One of the most senior and respected legislators in the United States has been diagnosed with an aggressive type of cancer that is being characterized as the most difficult battle the Republican Senator has ever faced. On July 19, days after he entered the hospital for surgical treatment of a clotting growth above his eye, Senator John McCain of Arizona was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of cancer that generally starts in the spinal or encephalic regions. This cancerous condition is known to be very dangerous due to its persistence and malignancy. Prior to entering the hospital, Senator McCain had complained of blurred and double vision, which he thought was the result of fatigue due to recent touring visits to his constituents.
Senator McCain was absent from the voting session that would have been conducted to replace the Affordable Care Act, mostly known as Obamacare, to replace it with poorly drafted legislation in an effort to advance the agenda of his party. Although the Senate was willing to wait on his recovery, Republican leaders did not think that he would have supported the repeal of Obamacare, a program that he has been mildly opposed to in the past. Former President Barack Obama was one of the first voices to lend support to Senator McCain after the diagnosis was announced. In a Twitter update, Obama stated that the Senator was one of the bravest Americans he has ever known, and that he will likely tackle this new fight vigorously for the benefit of his constituents and family.
Glioblastoma was the cause of the death of Senator McCain’s firstborn son, and this cancer also took the life of Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, who is also remembered as an important political leader who served many terms alongside McCain. Treatment of this condition typically requires surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. More than 15 percent of patients who suffer from brain cancer develop glioblastoma, which is often terminal. Senator McCain is 80 years old. He was born in Panama at a time when the Canal was under American control. He graduated from the Naval Academy and is part of a familial line of Navy veterans. As a fighter pilot, he flew many missions during the Vietnam War and was shot down in 1967. He was captured by the North Vietnamese and tortured until his release in 1973. His distinguished military service was belittled during the 2016 elections by President Donald Trump, who infamously stated, “I like people who were not captured.” Although they are both Republican leaders, McCain and President Trump do not see eye to eye.
Having entered the political arena in the 1980s, Senator McCain pursued the presidency in the year 2000, when he narrowly lost the Republican nomination to former President George W. Bush. Eight years later, Bush endorsed McCain as he ran against former President Obama in a campaign that was lost by a significant margin. During the Obama administration, the former President and the Senator had a relationship of mutual respect.