From most cancer patients, “I’ve been through worse” would be at least part bravado.
Not with John McCain. While he faces uncertain and exhausting treatments, such as most of us never have, he actually has seen worse – as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for over five years, where his torture was so extreme that, to this day, he can’t raise his arms above his head.
Experts say the glioblastoma now assaulting him, and which Sen. Ted Kennedy also suffered from, is particularly aggressive, digging into brain tissue like an alien’s tentacles in a science fiction movie.
“McCain faces his greatest battle,” CNN.com wrote.
News of his diagnosis Wednesday both rocked Congress and united the hopelessly divided body in support of their stricken colleague.
It should also remind us that, as our leaders continue to go after each other’s throats over how to pay for health care, the most important issue is the health care itself, and what we can do for each other.
As for McCain, his friend Sen. Lindsay Graham poignantly noted cancer “has never had a more worthy opponent.” Some senators on the other side of issues from McCain might say the same for themselves.
It would be nice if a side effect of the treatment were that McCain would now be able to raise his arms above his head.
After all, that’s what is typically done in victory.