On Friday, senator and former presidential candidate John McCain visited his doctor for a routine checkup. According to CNN, he complained of recent fatigue, as well as a bout of double vision.
The 80-year-old Arizonan was then was given a CT scan and an MRI, and soon underwent an operation to remove a blood clot above his left eye. However, it wasn’t until later, when medical professionals inspected the removed tissue under a microscope, that doctors discovered something else.
McCain was diagnosed with a “primary brain tumor known as glioblastoma” — a reportedly extremely aggressive tumor. If it sounds familiar, Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau, were also diagnosed with glioblastoma.
McCain’s medical team said that McCain is otherwise in “excellent” health and is recovering from the blood-clot removal operation “amazingly well.”
The doctors’ statement also said that McCain “is confident that any future treatment will be effective.”
However, his daughter Meghan is having a harder time remaining as “calm” as her dad.
Following the devastating diagnosis, the 32-year-old took to Twitter to express her and her family’s sentiments at such a difficult time:
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 20, 2017
It read, in part:
“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 the toughest person I know. 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.”
However, she wrote that she and her family members are now facing the very harsh treatment options cancer patients are given [emphasis added]:
“The news of my father’s illness has affected every one of us in the McCain family. My grandmother, mother, brothers, sister, and I have all endured the shock of the news, and now we live with the anxiety about what comes next.”
View this post on Instagram
Happy Fathers Day to my father @senjohnmccain. This picture is how I always think of you, relaxed, in Arizona, grilling us ribs and listening to Frank Sinatra. Thank you for teaching me how to love life and seize every moment. Thank you for exposing me to the world (it's good and bad) and teaching me about character, conviction and having true grit. Finally thank you for always giving me something to believe in, in a world where it has become increasingly harder to find. I love you with all my heart. ??❤️
Meghan expressed her empathy to all the American families who have also dealt with the “tragedy of disease” before asking for prayers:
“It is an experience familiar to us, given my father’s previous battle with cancer — and it is familiar to the countless American families whose loved ones are also stricken with the tragedy of disease and the inevitability of age. If we could ask anything of anyone now, it would be the prayers of those of you who understand this all too well. We would be so grateful for them.”
But she then shared a deeper insight into her relationship with her beloved father, saying although he’s been an impactful public servant, he’s much more to her:
“My love for my father is boundless, and like any daughter I cannot and do not wish to be in a world without him. I have faith that those days remain far away.
Yet even in this moment, my fears for him are overwhelmed by one thing above all: Gratitude for our years together, and the years still to come. He is a warrior at dusk, one of the greatest Americans of our age, and the worth heir to his father’s and grandfather’s name. But to me he is something more.”
She continued, revealing exactly how much “more” he is:
“He is my strength, my example, my refuge, my confidante, my teacher, my rock, my hero — my dad.”
According to reports, McCain is also a three-time melanoma survivor — his initial diagnosis dates back almost 20 years to 2000. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that because of his recent surgery, the senator will have to wait “three to four weeks” before beginning treatment for the tumor.
Gupta also said that average length of life after McCain’s diagnosis, with treatment, is 14 months.