Yesterday U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, D–Hawaii, announced that she has kidney cancer. It’s a rough, troubling bit of news coming at a time when it seems Washington is exploding with bad news. Here’s her statement on the diagnosis, and her prognosis:
During a routine pre-operative physical for my eye surgery, my doctor discovered an abnormality on my chest x-ray. After a series of follow up tests, I have been diagnosed with kidney cancer that is also present in my seventh rib.
My treatment is being overseen by one of the preeminent kidney cancer specialists in the country at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. He has designed a comprehensive treatment plan–including surgery to remove my right kidney and an innovative, non-invasive, outpatient procedure called Cyberknife to eradicate the lesion on my rib. At the conclusion of this treatment, there will be no identifiable disease left untreated. My doctor expects I will make a full recovery from these treatments.
Since then, statements of support have been pouring in from Hawaii officials. Here’s what we have so far:
• “I join all of Hawaii in wishing Senator Hirono a rapid recovery. Mazie’s courage and fortitude are matched only by her love for our State and people. I look forward to continuing to work together with Mazie on the issues that reflect our Hawaii values and priorities.” – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz
• “I send my warmest aloha, prayers and well wishes for a quick recovery to Senator Hirono as she undergoes treatment for kidney cancer. I talked with Mazie today, and she was upbeat and fearless as she takes on this fight. I look forward to seeing Mazie back at the Capitol soon to continue our work together on behalf of the people of Hawaiʻi.” – U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard
• “Mazie is a fighter, and I know that she brings that spirit to this latest challenge. Dawn and I pray for Sen. Hirono’s full recovery and we send our best wishes to her and her family.” – Governor David Ige
• “The members of the Hawaii House of Representatives send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Senator Mazie Hirono as she battles kidney cancer. Senator Hirono is both strong in spirit and in her efforts to represent the people of Hawaii. We send our thoughts and prayers to her and her family.” – House Speaker Scott Saiki
• “On behalf of the Hawaii State Judiciary, our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Hirono. She is a strong and tireless advocate for Hawaii, and we send our aloha and support to her as she takes on this challenge.” – Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald
As for Hirono’s already stated decision to run for reelection in 2018, she’s apparently standing by that. “I am, without question, running for re-election in 2018,” she said in a separate campaign email, also sent out on May 16. “The stakes are too high and our shared values are under attack like never before.”
We wish Senator Hirono well, and a speedy recovery.