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Senator Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor

The news is bad for Senator Kennedy:

From the New York Times:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor.

Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma, they said.

His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.

Senator, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today.

33 Responses

  1. I know he’s in one of the best hospitals in the world.

  2. Thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with Senator Kennedy and all his loved ones.

  3. Oops, sorry Katiebird, I posted right after you. I deleted my post. I didn’t know you were around.

    This is so terrible. I hope Ted’s condition can be treated.

  4. I’m sorry too, boston boomer — I didn’t see riverdaughter’s request until I’d already posted the story.

    Actually the news seems very grim.

  5. Get well soon Senator Kennedy.

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with Senator Kennedy and his family.

  7. I have CNN radio on. Because the tumor is on the left side of the brain, it’s possible that surgury could affect the language areas. We don’t know where in the parietal lobe the tumor is located. There are two language areas–one is involved in understanding language and and the other in expressing language. We’ll have to wait and see where the tumor is located.

    Fortunately, even in elderly people, the brain is very plastic and other parts of the brain can step in to replace damaged parts. My mother in law had a massive stroke on the left side and she could not speak, write, or walk for a long time. Eventually, she recovered all these abilities, except that she had to concentrate a lot when writing.

    I’m in psychology, and my field is language development, so I do know a bit about this stuff.

  8. According to the article in the Boston Globe, it doesn’t look that hopeful.

    Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year — and the most common type among adults. It’s a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

    Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types — such as glioblastomas — or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.

    Surgery can be an option for some types, especially to reduce symptoms as a tumor enlarges and puts pressure on the rest of the brain. Many gliomas infiltrate normal brain tissue instead of forming a solid mass, making it hard to remove much of the tumor.

  9. I’m saying a Hail Mary for Teddy. He has done a lot of good for this nation.

  10. That family truly has suffered, my thoughts and prayers are with them – they have sacrificed a lot for Americans.

    BB: the National Cancer Institute site isn’t encouraging on this type of cancer.

  11. A good source for anything health-related is emedicine.com Once you wade past the technical stuff it doesn’t look good.



  12. I just came here to post a diary on this. I was so mad at Teddy about the Obama endorsement, but right now I am on the verge of tears.

    I remember a speech he gave a few years ago, about his weaknesses and missteps, and how ashamed he was of them, because, unlike his brothers, he had been given the gift of “time, and length of years.” And I thought of how well he’d carried John and Bobby’s legacy, and how much this country had benefitted from the length of his years.

    I’m so very sorry. I hope there are things they can do to give him more productive, comfortable time.

  13. litigatormom (nodding)

    I was just thinking about how he opened my eyes about Universal Health Care.

    He was in a debate at the Democratic Mid Term Convention in 1978 and he was so inspiring — he had the whole auditorium in awe.

    I’m sure every one of us left the room thinking we’d have Health Care for Everyone within just a couple of years…

    Hang on, Senator — hang on.

  14. Here is one of Ted’s greatest speeches, on the death of his brother Bobby.


  15. Litigator mom, me too!

    God I feel so guilty now. I LOVED Ted Kennedy up until the Obama endorsement.

    He seems so indestructible though, he’s had a few scares and has always come through. I’m really hoping that he does.

  16. BostonBoomer, this is creepy because Campbell Brown interviewd Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN last night and he said that either it’s a precursor to a stroke or a brain tumor.

  17. I’m hoping & praying he beats it.
    I may disagree with him about Obama, but he’s done a lot of good in DC. 😦

  18. I came here as soon as I found out, but there was not time to post (I’m at work). I’m in the same place as you, litigatormom, and SM. I’ve been so disappointed in his endorsement, but it means nothing.
    This man has been a champion for so many and for so long. It is tragic for him and for us all. I just want to cry. But I’ll say some prayers for now and hope for better news for him.

  19. The Kennedy Legacy is going to be a difficult one to beat. In Massachusetts we hold then very close to our hearts. If you have ever visited the Kennedy Library in Boston you cannot leave without wiping away the tears. It is very moving and so full of their service and contributions. Be well, Teddy.

  20. I heard on NPR. Not good. He seems to be in good spirits though. Difficult times for him and family.

  21. OT, but some news to lift the spirits a bit:

    MA Atty Gen’l Martha Coakley, an Automatic Delegate for the state, has endorsed Hillary today with the loveliest tribute, IMO:

    “Regardless of the outcome of the primary, Mrs. Clinton’s energy, stamina, and resolve have changed the course of history for women seeking office, including the presidency, and I dare say, have changed the course of history of Presidential politics in the United States. It is for these reasons that I will vote for Hillary Clinton in August at the Nominating Convention.”

  22. grayslady,

    That’s wonderful. Thanks. There are a lot of women in MA who support Hillary. I’m glad Martha Coakley came forward today.

  23. BB–Am glad to hear that about MA. Seems if we women want a deserved pat on the back, we have to be the ones to do it. Hillary has truly been the inspirational candidate in this race, and Martha Coakley sums up many of the reasons why.

  24. I actually have something pertinent to add. My best friend has been in remission with a brain tumor for going on 15 years now. He had the focused radiation treatment when it was still pretty experimental and I know they’ve improved it since then. The good news is, brain tumors aren’t always a death sentence. *crosses fingers for Senator Kennedy*

  25. Sad news for Americans across the political spectrum, regardless of where we stand in the current campaigns. I wrote on another blog that Ted Kennedy is a reminder of my childhood when the Kennedy men of that generation were giants in everyone’s eyes: Jack, Bobby and Ted. They were like gods, particularly in my Irish Catholic family.

    Very distressing to hear this Lion of the Senate has been given such devastating news. Sad day for the country, too.

  26. Hi guys,
    sorry to intrude on your thoughts.
    It is now about 1:30 in Oregon.
    The ballots have to be in drop boxes by 8pm pacific time.
    We have about 6 hours (and some change) to call.
    Please take the time to help.
    I don’t need to remind anyone here about how many people in Kennedy’s condition would have no accesss to decent medical treatment. Please work for the greater good–work for universal health care.
    Please call Oregon- it is the best thing you can do today to help everyone who suffers from illness.

  27. Prayers for Teddy.

  28. grayslady,

    There’s some information about it on this website: Count the Votes.


  29. DarthVelma,

    That’s really good to hear. I hope Ted will be able to be treated. He’ll probably have to have chemo too. Apparently this type of tumor spreads out in the brain and is hard to remove. My dad had that focused radiation for prostate cancer and it worked pretty well. He was tired, but didn’t get sick and they got the cancer.

  30. Martha Coakley has always been a respected prosecuter here in MA. I am so pleased to hear of her endorsement. Way to go Martha!

  31. What has been strange is that while conservatives have had some kind words about Kennedy, it has been pretty quiet on the Obama front. I noticed this yesterday without a peep at Lefty Blogs.

    It just seems weird with the endorsement and all, how this is more less being ignored by Obamabots. Maybe the average age of the Obama supporter has something to do with it.

  32. So sorry to hear the news about Senator Kennedy. He has done so many wonderful things for our country. My thoughts are with him and his loved ones.

  33. such sad news. I’m a Kennedy and an aunt once told me she found relatives we had in common when she traveled to County Cork. we’ve always thought of them as very distant kin. I think Ted is rare in that he’s an extremely wealthy politician (that part isn’t rare) who really seems to have actual compassion and caring for those less fortunate. I hope he will respond well to treatment and be back, but if he doesn’t, he’s certainly done his part to make the world a better place for people who are invisible to most politicians.

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