Senator battling brain cancer reportedly planning his own funeral, requesting presidents Bush and Obama eulogize him
Arizona Senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain is reportedly making preparations for his own funeral, with requests that former presidents George Walker Bush and Barak Obama attend the ceremony and eulogize him.
McCain, 81, was diagnosed last July with primary glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. The tumor was discovered during a routine physical the senator underwent in early July. After complaining of fatigue and double vision, McCain was given a CT scan, which revealed a clot just below his left eyebrow.
Several weeks ago, McCain underwent surgery to treat an intestinal infection, his office disclosed.
Meghan McCain, the senator’s 33-year-old daughter and former Fox News contributor, tweeted after her father’s surgery that he was in stable condition.
“My father @SenJohnMcCain is in stable condition–he continues to inspire me everyday with his intense grit and determination. Thank you to the doctors at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and to everyone who is praying for him.”
McCain’s wife, Cindy, gave a more optimistic message, tweeting that her husband was “doing well” after the surgery.
“My husband @SenJohnMcCain is doing well after his surgery. Looking forward to getting back to Hidden Valley!”
Julie Tarallo, a spokeswoman for the senator, said that McCain has been recovering the past few months from the side effects of his cancer treatment.
While some patients can, with aggressive treatment live, as long as 5 to 10 years, the average life-expectancy for patients with primary glioblastoma is roughly one to two years.
According to a report by CNN Sunday, sources close to both President Bush and President Obama claimed that McCain had requested that the two presidents take part in his funeral and deliver eulogies.
McCain has also requested that President Donald Trump not attend his funeral, preferring that the administration instead be represented by Vice President Mike Pence, The New York Times reported.
The veteran lawmaker, who has served in the US Senate for 31 years, was critical of Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries, and chastised the president in his upcoming memoir The Restless Wave, slated for release later this month.
In an audio excerpt of the memoir released to NPR, McCain touched on his prognosis and his own mortality.
“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here,” McCain said.
According to a report on the Politico web site, Sen. Orrin Hatch, the most senior GOP senator said that said he thought keeping the president from McCain’s funeral was too much: “I think it’s ridiculous.”
“Well, he’s the president of the United States and he’s a very good man. But it’s up to [McCain]. I think John should have his own wishes fulfilled with regard to who attends the funeral,” said the Utah senator. Asked whether McCain should change his mind about Trump, Hatch said: “I would.”
Hatch said he does not expect McCain, who is battling brain cancer, to return to the Senate.
By: David Rosenberg