When Jimmy Carter announced that his cancer had spread to his brain, he made it clear that he would scale back on his work. He is still a pillar of the community, despite not being in office since 1981, and has a number of projects that he has looked forward to this year. Whether he will be able to do them all will depend on treatment.
The former president took to the Carter Center yesterday for his press conference, where he announced his cancer progression. Earlier this month, doctors had found and removed a lump on his liver, but now four spots of melanoma are present on his brain. He clearly worries about the risk of the disease spreading to his pancreas, a cancer that has killed four members of his family already. He is one of the only Americans reported to lose his father and three siblings to pancreatic cancer, and his mother’s cancer eventually spread there after initially being diagnosed with breast cancer.
The 90-year-old announced that he would go through radiation therapy for the small tumors on his brain. Carter will also accept a newly approved drug to help boost his immune system. This will hopefully help his body destroy all the cancer cells, according to ABC News.
At the moment, Jimmy Carter’s spirits are high, and he is optimistic for the future. On October 1, he will be celebrating his 91st birthday, and he is looking forward to celebrating his wife’s birthday on Saturday.
He will do as much as he can, but needs to scale back his work for his own health. Carter confirmed that he would continue his Emory University teaching as much as possible, but may need to cut back on the hours he does. He will also continue doing some work with the Carter Center, which is something he had spoken about scaling back on since his 80th birthday 11 years ago, according to the National Journal.
“I have got thousands of friends and I have had an exciting and adventurous and gratifying existence, so I was surprisingly at ease, much more so than my wife was. But now I feel, you know, it’s in the hands of God and my worship, and I’ll be prepared for it when it comes.”
Carter was expected to start work in Nepal, building houses. He would like to do this, but needs to consider his treatment options first. The former president has said that if it is a choice between the two, he will put his health first. While he says his life is in the hands of God, he wants to do everything he can to help himself fight.
Jimmy Carter was “surprisingly at ease” hearing the news of his cancer, admitting that he has had a wonderful life.
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