April 11, 2007

Fred Has Manageable Cancer (Update: Fred's Showing His Hand)

See below for updates.

Fred Thompson, whose potential entry into the 2008 presidential race has him already third in Republican polling, announced today that he has a manageable form of lymphoma:

Republican Fred Thompson, the actor-politician who is considering a bid for president, said Wednesday he has lymphoma, a form of cancer.

In an interview with Fox News, the former Tennessee senator said he is in remission and the diagnosis shouldn't affect his life expectancy.

Thompson, 64, told Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto that he has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but hasn't been ill or had any symptoms. ...

Some of these subtypes are termed "indolent," meaning they typically respond well to treatment — patients often go into remission for long periods, but the disease is not cured and may need to be battled back again periodically.

This may throw some cold water on the Thompson boomlet. Some voters have expressed reservations about the health of John McCain after his battles with skin cancer. Similarly, Rudy Giuliani has battled prostate cancer, although he has been clear for about six years.

Lymphoma sounds more serious, even if it may not be. It will cause some people to think twice about supporting Thompson with this condition even if it is manageable.

UPDATE: I think Hot Air is right -- the release of this information indicates that Thompson is clearing the decks for a presidential run. I'm just not sure whether he can overcome it.

UPDATE II: Of course, our prayers go out to Thompson and his family for health and strength; sometimes we forget to prioritize these issues properly. Mea culpa.

UPDATE III: Bill Frist -- Dr. Bill Frist -- seems to confirm the "clearing the decks" theory:

In my view, this disclosure indicates his seriousness as a potential candidate. He's a dedicated public servant with true conservative credentials, extraordinary communications skills and a devotion to his principles.

I hope you'll continue to post your statements encouraging Fred to run so that I can share them with him and other supporters across the country.

UPDATE IV: I've made a few calls on my lunch break, and here's the scoop. Fred's had this for almost three years now, and he's not missed any work or slowed down at all during that time. He and his wife had a child during this period, which gives an indication that he has plenty of stamina; after all, shooting schedules for weekly television programs are not known to be kind to cast and crew.

Why is he announcing this now? Word is that he wants to make sure that his supporters feel comfortable with the issue before proceeding, and he's interested in the commentary. He's a straight shooter and he didn't want this to be a surprise during a campaign -- he's laying his cards on the table. For Fred supporters, that thought process should be very encouraging.


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» Fred’s airing the Laundry from The Crimson Blog
Fred Thompson today announced that that he’s been in remission from Lymphoma. Obviously this is good news, as (unlike the recent news regarding Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow) he is announcing he is in remission from cancer and he is not announc... [Read More]

» Fred Thompson Has Cancer, Good Prognosis from The Sandbox
Here's the AP story:Republican Fred Thompson, the actor-politician who is considering a bid for president, said Wednesday he was diagnosed with lymphoma more than two years ago but the cancer shouldn't affect his life expectancy. In an interview with Fox [Read More]

» Fred Thompson Has Lymphoma from GINA COBB
Did you see that one coming? WASHINGTON - Fred Thompson, the potential presidential candidate better known as television's gruff Law Order district attorney, said Wednesday he was diagnosed with lymphoma more than two years ago but the cancer shouldn't... [Read More]

» 2007.04.11 Campaign '08 Roundup
-- McCain's Finest Hour
from Bill's Bites
Former Senator Fred Thompson in Remission for Lymphoma WASHINGTON — Former Tennessee Republican Sen. Fred Thompson told FOX News on Wednesday that he's in remission from lymphoma cancer. The Law Order star who is considering a run for the White [Read More]

» Scratch that candidate...maybe. from Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
I just heard on NPR news this morning that Fred Thompson, the actor and former senator who's seriously considering a run for president, revealed that he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma three years ago. He added, however, that the disease [Read More]

» Fred Thompson Has Cancer; Prognosis Good from Wizbang
Senator Thompson has the kind of lymphoma that is treatable and shouldn't affect his life span: WASHINGTON (AP) - Fred Thompson, the potential presidential candidate better known as television's gruff... [Read More]

» Is This National Cancer Month? from Sensible Mom
And if Fred Thompson is the knight in shining armor, it's just been dented heavily. [Read More]

» Is This National Cancer Month? from Sensible Mom
And if Fred Thompson is the knight in shining armor, it's just been dented heavily. [Read More]

Comments (23)

Posted by muirgeo [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 9:46 AM

Should be interesting to hear Rush Limbaughs comments on the issue.

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 9:52 AM

I have known a lot of people with lymphoma, including non-Hadgkins.

As in most Cancers, stress is usually a critical factor.

I pray for his healing, and I pray that in that process, he has an epiphany, a Damascus Road experience.

Lymphoma is nothing to take on the Campaign trail.

Pray that he gets a healing that doesn't require surgery. THAT kind of surgery is absolutely ravaging.

Posted by Jane [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 10:16 AM

Run Fred Run!

Posted by Adjoran [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 10:38 AM

My prayers for Fred and his family and friends.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 10:52 AM

I pray that Fred lives for several more decades, but this fact makes him a little less effective as President, because if the disease returns, he'll be treated like a lame duck immediately, even in a first term.

Posted by trapeze [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 10:59 AM

My cancer has been in remission for 16 years and I have been able to live my life as if it had never happened. My hope is that Senator Thompson is able to experience the same. He is, by all appearances, a good and decent man.

That said, I do hope that he is going to run. I would like to see another viable candidate for the Republicans. We need more choices, not less. We should not have to settle on a nominee by default (whoever raises the most early money) this early in the game.

Getting this out now is the expected and smart thing to do if he is going to run. If this is the worst thing in his closet then the Republicans could have a very, very strong candidate in Thompson.

Posted by Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:00 AM

I foresee a Thompson/Frist Republican ticket for 2008.

I'll vote fer that!

Posted by Mr Lynn [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:10 AM

The beginning of Senator Frist's comment:

This morning Fred Thompson, my good friend and colleague of many years, made it known that he has slow-growing marginal zone lymphoma - a disease that has never made him physically ill and for which he has a good prognosis, according to his doctor.

President's Roosevelt (FDR) and Eisenhower had more immediately serious physical conditions during their presidencies.

/Mr Lynn

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:15 AM

"Dr. Bill Frist -- seems to confirm the "clearing the decks" theory"

I assume he came to his judgment after watching a video tape of Thompson's revaluation.

Posted by Mr Lynn [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:31 AM

Correction: That's "Presidents" not "President's" in my post above. God forbid I should commit the odious possessive-for-plural error so common on the Internet.

/Mr Lynn

Posted by rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 12:28 PM

Best of luck to Fred.

Posted by Brooklyn [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 12:41 PM

best wishes to Fred Thompson and his Family...

Posted by Brendan [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 12:42 PM

I was going to say that this may explain why he left the senate - but if he only knew of it for three years, that wouldn't fit. Except. He almost certainly had it in the early stages when he was in the senate, and having seen a very good friend go through the discovery and treatment phase (8 years later he is doing very well indeed) the sufferer shows symptoms of exhasustion. He very well have made the decision to leave the senate because of the cancer, before he knew of the cancer...

My prayers go out to him. This doesn't affect my desire to see him run. Go Fred, we need a straight talker now...

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 12:51 PM

As much as I would love to see Fred Thompson run I think his medical condition automatically disqualifies him for the office. The Presidency is too important to take a risk. While it is true that he could go another twenty years with no ill effects he could also true he could stop responding to treatments in two years. Cancer is a very individual and unpredictable disease. At this critical time in history we cannot afford to have an incapacitated President like we did in 1919 after Wilson had his stroke.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 12:58 PM

More soap opera.

Yes. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is one of the cancers that are treatable. People can live disease-free after they've been diagnosed, and brought TO remission, for so many years and years. They die later on of something else, overtaking them in Old Age.

It's a twirl of the dice, though. Because with all the money in the world. All the access to top care; Jackie Kennedy Onasis did not make it.

She was diagnosed, however, at the point where the "lump" was in her groin area. And, she was sick most of the time. Given that she took treatments that didn't work for her.

So you can tell the difference; between a successful intervention. And, one that has "time-limits" pre-set.

Does this make Fred Thompson, now, a worse candidate?


But you have to look at the field that's emerging.

The field that gave ya Nixon. A loser of major proportions for this country. As well as for the GOP.

In 1976, instead of recovering. And, running with a better candidate than Gerald Ford; it was Gerald Ford who had the "change of heart." First, ya know? He said "he'd take the veep's slot and then go home."

Didn't do that.

So, he's one of our presidents, "selected," not elected. Because then, sweeping in from way outside, was Jimmy Carter.

Four years later the revolving door spits him out.

By now? Lots of people are aware of how both Bush's took command of the primary structure withint the GOP, to "grab" the nomination for themselves. TWO LOSERS.

Sad, too. Because in 1980, trying to block Reagan from the presidential nomination was Bush the elder.

All the debates ahead? I wonder how much we will remember? Because in our "collective memory bank," lots of people can visualize Ronald Reagan, in his prime. Taking control of debates scheduled for New Hampshire. Where he TOLD Bush, "it's my microphone." This left the older Bush boob with a choice. He could have had a hissy fit; and walked off the stage. He didn't. And, others were allowed to sit around the table.

Ronald Reagan wanted people to look at all the GOP candidates. So that individual voters, could get together; and make the selection of the "man they wanted." Not this "inner circle hooey."

Of course, conservatives have bought the bush's since then. What'cha got? Wanna unpack what you thought you'd get?

Let's see. Do you see "smaller government?" Nope. I think not.

Do you see the idiot in the white house, swearing he told the people he was going to give everyone a refund; then pushed Paul O'Niell into sending out checks? Everybody got a $33 check. Paul O'Nielll about plotzed. And, this became fodder for the book he'd write two years later: THE PRICE OF LOYALTY.

Bush doesn't know shit from shinola about economic matters. Never did. He's just a rich kid, whose dad provided top jobs for his little hiney. And, he failed at all of them.

The one thing, though? Bush is very quiet. He's not like Tony Blair, that when Tony Blair takes a tumble on his "skates," he goes down head first.

But over in England? Today, there's a lot of buyer's remorse; discovering how the elite, EU, Touchy-feely bullshit, didn't work. There's real buyer's remorse, now. Without too many solutions.

Bush, this one? Still trying to maneuver the universe his way. But the House of Saud will probably come up disappointed.

Unless James Baker can figure out how to push through the $8-billiion military upgrade to the House of Saud.

But, now? Every time I see a picture of condi; I think of her as one lady with a piece of chalk; making such a racket, scratching it across the blackboard, nobody's listening to what she says. (Which has it's advantages.)

If what we're watching is a s-l-o-w dance; while the congress critters load more pork onto their plates.

Bush? You think he's gonna use his veto pen? Alas, I think Beldar was wrong. Bush won't do anything that shrinks palates for pork. And, he's also capable of putting in KOH, in the next supreme court vacancy. (In other words? He's working with the clowns in congress.)

I've also read that he goes out to collect donations for other candidates. What's the big deal? Men like Kerry get money. Howie Dean collected money. Money, it seems, flows from the streams that produce the British WAVY.

The whole witchcraft enterprize of 'global warming" has been created as a form of religious belief for those on the left. And, they're crazy! They really threaten scientists. How so? They award the "prize money." INCLUDING OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

Do you know the high price of bumbling idiots in office?

You want to try out a better conservative, instead of what your eyes show you can be the possible front runner?

I know one thing, that I learned when Schwartzenegger tossed Gray Davis out of office.

Where Schwartzenegger came along, on a conservative man's dime. (Or $3-million-dollars in personal funds, that put together the ballot recall.)

And, I was watching television/ which I rarely do.

It was election day. And, voters were being questioned, after they voted. If they were willing to say out loud, and on TV, whom they chose.

A nice republican fella came out and said he voted for Schwartzenegger BECAUSE HE COULD WIN. Though he really did prefer the more conservative guy. Who never won a thing.

I'm going to guess that things in the senate are now so tight; Bush couldn't put in a conservative candidate in ANY POSITION. He's through.

All he can do is decide to play ball. And, go along, FOLLOWING what the turkeys want. OR, he can be obstinate. And, everything ahead gets hung up.

For the Supremes? That would mean O'Connor steps back into her old supreme-O chair. To work until the Fall of 2008. When a new senate opens operations, with a new President to be installed in January of that year.

Okay. The risk factors for 2008.

1/3 of the senate's seats are up for votes. You're looking at about 36 people. 24 GOP kiesters. And, only 12 donks.

The donks figure that it's 2-to-1. Their advantage.

The GOP? Hmm. What candidate for president would cause the least trouble?

Someone popular enough to win across-the-board? Meaning they'd get sunk on "special interest politics?" OR? A "favorite son" who had no chance at all.

One good thing from current events? You won't be seeing Jeb Bush trying to elbow his way into the top of the ticket.

Bush ignited his family's shrubbery business.

It seems as if the world is now waiting for new actors.

A long time ago, in 1860, it was Lincoln's turn. He was NOT a favorite, as you know, going into the Teepee, in Chicago.

He just played his hand right. He made no enemies in ANY of the various camps. So he got nominated on the 3rd ballot. Then? Proving he believed that a HOUSE DIVIDED was a terrible thing, he went to his TEAM OF RIVALS. And, asked them to join his cabinet. Doris Kearns Goodwin's book detailing these events is a WOWZA.

And, from today's opinions, flowing so negatively against the Britsh WAVY, untrained for combat, iranian "tourists," you gotta think that sometimes bigshots guess wrong.

Posted by JEM [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 12:58 PM

There are blood cancers (leukemias, lymphomas, and the like) that will kill you in months, and there are blood cancers that will never affect your ability to function, and there's a lot in between.

Frankly, this makes me even more interested in voting for the man.

We are now able to detect these diseases earlier, at a level where they may never become acute, may never require treatment. Yet once one has been diagnosed with a chronic condition of this nature you're pretty much blackballed from any sort of health insurance not issued through a large group plan.

I think Mr Thompson could bring a very different and very personal perspective to where this country stands on healthcare and health insurance.

Posted by Karen [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 2:51 PM

To repeat someone from above:

RUN FRED RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by mangrovemama2002 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 3:48 PM

Fred is clearly laying the groundwork.

We all need to pray for him.

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 4:12 PM

My husband and I were coming back from his Urologists office this afternoon (he just found out he has prostate cancer). Anyway, we were listening to Hannity and he had Thompson on.

Thompson mentioned that he reads the blogs, and CQ was one of several he named. Good going Cap'n.

Posted by viking01 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 4:20 PM

First, I hope the best for Thompson's continued health and think he would make an outstanding candidate and President. His ability and choice to have careers besides politics instead of a dependency upon politics gives him refreshingly greater independence from the Beltway "must forever get re-elected" mentality.

Most of our presidents have been middle aged men. Partly because of the number "35" in our Constitution, partly because average lifespans were short before modern medicine and partly because successes and visibility are not achieved until mid-life. Therefore most presidents have had health problems which come with age. Lincoln had acromegaly and nearly crippling depression. FDR was barely running on fumes at Yalta and his polio was effectively downplayed by a supportive press. Wilson was in poor health as already mentioned. So was Harding. JFK was addicted to painkillers for his severe back pain. Johnson had his famous scar. Clinton had / has his psychological problems and behavioral disorders. Ford, McKinley, and Lincoln had First Ladies burdened by poor health problems. Before modern medicine it was understood that a Vice President was a true necessity in an age when influenza, yellow fever, cholera, smallpox, and food poisoning were genuine daily risks faced by most if not all citizens.

If Fred Thompson's health is manageable and maintainable to where he is comfortable with his pursuits, whatever those may be, then his ambitions to realize his goals are laudable and should be fully supportable.

Posted by Right2thePoint [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 4:23 PM

Good news

Hot Air has a link to audio of Tony Snow telling Bill O'Rielly he DOES NOT have liver cancer.

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 6:45 PM

I hope that Senator Thompson comes out ok on this ... statistics according to the Lukemia and Lymphoma Society say that a low grade lymphoma cancer patient has a life expectancy of 7-10 years. I hope that Mr. Thompson truly does what he wants to do ... and not what a bunch of windbag wackos "want" him to do. From what I understand from my neighbors here in Tennessee, he is very family oriented ... nothing is MORE important than family. Choose wisely Senator Thompson.

Posted by CayuteKitt [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 6:23 AM

In my book, this makes for two strikes against Fred Thompson: The first being his support of the BCRA. I'm praying for his health, especially for the sake of his new baby, needing a Dad for the next 15 years or so.

But if he intends to run, Mr. Thompson had darn well better make sure he has a solid, healthy, well grounded running mate in the Veep slot!

I've watched President Bush 43 slowly being beaten into the ground for six years as a result of the unrelenting drumbeat of a biased/liberal MSM, and the outrageous rantings of deranged Democrats intent on destroying a good man. In the past couple of months it has seemed as if the President's spirit has finally been all but broken. No one, not even a saint, can withstand that much sustained negativity and character assassination 24/7 for six years and come out of it without deep and lasting scars.

So if Mr. Thompson thinks his lymphoma will not flare up under what would most assuredly be similar conditions as POTUS, I say by all means go for it if that's where his dreams and passions lie. Just be darned sure to have a Plan B lined up in a solid VP, is all.

That, and repealing the BCRA, of course!