Ted Kennedy, Too

It was all over the news immediately: Senator Ted Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor.

The TV doctors were out in force, with their plastic models of brains to show exactly where the tumor is. Anchors asked reporters in the field to assess the mood.

What kind of answers were they expecting?

My reaction, like so many people's, those who have cancer and those who don't, was one of sadness. Sadness for a family that has already seen so much tragedy.

But mostly, I feel sad for Ted Kennedy, the man.

The reports all said he was up and walking around, and I'm sure that's true. But I would also guess that he's very scared right now. Scared of a future that seems uncertain and difficult.

Surrounded by family and friends, these can be lonely hours. There will be lots of talk of treatment, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. And I think there will be private doubt and public hope.

I just want to add my own hopes and support. I hope that the family members find strength in each other. I hope that fear does not stay in the room too long. And for Ted Kennedy, the man, I hope he finds the strength that will bring him peace.

And for all those who were diagnosed in hospitals all over the country today, I send you the same wishes.

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Amen

Sent by Jen | 7:29 AM | 5-21-2008

Dear Leroy,

I mirror your thoughts, expression of concerns and wishes for strength. The Kennedy family has been through so much. To all who are living with, being treated for cancer, I hold you in my prayers. For families, close friends and all who are impacted by this disease directly and indirectly, you are also in my prayers.

The news media as they cover the story, continue to say, positive attitudes, upbeat attitudes and family support are important. They are summing up what it takes to be successful or achieve some level or success when dealing with cancer.

Peace to all embarking on the journey either directly or not.

Sent by Sue Chap | 7:39 AM | 5-21-2008

Hi Leroy,

You always say it so well. Thank you. Regarding Ted Kennedy and all those dealing with illness, I too, wish them strength and hope. (Definitely feel the sadness and the tears.) Our hearts are aching.

Heartlight,

Virgie & Kim
(and Gracie)

Sent by Virgie & Kim & Gracie | 7:51 AM | 5-21-2008

Beautifully stated, with heart and soul. Expresses my feeling too. I hope that you enjoy a good day.

Sent by Susan | 7:53 AM | 5-21-2008

Leroy, this is the same cancer my mother died from in 1979. Their road will be hard.. But one thing I do believe.. They will be there for one another.. That is what is important, isn't it?

Sent by Patsy Elmore | 7:53 AM | 5-21-2008

Yes Leroy, when the news was announced yesterday I immediately thought of you and what you must be thinking. The Kennedys are a great American family whether you share the same politics or not. As you said, they have endured so much tradegy through the years. This shows that the great and small suffer the same assaults, no discrimination there. It bothers me though that the Press spews it over and over again. How does the family and Ted himself react to constantly seeing and hearing all the commentaries? Somecomments sounded like obituaries.You Leroy, and many other well known people have been through this agony and are still surviving and fighting. But how cruel to him and the family to have it shoved in their faces constantly on the wide screen. Ted Kennedy is not dead yet and will deal with this like the Heros he and his family are. Don't write him off-right Leroy?

Sent by J C R | 7:57 AM | 5-21-2008

There is the person you are speaking of someone else. My friend who had cancer said that the first thing he learned at M.D. Anderson Hospital was that cancer is not choosy - it will hit anyone of any walk of like or economic place.
For the umpteenth time in my lifetime my prayers go out to the Kennedy Family and specifically, Teddy Kennedy.
Thanks for your kind thoughts and words, Leroy. Take care of you and you know that love and prayers go out to you.

Sent by Janice Goldberg White | 8:00 AM | 5-21-2008

Dear Leroy,
My prayers go out to the Kennedy family. What a cruel twist of fate that someone so smart could have cancer hit his brain. My one objection to the news about his forthcoming ordeal is that they keep referring to him as a fighter. If fighting were the antidote to cancer, a lot more people would be free of this disease. That's my two cents for the day.

Sent by Elaine | 8:29 AM | 5-21-2008

Well said Leroy. My sentiment exactly.
Good job!

Judy

Sent by Judy Voller | 8:42 AM | 5-21-2008

As our local press trips over itself to see who can lionize Ted the most. My overly sensitive heart is first with the Kopechne family and then the Senator.

Hold Fast

Don MacLeod

Sent by Don MacLeod | 8:53 AM | 5-21-2008

Well said Leroy, and I am sure that many will keep him in their prayers.
Continued prayers of strength for the fighters, the caregivers, for those who have won the battle and for those who have lost....

Sent by Laurie Hirth | 8:55 AM | 5-21-2008

Before becoming a member of "Cancer World", the news of Senator Kennedy's brain tumor diagnosis would have seemed for him to be tragic, life ending news. Living with the knowledge of HOPE that we all know now, the news has an air of, "He could beat this." "It could go differently than they are saying." Let's all share our strength and HOPE with Senator Kennedy and his family. He is a fighter and we know that prognosis is not fact.

Sent by Deb | 9:09 AM | 5-21-2008

You make a good point about all the people around all the hospitals getting the Cancer diagnosis. We only hear of the celebrities getting cancer, but as we sit here there are probably hundreds if not more people getting that dreaded news from their doctors. Cancer. My thoughts are with all the people out there dealing with this crazy disease.

Sent by Jenn | 9:15 AM | 5-21-2008

If you were watching ABC news at 5 or 11, that was no "TV doctor," that was my real life doctor! Dr. Porazzo at the Washington Hospital Center was interviewed for the news. He talked with me and my mom about my prognosis and radiation treatment when I came in for my CT Scan and "dots." When I was going to be laid off, he offered to write a letter to my employer about my prognosis. He called my blood work "fantastic."

My heart goes out to the Kennedy family. See David Broder's column today.

Sent by Dianne (DC) | 9:16 AM | 5-21-2008

You amaze me - your words are heartfelt and sincere - even as you go through one of the most uncertain times of your life you have concern for those around you - you, Mr. Sievers, are a very special person!

Sent by kay Eusepi | 9:20 AM | 5-21-2008

Sen. Kennedy is probably still in shock...the reality of his diagnosis will take a while to sink in. I know mine did...one has a hard time grasping the fact that it's happening to you this time, not someone else. I'm sending prayers & good mojo to him & his family...best of luck to him, for this, the fight of his life!!!

Sent by Mike A. | 9:21 AM | 5-21-2008

Private pain, public news.

The kindest, and most caring, thing the media can/could...won't...do for the Kennedy family is to "stop the presses" and allow them to gather and deal with this devastating news without telephoto lens and microphones capturing raw emotions.

Clearly a public figure is not in the league of Mr/Ms No Name, however, even inquiring minds should have boundaries beyond which the media does not take them.

Sent by Peggy | 9:22 AM | 5-21-2008

Yes, Leroy, it is sad news. My heart goes out to the Kennedys and to Ted knowing that he faces difficult days ahead.
Charlotte in Rural Ridge, PA

Sent by Charlotte Kewish | 9:31 AM | 5-21-2008

And I'm reminded as probably many of us are today, of how I felt eight years ago upon hearing that the lump was malignant. How I for a few hours, maybe even a couple of days, felt completely isolated with my sadness, enclosed in a lonely world of immense fear, the door locked. It was so sad a place to be alone and of course it was also terribly frightening.

I think it's true for alot of us that no matter how many loved ones we have, how much faith in a higher power we have, that the initial diagnosis is experienced alone those first hours or days , and is particularly devastating for that reason.

So for all those just diagnosed as Ted Kennedy was, I hope the door opens wide soon in order to receive all the love, hope and immense support and caring that is available to each of us if we can humble ourselves enough to ask for it.

Sent by Nancy Oliveri | 9:43 AM | 5-21-2008

My father died from this same brain cancer six weeks after diagnosis. It started the same way---with a seizure. I was so afraid for Senator Kennedy when the seizures were first reported. I hope he "discovers" your messages. My words can't express the amount of strength your words give me. You are truely an amazing human being. My admiration for you knows no boundaries. While my cancer is in remission (whatever that is--maybe just hiding better) I just had ct scans that showed "iffy" stuff so I have more tests but I have decided that I do not have the strength to "lose it" more than one day and just try to "go with the flow". I believe that cancer is...the beginning of life's next challenge. Thank you for being the amazing man you are. You have no idea the lives you touch each day in very special ways. A kazillion beaucoups. I think we should all arrange a date and time and "toast" each other!!!

Sent by Donna | 9:46 AM | 5-21-2008

Dear Leroy,

The news is always like a sharp kick to the gut, followed by your heart leaping to your throat and staying there for quite a while. Unfortunately we all know what they're all feeling right now. My prayers are with anyone and their family confronting news like this.

Sent by Connie | 9:52 AM | 5-21-2008

What sad news. Terry's dad was diagnosed with malignant glioma in late April 2005, and died in early July that year despite the most up-to-date treatment regimen.

I'm sure the family has, by now, researched the disease and that they know the prognosis. This will be particularly tough for them since they're such a public family.

Sent by Bruce | 10:05 AM | 5-21-2008

Amen, and Amen! And may the wishes envelop their loved ones too!

Sent by Sarah | 10:28 AM | 5-21-2008

I hate cancer, HATE it! But I realized yesterday that my mother's cancer has made me a much more compassionate person. I disagree with almost everything Mr. Kennedy stands for. I have screamed at the t.v. when he is on C-SPAN speaking. Turned off the radio when I have heard him. But yesterday, when I read the news story and saw the pictures of him and his family, I cried for him. I pray for him today.

Sent by Stacy | 10:35 AM | 5-21-2008

Well Said Leroy....Once a newsman always a newsman. You echoed the thoughts of millions of us who are so
worried about Ted Kennedy.

Sent by Dave Grusin | 10:36 AM | 5-21-2008

When I heard about Ted Kennedy I felt so sad and then I wondered what you were thinking. I would love for him to know you and walk with you as you share your wisdon joy and pain with us every day. I think he wouold benefit from your daily sharing. It is like we are all holding hands as we go through the fire of cancer. Bless you. Peg

Sent by Peg Heglund | 10:42 AM | 5-21-2008

I wish journalists would give just a little more thought to the likely impact of their words. Less than 24 hours after getting this shocking news, Ted Kennedy and his family had to pick up the newspapers or turn on the TV and be told that he has less than 8% chance of living two years. Now, we all know that statistics aren't facts. He could beat those odds. But how cruel it seems to deluge him with those numbers while he is probably still too numb to even take in the diagnosis fully! And I concur with what someone else said here -- I hate how everyone keeps saying his strength will help him survive this awful cancer. Plenty of wonderful and strong people who fought hard to survive have died. I do hope and pray he can get a miracle cure, but above all,that his courage and strong spirit will help him deal with whatever comes. And that he will have the support he needs from family and close friends.

Sent by Doris | 10:55 AM | 5-21-2008

Dear Leroy All,
I have no words today only prayers. I would also like to thank everyone for your compassionate comments and prayers.

As as always prayers to all.

Sent by sasha321 | 11:11 AM | 5-21-2008

Loved your commentary Leroy; very poignant.

The first thing I thought when I saw those pictures of him and his family sitting together having photos taken in the hospital, was how hard it must be for them to put on those "happy", smiling, and brave faces to face the public. They don't even have the privacy they need to express their grief and fears without it being broadcast around the world. How sad is that?

Sent by betty obst | 11:14 AM | 5-21-2008

I too was deeply sadden by the news. My other thought was the privacy of the diagnosis and treatments. Cancer takes so much from us, to have it out on the front page news is disgusting.

Sent by Janis | 11:25 AM | 5-21-2008

Hello All:
Leroy, you're as articulate and intuitive as ever! I share the sentiments of everyone in this forum about Ted Kennedy's challenge. I'm with JCR about the doom-laced media coverage. Given the HUGE volume of stock photos available, was it really necessary for CNN.com to post a solo photo of Ted-waving-goodbye with his diagnosis as the lead story? How tacky!

Sent by Nancy from Canada | 11:26 AM | 5-21-2008

Leroy, It goes where it wants, no amount of power makes you immune. I hope all works out well, for he and his family. Stan

Sent by Stan Wozniak | 11:40 AM | 5-21-2008

Among the many offerings of this blog has been its reliable and refreshing neutrality with respect to religion and politics. There appears to be a mutual respect among us and an understanding that our judgements of others, if we have them, are not relevant, at least not here. What bonds us together transcends our personal view of the world outside of cancer. That said, I was dismayed by the comment expressing concern about the press lionizing Ted Kennedy. It wasn't the comment itself, as we all know that the Kennedy family and Ted in particular, engenders strong feelings among people. My dismay and disappointment was that I read the comment in this blog.

Sent by Holly | 11:44 AM | 5-21-2008

Leroy, That's typically kind of you to be thinking of someone else with cancer, and especially all those who haven't received the blaze of publicity like the Kennedys. A great American family who, I think, would prefer to be out of the spotlight right now. Seeing Robert Byrd cry was the most poignant moment of the day for me. Reading your email was the second. Hang in there. Cheers.

Sent by Tom K in Sydney | 11:45 AM | 5-21-2008

Good morning Leroy,
I, too, am saddened to hear about Ted Kennedy. I'm hoping there are treatments that will keep him with us for a long time to come. This may sound strange, but I always felt more secure knowing Ted was in Washington. I'm not naive, but I am from Massachusetts. Like you, Leroy, he has so much more to give. Bless you both.

Sent by Sharon | 11:45 AM | 5-21-2008

Weell said, Leroy, well said.

Kathy B.

Sent by Kathy B. | 12:06 PM | 5-21-2008

Leroy, your comments are tenderly on the mark with the special touch that could only come from someone who knows about these feelings with a gut level understanding. You're very specia Leroy!

Sent by Linda Lee | 12:11 PM | 5-21-2008

As someone that's been dealing with cancer myself for the past 3 years, mid April I was hospitalized and had brain surgery, this week I'm going through cyberknife, I once heard this statement:
listen to the diagnosis, not the prognosis. Today's NY Post had front page stated that he had six months to live. Who decides that? And if that were me reading the headline about me, I would not appreciate it. God only knows how much you have left on this earth. Plus power of positive thinking, and hanging out in a positive environment is also the best medicine.
Keep up the bloggin', I find it therapeutic with my own blog. A way to educate others, and to know that you are not alone.

I am going to deal with chemo once again, as the breast cancer has now moved on to my lung, as well as another spot on my chest. It got postponed for my recent hospitalization.

Sent by Jane | 12:21 PM | 5-21-2008

"The strength that will bring him peace". We, as cancer patients and/or caretakers understand that concept, don't we? It is so hard, but eventually, we come to a place where we realize that we've made it this far...and one realizes one has become mentally stronger.
In that realization we reach some peace and hopefully can help others at the beginning of their cancer trip (journey is too nice of a word!)
I hope he and all those going through diagnosis today find a place like this where there are those who inspire and lend a differen kind of support- because we have been there.

Sent by NancyGM | 12:28 PM | 5-21-2008

A beautifully written blog.
The only good thing out of this is that the average American will learn a lot more about cancer, especially brain cancer, in the months to come. Maybe next time they are asked to support a cancer fund drive they will give more generously.
I am not a big Kennedy fan but found myself shedding tears for him and his family. Nobody, nobody, should have to go through this.

Sent by Marcia | 12:31 PM | 5-21-2008

I agree that journalists need to inject some balance into their coverage and not cite only the most gloomy statistics (the 8% figure cited by someone above). And- some do! Today's New York Times has the headline 'prognosis usually bleak' for gliomas, but it also includes these paragraphs (written by Lawrence K Altman and Anahad O'Connor):

"Depending on the type of glioma and the course of treatment, the prognosis, in general, can range widely, from 50% survival rate at one year to as much as 40% at 10 years, for the least aggressive kind." This is followed by a quote from a doctor talking about hopeful new therapies.

Best wishes, and much hope, to all struggling with new diagnoses.
Barbara K.

Sent by Barbara K | 12:49 PM | 5-21-2008

When I read about Ted Kennedy's diagnosis, my first thought was "they need My Cancer." There is no better roadmap, shaped by the offerings of so many brave and wonderful people. Also, I feel it has been much more than about cancer. It is about living each day in the midst of uncertainty.

Sent by N.Holmes | 12:59 PM | 5-21-2008

Some time after my granddaughter died at 20 I learned that she expressed this statement to her close friend, as she looked her in the eye, and with a tear in her own, says, "I just don't want people to forget about me. You know when someone dies, people grieve and then just move on like they were never even here. I don't want to be forgotten like that. I want to have made a difference." What do you say?

I share this for those who may have to experience this grieve.

Sent by Mavis Adams | 1:00 PM | 5-21-2008

Hi Leroy:

I'm saddened by the grim news and prognosis of his disease. In fact on Saturday when he was hospitalized and reported to have a seizure rather than a stroke my heart sunk... there was only one thing on my differential diagnosis...

A high grade brain tumor. I emailed a few friends about my gut feeling.. and alas it was true.

I saw the video of him leaving the hospital today.. he seemed to be in good spirits..

We should not mourn him yet (as most of the media seemed to be doing yesterday, since every newsfeed talked about what he has done, accomplishments, etc..) but see what he will be doing in the most courageous year of his life.

Krupali

Sent by Krupali Tejura MD | 1:01 PM | 5-21-2008

WOW..another one for the C. Just goes to show how nondiscriminatory this disease is. Rich, poor, black white, young old....none of that matters. When the big C chooses us....
My heart goes out to this man and his family. We all know full well the shock they are in right now. We have all been there when the world stops turning. I , like all of you, wish them all the best. They are good people... dealing with a terrible disease.
Peace,
Liz Z

Sent by liz Zimmerman | 1:28 PM | 5-21-2008

A cruel disease. Brain tumors rob us of our loved ones, first by changing their personalities and then by taking their lives. The Kennedy's have suffered so much, add another event they will endure. My prayers are with the family.

Sent by Gene | 1:34 PM | 5-21-2008

Your post was right on. We should remember though that at Kennedy's age, getting cancer is not the same as getting it at your age. Before his diagnosis, his life expectancy was 10 more years at best. We all need to die from something (usually something nasty).

Sent by jdInMd | 2:00 PM | 5-21-2008

Plastic model of a brain. Is there no compassion? Yesterday's topic was how in some cases loyalty goes out the window when a person becomes ill. I guess today it's decency. Makes me look at the plastic uterus model on the counter at my OBGYN's office in a whole new light. Ted has had a long life. A lot longer than many. I hope whatever the future holds for him, it comes with peace.

Sent by Sue in Rochester, NY | 2:07 PM | 5-21-2008

I wish that you could personally be in that room with him, Leroy, with your wonderful support.

Sent by Marilyn Trujillo | 2:31 PM | 5-21-2008

Well said Leroy. My thoughts are also with all of the people and their families who lives are changed by a cancer diagnosis each day.

Many of the reports have mentioned that Ted Kennedy has always been a fighter. I hope that he is allowed to face his diagnosis as he sees fit, and not defined by how hard a "fight" he decides (or is able to) wage against cancer. Let his life speak for itself.

Sent by Patte | 2:37 PM | 5-21-2008

I am 78 and approaching 79 swiftly. I have hsd cancer in my body and several skin lesions that were cancerous. However, Who has the right to say, " He,(Ted Kennedy) is old and has lived a long life"? As my dear friend once told me when she herself was dying from Pancreatic Cancer, "When your work in this world is done,the Lord will let you know". I believe that firmly. It is not in our hands and I feel that I still have some things to finish before I go and I am certain that ole Ted thinks this way too. We speak about only the famous people getting in the News when they deal with Cancer like this. Well, I for one am just as glad that I have the privacy and am able to deal with my problems without watching myself on TV and hearing how much time I have left. Being a "nobody" has it's advantages. My husband and I lost our baby years ago at the same time as Pres. and Mrs Kennedy lost theirs. All their fame and money could not save their child. We at least, were allowed to grieve privately.

Sent by J C R | 3:16 PM | 5-21-2008

Ted Kennedy has led a full, productive 76 years of life. Sad news, but I'll save my tears for all of the kids with this disease who are not afforded a similar opportunity to make their marks on the world and for whom the media will not utter a word.

Sent by Dave | 3:41 PM | 5-21-2008

I saw a video clip of Senator Kennedy leaving the hospital, greeting his dogs and giving the thumbs up and waving. But I could not help but identify the fatigue in his eyes--Leroy's title for this blog entry is so apt. Prayers to the Kennedy family.

Sent by Dorothy - Los Angeles | 4:43 PM | 5-21-2008

Everybody's life could be longer, and better. We need more research on Cancer in its many forms. I will pray for Ted Kennedy, Leroy Sievers and everyone on this blog!

Sent by Marcy in NJ | 4:57 PM | 5-21-2008

Excellent blog, you expressed my thoughts so well. I relived my emotions when Roy was diagnosed with all the pain and sorrow. It never seems to go away. Kathy

Sent by Kathy Peacock San Diego, CA | 6:56 PM | 5-21-2008

Hi all,
Checking in late, after being on the road at 6am and just returning. I knew you'd be reacting to this, Leroy, just like the rest of us. Sadly, Ted Kennedy was one of 2 folks I know of who just received cancer diagnoses. Bottom line is that cancer sucks, whether you're old, young, famous or not. I feel grateful to have our group virtually in my life and I hope that Ted and his family also have good supports during this tough time.

Sent by betsey | 7:25 PM | 5-21-2008

As always, Leroy, you say it so perfectly. Those of us in the "cancer family" know too well what Ted Kennedy and his family are going through. As we do with each other, we will keep them (the Kennedy clan) in our prayers as well.

Sent by Tracy | 8:14 PM | 5-21-2008

I send prayers and good wishes to Ted Kennedy and to you, Leroy. There has to be more research on where all of this cancer is coming from. You are an inspiration.

Sent by Ann | 8:17 PM | 5-21-2008

Hi Leroy:

I was introduced to you through a friend at work. She told me about your My Cancer blog. I've been lifting you up in my thoughts & prayers. I have especially been praying for your eternal salvation. It is important for all of us because none of us know when God will decide it is our time to leave this world. If you were to die tonight & stand before God & He asked if He should let you into His Heaven what would you say? I participate in an international Bible Study series (Bible Study Fellowship) & last year we studied the Book of Romans. The scripture verse that I find gives me hope, comfort & strength is Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy & peace as you trust Him so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Hoping this passage will bring you peace & contentment as you deal daily with your cancer.

Sent by Vicky Mitchell | 9:35 PM | 5-21-2008

To Mavis Adams: My husband, Burge, felt the same way your granddaughter did. He was afraid we would all forget him...how wrong he was, but it is true as we move on, our lives fill the void, like it or not. I understand the loneliness in their statements.

Ted Kennedy was not one of Burge's favorite political figures, but no one deserves Cancer. I can't but feel sorry for all who have it, but in particular, it's hard when it is a young person or someone with small children.

Sasha; Thinking of you even when I'm not here to post. Hope things will be better for a while without the chemo. Sometimes the chemo seems worse than the cancer.

Nikki

Sent by Nikki in Kansas | 11:40 PM | 5-21-2008

Leroy, you are brave and kind and wise and generous and filled with love. All that and you share your doubts, fears, and pain in the best way too. The rest of us are inspired by you and share in your best wishes for everyone who got a cancer diagnosis.

xo, rc

Sent by Rebecca Corral | 3:35 AM | 5-22-2008

For almost 50 years Ted Kennedy has proven to be a great senator, an humanitarian who has consistently voted to improve the lives of ordinary people, and of the disenfranchised of our nation. That is his legacy.
Don MacLeod's comment about the Kopechne family was inappropriate, misplaced and meanspirited within the context of this setting. His words are insulting to both families.

Sent by E.H. | 4:08 AM | 5-22-2008

Cancer is beginning to feel more and more common, instead of unique. When I was 15, my uncle was diagnosed with a brain tumor at Chrismas. He died in July, even after surgery and chemo, something I never would have believed could happen. Just last week, my Mom called to tell me that Grandma has breast cancer. Today the surgeon removed her breast and the lymph nodes under her arm; I'm not sure how I feel. I feel as if I should be very worried because cancer is scary. I've always known I wouldn't have her around forever, since everyone dies, but I didn't think it would be like this. Her sister had died of lung cancer. Does this mean that cancer is now hereditary since so many of my relatives have one form or another? Or, does it mean that I happen to know individuals who have cancer? Part of me feels like it's inevitable, as everyone I know will die of some version of cancer, including myself. For some reason, this is scarier than dying without cancer.

Sent by Nina | 7:26 AM | 5-22-2008

My Dad died from a gliobastoma (type 4) on Feb. 17, 2008. He was diagnosed in December after exhibiting stroke like symptoms on Nov. 8, 2008. He took the radiation and he took the temador and he died in a hospital 13 days after he went in to 'catch up'. Only when it was time to take him off the respirator did any one mention that the treatment wouldn't bring him back it leave him mentally deficient without quality of life and that all the studies were based on pediatric patients.

I wish the Kennedy family well and I know that he will have the best care in the world but i hope he doesn't chase a dream.

Sent by Benjamin Wise | 9:45 AM | 5-22-2008

It was with great sadness hearing Ted Kennedy having brain cancer.I feel for his family.Our family went through it with my brother.His cancer was found in June and they told him treatment would prolong his life for up to two years.He died five months later.We now wish we had him go through treatment because his quality of life declined.I can only pray for his family because their work ahead id hard.

Sent by Sarah | 12:24 PM | 5-22-2008

He will get the best of medical care. And he is in mid-70s. I wish I could live to my mid-70s! I'm 57 now, was diagnosed at 48 with leukemia.

I would love to live to be 76. That's not going to happen.

Personally, I don't think this news is going raise awareness. Everyone knows someone with cancer, or has cancer themselves.

It is a personal tragedy that medical science cannot cure.

Welcome to our world, Mr. Kennedy.

Sent by Scott S. | 1:33 PM | 5-22-2008

It is so important that the media be aware of how they are presenting information about public figures and cancer. Even this week I heard Kennedy discussed in the past tense and discussions about what would happen with his seat if he passed on, what his life expectancy might be, etc.

Media needs to remember that the most important form of chemotherapy is hope! When a patient and families are watching the news and they hear these things. It can be very disheartening to these patient's of all ages that need a message of hope. Miracles happen every day, I have witnessed many and know this as fact. The seed of miracle is hope.

Camella Granara
(mother of childhood cancer survivor and registered nurse)

Sent by Camella Granara | 2:29 PM | 5-22-2008

When I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer last July, I created a blog on a free site called "CaringBridge.org." I emailed the link to all my friends and family and I update (and include pictures) it every few weeks or so. It has helped me keep folks posted on my treatment and progress. Not only did this help me conserve my strength as I didn't have to repeat my story to everyone individually. Also, people could post comments to me in a Guestbook section. These comments were so supportive that I still go back and read them when I'm feeling depressed and lonely.

Sent by Cecelia Warner | 2:34 PM | 5-22-2008

It depends on both the celebrity and the illness. I have a major psychiatric disability, D.I.D. Psychiatric disabilities are treated with a tremendous amount of stigma, and it is helpful when they are explained and normalized. However, when Roseanne Barr went public with her D.I.D., media attention brought at least as much sensationalism as information. When Anne Heche went public, her atypical non-trauma background did a disservice to other sufferers, in my opinion. Because of my work in the support community I know of 2 celebrities with reputations for exemplary character whose disclosures could serve to educate and enlighten, but they have understandably chosen to maintain their privacy. I respect that choice, but it does illustrate the point that the diagnosis as well as the particular celebrity is a vital consideration.

Sent by Caryn | 4:35 PM | 5-22-2008

unfortunately, nobody has really talked about the chances for a brain tumor that happens in his age group. there is no way to stop it permanently. the 'average' life expectancy after the discovery is 6 months. this is with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. the radiation and initial chemotherapy works for a sort time before it will fail and if he opts for the latest and greatest trial drugs he may extend a short time more. glioblastoma's have a bleak outcome, unfortunately. my heart goes out to edward k and hope he and his family can handle what is ahead of him. best wishes.

Sent by jim | 5:11 PM | 5-23-2008

Linda and send our Best t o the Kennedy Family. I remember all about John F. and all the brothers and sisters,so Edward "fight" my man .

Sent by Jim | 2:35 PM | 6-6-2008

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