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.