Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Latest on Senator Kennedy

Ted Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor.

The 76-year-old senator from Massachusetts will remain in the hospital for a few more days -- at least -- while doctors try to get more information on his condition.

His doctors issued a statement today, declaring that the normal treatment is "combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy."

Before the doctors can decide on the senator's course of treatment and the prognosis for his recovery, they have to find out the size and the exact location of the tumor.

And the National Cancer Institute mostly reported the figures on the condition, which tell us the averages about this kind of brain tumor, who is likely to be afflicted with it and what the normal prognosis is (typically, it isn't good).

But Sen. Kennedy's life has hardly been average.

He was the youngest of nine children. Before he reached the age of 18, his oldest brother had been killed in a war and his second-oldest brother had been injured in that same war. His oldest sister was mentally retarded and his second-oldest sister died in an airplane crash when he was in high school.

His brothers John and Robert were assassinated.

And today, Kennedy and two of his sisters are all that's left of the family.

He's been in the Senate since John was president, which makes him one of only a handful of men who have spent more than 40 years in that chamber.

And it's ironic that this news should come out at this time. In a little more than two weeks, we will observe the 40th anniversary of the assassination of his brother Bobby.

Whatever one thinks of Ted Kennedy and his politics, wish him well in this battle. It's one that the statistics say he won't win.

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