Arizona Sen. John McCain, 81, has been given a “very poor prognosis” from doctors regarding his brain cancer.
After undergoing surgery in July for a brain tumor that was later diagnosed as glioblastoma, the same form of cancer that killed Sen. Ted Kennedy in 2009 — McCain told CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday night that he thinks about Kennedy a lot. He said Kennedy continued to work despite the diagnosis and “never gave up because he loved the engagement.”
McCain said he has become “more engaged” since learning of his cancer diagnosis and revealed in the candid interview that he plans to keep working as he undergoes treatment.
“I am more energetic and more engaged as a result of this because I know that I’ve got to do everything I can to serve this country while I can,” McCain said.
Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, with patients surviving an average of 15 months after diagnosis. Chemotherapy and radiation are part of McCain’s treatment, and he said that during this time, his goal is to “celebrate with gratitude a life well-lived.”
Doctors initially were not forthcoming about his diagnosis, he said, but he told them he could handle it. “You know, it’s … it’s a very poor prognosis,” McCain said. “So, I just said, ‘I understand. Now, we’re going to do what we can, get the best doctors we can find, and do the best we can.'” The tumor was discovered after McCain was examined for a blood clot above his left eye.
“I have feelings, sometimes, of fear of what happens. But as soon as I get that, I say, ‘What a minute. You have been around a long time, old man. You have had a great life. You have had a great experience,” he said, noting that the ceremony for his funeral should be at the Naval Academy. “And we just have a couple of people that stand up and say, ‘This guy, he served his country.'”
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