American Reporter Staff
February 12, 2003
BALTIMORE, Feb. 12, 2003 -- Sen. John F. Kerry emerged from surgery for prostate cancer without incident this morning, and his doctor said he should be able to leave the hospital in a few days.
"Everything came out very nicely. Everything looked completely contained," said Dr. Patrick Walsh, chief of urology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He won't require radiation treatment and ought to be able to resume his front-running campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2004 quite soon, Walsh said.
Kerry's father, a former U.S. diplomat, died of prostate cancer at 85, and his son - a tall, vigorous man whose career seemingly has been on a trajectory to the White House from childhood - has otherwise enjoyed excellent health.
The diagnosis that a biopsy showed cancer was delivered to Kerry, 59, on Christmas Eve, but his health has been the subject of speculation for several weeks. He has been losing weight and was seen drinking a protein supplement during an interview recently that he said was recommended by his wife.
According to the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, Kerry was asked by Boston Glovbe reporter Glen Johynson why he didn't disclose his illness earlier, and replied that he wanterd top tell his family first. "Well, Glen," Kerry reportedly said, "sometimes that's more important than a headline in a newspaper."
Kurtz (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61402-2003Feb12.html) said Kerry has been taking it on the chin from the press for some time, and urged "sympathy" for him in a column in today's Post.
"The media, as we noted yesterday, has been kicking Kerry around over his position on Iraq and his discovery of his Jewish roots. Those stories will now be sidelined for the time being," the famed media critic writes.
"This is, in an unfortunate way, a real test for the man the media has anointed as the Democratic front-runner. He has to cope with a medical recovery, answer all the press questions, return to campaigning and demonstrate that he hasn't lost a step. Perhaps we in the media ought to give him a little breathing room."
According to the Los Angeles Times, Walsh and Kerry have both said the cancer has not spread. The paper reported that Walsh says Kerry has a "97 percent" chance of being cancer-free after 10 years.
Sen. Kerry, asked by reporters yesterday at a tendentious press conference whether he will be able to continue campaigning, said he will be back on the campaign trail "in two weeks." Kerry is currently the front-runner in New Hampshire and Iowa, whose primary and caucuses are key to the chances of any Democratic candidate.
"It may sound strange to some of you, but I really feel very lucky as I stand here," Kerry said yeserday. "The reason I feel lucky is I am going to be cured."