-in-law began that final journey before she left this world, she was in the hospital and could not leave. “The main thing I am focused on is to just get better. John, take a little time. Rest up. It’s OK,” Graham continued. “Take a day or two off. He’s had a heck of a Senate schedule. And I hope he will take some time to regroup, do a little rehabilitation on his leg, and come back and participate in a way that only Sen. McCain can participate.”
A statement was released for Senator McCain on his hospital stay: “Senator McCain is currently receiving treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center for normal side effects of his ongoing cancer therapy. As ever, he remains grateful to his physicians for their excellent care, and his friends and supporters for their encouragement and good wishes. Senator McCain looks forward to returning to work as soon as possible,” the statement read.
Cancer isn’t the only malady that has been plaguing McCain. He tore his Achilles tendon recently and had to wear a boot for some time. He’s now into his fifth month of treatment for the cancer, so the tendon is the least of his worries.
While his friends declare he’s in good health and his spirit is uplifted, others are not as optimistic. The disease takes its bitter toll not only on the body, but your attitude. It also devastates your family. Meghan McCain broke down on The View with Joe Biden over her dad’s cancer. It breaks your heart, no matter how you feel about McCain politically. “Look, one of the things that gave Beau courage, my word, was John (McCain). Your dad, you may remember when you were a little kid. Your dad took care of my Beau,” Biden told Meghan McCain, holding her hand.
If the cancer is affecting McCain’s ability to carry out his senatorial duties, he needs to let someone take over for him and not try to fight both battles at once. Many in the Senate are worried about McCain, not only as a friend, but for his needed help in Congress. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the GOP is being “flexible” on the timing of final votes on a major tax reform bill due to health-related absences from the Senate and said he has spoken with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about timing. “We’re simply being flexible to honor their concerns about managing their schedule and some possible absences,” Ryan said.
Glioblastoma, which is what McCain is diagnosed with, is an aggressive tumor that took the life of Beau Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, in 2015. My thoughts and prayers are with Senator McCain and his family. I hope he wins this battle and recovers fully.
McCain is back at Walter Reed pic.twitter.com/gnpWoGIZUt
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) December 13, 2017
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