Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor, doctors treating him at Massachusetts General Hospital said today. "Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe," according to the statement. Kennedy was hospitalized Saturday morning after suffering a seizure at his family's compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
Oh, I know it is part of all of our lives to deal with death and illness but for some reason, to me, this family seems to have one tragedy after another.
Senator Kennedy is a stalwart leader. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor, the aged and the sick, not only for the residents of Massachusetts, but for the nation as a whole. He is one of the true statesmen of the Senate.
I had the good fortune to meet him a number of years ago although under sad circumstances of my own. My great uncle, who was a priest, was dying in the hospital. There was a special connection between my uncle and the senator, as my uncle was the chaplain at Arlington National Cemetery at the time of JFK's funeral and helped Cardinal Cushing at JFK's funeral mass.
Senator Kennedy was in the area to give a speech and heard about my uncle's condition and came to speak to us and offer his condolences. It was a really exceptional moment, as the Senator recalled his brother's funeral and my uncle's place in it. I have always thought very highly of the Senator since.
His prognosis is not good, actually. I unfortunately know a lot about this b/c my brother was diagnosed with this type of cancer 4.5 years ago. It is very agressive, very resistant to treatment, mostly inoperable, and basically fatal. My brother is one of the "lucky" ones in that he has lived this long with it but it is an awful awful disease.
This news is obviously stirring a lot of personal emotions for me, and my heart goes out to Ted Kennedy and his family.
ETA: this type of tumor is generally inoperable b/c it isn't a defined tumor - it is very diffuse and spreads throughout the brain. My brother did have surgery to remove a portion of his tumor almost 2 years ago but it caused him to have a stroke and lose a lot of speech and movement. He still has not regained use of his right arm/hand.
Last edited by bea_mama; 05-21-2008 at 07:36 AM.
Reason: more information
Yeah, I haven't seen much mention of surgery, so I was thinking that can't be good. Man, he has been through a lot in his life. I can't say I always agree with his politics, but his perserverance is inspiring and I hope he can beat this.
I was watching CNN this morinng and they had their resident doctor talking about why surgery may not be an option. He gave a very good description of what this "tumor" is like. He said it's like an octopus in that it has these little tentacles that reach out to different parts of the brain. He said it may not be so bad if it was just the tumor by itself, but there's no way that surgery can get all those little tentacles that are stretching out.
That just makes me so sad.
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I was just interviewing a radiologist who works on MS, who used to be at a major cancer center, and he said that based on what he can discern from what the doctors are saying and not saying, he thinks that it's a roll of the dice as to whether Kennedy will live to see the next president inaugurated.
I am so sad about this. He has fought so hard for so many important causes for so long, and made a huge difference in so many people's lives. He shouldn't have to go out like this. I hope he at least makes it to see President Obama.