This is not a time to get weepy or maudlin about Sen. Kennedy. He really has just begun to fight. I know what I’m talking about.
Five years ago, in the earliest hours of Palm Sunday morning, a doctor informed me that I had a malignant brain tumor. When I asked him how much time I had he said maybe weeks or months… with luck and drugs, maybe longer.
Yesterday I bought a Trek bike and rode it to and from my office. And in the five years since, I’ve had two children, spent time on the professional bass fishing tour, wrote a book, and am now helping start a company.
I have also gone through 18 rounds of chemo, adjusted to a life with occasional very mild seizures – I even had one once while testifying before a congressional committee and no one noticed – and been forced to live with the reality of my mortality knowing that things could change very quickly.
Our cases are obviously different. I’m younger, I’m taller, I’m half Asian, I’m a descendent of Jefferson Davis, I’m a sushi lover, I’m a lemon meringue pie eater. Perhaps one of those things makes the remnant tumor in my head less likely to occur. Perhaps not. The point is that each of our cases is unique. We know very, very little about gliomas, very little about the brain in fact. But we do know that Senator Kennedy has just begun this fight and what he needs are our prayers and great medical resources. We know that he has the latter – though I hope that one of the resources is Howard Fine, head of neuro-oncology at the National Institutes of Health – and we must give him the former as well.