John McCain Undergoes Minor Surgery, Then Doctors Must Deliver Devastating News To Family
FaithTap Staff 7/21/2017
At 80-years-old, Sen. John McCain is recognized by most as a fighter. One of America's most revered politicians, Sen. McCain of Arizona first survived a six-year-long imprisonment as a Viet Cong POW. He has also fought a battle against melanoma.
Sen. McCain's spirit was not dashed while fighting for his life overseas as a soldier, nor were his good intentions deterred by naysayers when running for president. His steadiness in the face of adversity will serve him well as he now faces another fight for his life.
When Sen. McCain visited his physician for an annual checkup, he reported experiencing persistent fatigue and periodic double vision. His doctor ordered a CAT scan, but summoned Sen. McCain back to his office for an MRI.
The MRI revealed a mass behind his left eye that appeared to be a blood clot. Sen. McCain traveled to the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, to have the five-centimeter blood clot removed via a procedure that required surgeons to cut behind his eyebrow and through his skull.
But during surgery, the medical team discovered a brain tumor known as a glioblastoma, which is a fast-growing and incredibly aggressive primary brain tumor. This type of tumor is not hereditary, caused by environmental factors and isn't a secondary cancer that spread from a primary source, said Dr. Elizabeth Stoll with the University of Newcastle's Institute of Neuroscience.
"They arise spontaneously ... It really can hit anybody. Like many cancers, you're more likely to get it when you're older. Glioblastoma can occur at any age, although the number of incidents can increase with age."
Sen. McCain's family is rallying around their patriarch since median survival rates stand at 14 months from diagnosis. The pressure that the tumor places on the brain can cause headaches, unsteadiness and seizures.
The family is consulting with their team of doctors to determine the best path, including surgically removing the tumor followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. During the first surgery to remove the blood clot, surgeons removed as much of the tumor as they could at that time.
Current President Donald Trump and his wife sent well wishes to the senator, stating that he has "always been a fighter." Former President Barack Obama referred to the Arizona native as an "American hero" and "one of the bravest fighters I've ever known."
"Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John."
Daughter Meghan McCain, who announced her dad's diagnosis via social media, described her dad as "the toughest person I know." She said in a Tweet that out of the entire family, her dad is the calmest and most confident of them all.
"The cruelest enemy could not break him. The aggressions of political life could not bend him. So he is meeting this challenge as he has every other. Cancer may afflict him in many ways: But it will not make him surrender. Nothing ever has."
Sen. McCain's office released a statement that the longtime politician remains in good spirits. For the meantime, he will not return to the U.S. Senate and will focus on his treatment.
"Senator McCain appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days. He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective."
Sen. McCain's family said they are struggling with anxiety about the next step, a feeling they've experienced before because of his history with skin cancer, specifically melanoma. Even the senator chimed in on social media, tweeting to his "sparring partners in Congress" that he'll be back soon, "so stand by."
Joe Biden, who has been friends with the senator for 40 years, declared he would beat it. Speaker Paul Ryan said that all Americans, not Republicans or Democrats, but Americans will stand behind him. Our prayers go out to Sen. McCain and his family as they travel down this unsettling path.
Sources: NBC News, Today FB Image Credit: senjohnmccain