WASHINGTON, D.C. — Arizona Senator John McCain, who was diagnosed this week with an aggressive form of brain cancer, says he’s faced tougher challenges in his life and doesn’t intend to let his diagnosis keep him for long off the senate floor.
“I’ve been through worse,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R)- SC says McCain told him during a telephone call Wednesday night.
“”God knows how this ends, not me,” Graham told reporters after speaking with McCain. “But what I do know is this disease has never had a more worthy opponent.”
McCain, who currently serves as chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer, after having a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday.
Graham says he called McCain, who is currently resting at his Arizona home, on Wednesday night to offer words of comfort and support but that McCain quickly turned the discussion toward healthcare and the National Defense Authorization Act.
“Literally, it went five minutes until we turned away from what I think most people have a hard time absorbing and focused on what he loves the best,” Graham said.
Graham, who has worked with the Vietnam war veteran for years and formed a deep friendship while working side by side on the Senate floor, added that it was McCain who wound up encouraging him to stay strong.
“‘No more woe is me, Lindsey,’” Graham recalled McCain telling him after he began choking back tears during their conversation. “He’s yelling at me and to buck up. So I’m going to buck up.”
“He’s coming back,” Graham said. “I think they got it. He’s going to go through radiation and chemo. I’m not a doctor. It may come back and he’ll fight it again. But right now he’s in good spirits. It was a real tough operation. But John is ready to come back.
In a statement via Twitter, John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, who serves as a political commentator for Fox News spoke of her shock over her father’s diagnosis and her prayers for his swift recovery. “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,” she said.
McCain, 80, was held prisoner of war in North Vietnam war camp for five and a half years during his service in the military. He was released on March 14, 1973 and shortly thereafter began his political career. He has served in the House and Senate since 1982.