Two major American political figures announced on Monday that they’ve been diagnosed with cancer.
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) revealed Monday morning via a video message and a press release that he would be undergoing surgery this Friday to remove cancer in his prostate. Then, mere hours later, Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he had an advanced, aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, according NBC’s Baltimore affiliate.
Of the two, Hogan’s diagnosis is significantly more severe. He told the press on Monday that the cancer in his lymphnodes is advanced stage 3, possibly stage 4, meaning that the disease may have already spread to other organs in his body.
Nonetheless, Hogan joked that his chances of beating the cancer were “much better than my odds were of beating Anthony Brown,” his Democratic opponent in last November’s election. The governor said he would undergo chemotherapy in the coming months, working with doctors from Anne Arundel Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The news is relatively better for King. His cancer has shown ”no sign of spread outside the prostate area” after being discovered in its early stages through a “series of bodyscans,” according a statement released by his office.
“Let’s face it; cancer is a scary word to hear. So it might seem unusual to say this, but today, I actually feel pretty fortunate,” King said. “The fact is, millions of Americans bravely and quietly fight more aggressive cancers than mine every day.”
Both men said they did not intend to let their health challenges remove them from public service.
King, who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, said that the illness will not affect his plans to run for re-election in 2018.
“I’m looking forward to a full recovery and to continuing my service in the Senate,” King said. “And no, this does not my affect my intention to run for re-election, except my poor little prostate won’t be along for the ride.”
Hogan acknowledged that chemotherapy would likely cause him to “miss a few meetings,” but said he would still be “constantly involved. Some people think I’m crazy, the hours I put in. I’m a workaholic.”
Hogan ended his remarks on a hopeful note, saying, “With my faith, family and my friends … I’ll be a better and stronger person and governor when we get to the other side of it.”