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Sen. John McCain reflects on brain cancer diagnosis on ’60 Minutes’

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) opened up about his recent brain cancer diagnosis — among other things — in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” which aired Sunday evening.

In July of this year, news broke that the 81-year-old veteran had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, the same type of brain cancer that eventually claimed the life of Sen. Ted Kennedy in 2009.

“I’m still in disbelief that this actually has happened,” McCain’s wife, Cindy, said. “And then I think, cancer chose the wrong guy.”

The interview, conducted by CBS’ Lesley Stahl, was done at the McCains’ getaway home in Sedona. There, a seemingly content John McCain was asked about topics ranging from his cancer to the criticism he’s received from President Donald Trump.

McCain said he was driving up to Sedona after a routine check-up at the Mayo Clinic near Phoenix. Doctors called him and told him to come back, saying a blood clot that had formed above his left eye was serious enough to require immediate action.

Later, after McCain pressed doctors for answers, he was told of the cancer diagnosis.

“The prognosis is very, very serious,” McCain said. “Some say 3 percent, some say 14 percent. It’s a very poor prognosis. So, I just said, ‘I understand, now we’re going to do what we can, get the best doctors we can find, and do the best we can.’ And, at the same time, celebrate with gratitude a life well-lived.”

But even after a grim prognosis, McCain said who he is as a person hasn’t changed. Still, that doesn’t mean the diagnosis hasn’t affected his attitude.

“I am more energetic and more engaged as a result of this because I know I’ve got to do everything I can to serve this country while I can,” he said.

“I have feelings sometimes of fear of what happens, but as soon as I get that, I say, ‘Wait a minute — you’ve been around a long time, old man. You’ve had a great life and a great experience.’ I want when I leave, that the ceremony is at the Naval Academy and we just have a couple of people that stand up and say, ‘This guy, he served his country.'”

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