Breaking: Fred Thompson says he has lymphoma; Update: Prognosis good

posted at 9:29 am on April 11, 2007 by Allahpundit

Breaking on Fox. He says it’s treatable, in remission, and asymptomatic, and will be on with Neil Cavuto later to talk about it.

Standby for updates.

Update: Looks like it’s a Fox exclusive.

Thompson, who is considering a run for the White House in 2008, says the illness is treatable.

“I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms. My life expectancy should not be affected. I am in remission, and it is very treatable with drugs if treatment is needed in the future—and with no debilitating side effects,” Thompson said…

Thompson was diagnosed with indolent lymphoma about two and a half years ago after a routine physical.

Update: It’s unpleasant to deal with the politics when the man is ill, but there’s no sense ignoring the elephant in the room. Will this hurt his chances of running? It’ll give some people pause, the same way McCain’s age does, but it also makes him more sympathetic.

Update: I agree. If anything, this suggests that he’s running.

Update: Captain Ed thinks this hurts him more than it helps him. I’m not sure I agree. Giuliani’s survived prostate cancer, and McCain, as frail as he is, has beat melanoma. Granted, both of their illnesses struck years ago — but so did Fred’s. He was diagnosed in 2004.

Update: Great news.

Thompson’s physician, Dr. Bruce Cheson, hematology chief at Georgetown University Hospital, said the prognosis is good.

“Some lymphomas are very aggressive, but people with slow-growing types, like Senator Thompson’s, more often die from natural causes associated with old age, rather than from the disease,” Cheson said in a statement.

Update: Red State is back up after its Drudgelanche so here’s Fred’s post over there. Like Hotline says, you don’t do this if you’re not running.


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Ugh, At this point he was the only real viable candidate in my mind. Still might be but I wonder if this would have been better kept between him and his doctor.

Kahuna on April 11, 2007 at 9:32 AM

Here’s thinking of you, Fred!

tickleddragon on April 11, 2007 at 9:33 AM

Awww, here’s hoping he gets well soon. I had a spark of hope for him now that I’ve fallen out of love with Romney, but I guess he’s not going to have time to get into the fight if he has to concentrate on his health. Poor guy.

Savage on April 11, 2007 at 9:33 AM

This is a misleading leak meant to make it look like Fred is a mortal man, when he his really a Celestial Robot from the Future that can wipe out existance with his Thanatos Device, should he sneeze the wrong way.

I hear Rove laughing.

Ringmaster on April 11, 2007 at 9:35 AM

Well, that’s bad news.

Best of luck to Fred and his family.

Slublog on April 11, 2007 at 9:36 AM

He’ll be back.

liberty on April 11, 2007 at 9:40 AM

Oh wow. That brings me down, but it could be worse. My grandfather had lymphoma. He was given ~6 months to live. He died >10 years later from Alzheimer’s. I think that Fred! has that same spirit. Keep us posted AP. And the rest of us will say our prayers.

I {heart} Fred!

lan astaslem on April 11, 2007 at 9:42 AM

I hope this isn’t anything too serious and wish him all the best.

Ugh, At this point he was the only real viable candidate in my mind. Still might be but I wonder if this would have been better kept between him and his doctor.

Kahuna on April 11, 2007 at 9:32 AM

He is a wise man. If we assume (yeah, I know… and we should know soon) that this is not anything that would affect his ability to run and govern, it is far better to hear it from him than from the MSM.

db on April 11, 2007 at 9:43 AM

Its not over ’til Rosie sings.

Valiant on April 11, 2007 at 9:43 AM

He was given ~6 months to live. He died >10 years later from Alzheimer’s.

Did he forget how long the doc gave him?

mikeyboss on April 11, 2007 at 9:44 AM

I will be really pissed off if his wife claims his neighbor is a rabid rabid democrat.

My prayers are with you and your family Fred Thompson, Even if you do not run, you can still shape the Republican party, and influence the other side with your logic and understanding.

right2bright on April 11, 2007 at 9:46 AM

I take this to mean that Fred is planning to run for president. There is no real reason at all for a private citizen and actor to announce that he has lymphoma, particularly several years after the diagnosis and while he is in complete remission, except to see how it would affect a presidential run. Kind of like other candidates are getting all their baggage out in the open as early as possible in the game so that they can hash it out in the media and move past it before the real race begins.

Fred said that his lymphoma will “not affect his life expectancy” and is in complete remission. The disease should not affect his ability to run and govern. But it will definitely affect his electability. People will be very hesitant to elect an older man with a known disease like this.

‘Course Rudy’s a cancer survivor, too, and it doesn’t seem to be affecting his run very much.

aero on April 11, 2007 at 9:48 AM

Forgive my ignorance, but does this necessarily mean no run for the White House?

Darksean on April 11, 2007 at 9:50 AM

Forgive my ignorance, but does this necessarily mean no run for the White House?

Darksean on April 11, 2007 at 9:50 AM

Nope. Like I said above, I think it means he is running. If played right, it can be presented as more proof that he’s a fighter, a survivor, a strong man who can’t be held back by anything.

aero on April 11, 2007 at 9:52 AM

Did he forget how long the doc gave him?

mikeyboss on April 11, 2007 at 9:44 AM

Piss off

lan astaslem on April 11, 2007 at 9:53 AM

Ahhhhhhggggg! I know people are saying he still can run, but this is sad sad news.

doufree on April 11, 2007 at 9:55 AM

Lefty cancer civility double standard in three, two, one…..

Steve LLamabutcher on April 11, 2007 at 9:55 AM

This is a sign that Fred will be running, he knew the MSM would dig up anything, so he had to get it out there before their spin on it.

djohn669 on April 11, 2007 at 9:56 AM

FDR had polio. We have had Presidents with illness before, and no problem electing them.

My prayers are with Fred! and his family.

CrimsonFisted on April 11, 2007 at 9:56 AM

From lymphomation.org:

Indolent lymphomas can remain stable for long periods of time, and sometimes regress spontaneously. There have been case reports of indolent lymphomas remaining stable for as long as twenty years, but it should be noted that most patients will receive first treatment within one to two years after diagnosis.

Guess he had some treatment sometime between the diagnosis and now, and there is no further treatment necessary at this time.

lan astaslem on April 11, 2007 at 9:56 AM

Forgive my ignorance, but does this necessarily mean no run for the White House?

Darksean on April 11, 2007 at 9:50 AM

One might ask. Remember Tsongas? He even make those commercials with him swimming laps in the pool to demonstrate to the public he was fine. It didn’t help him much. Remember Rudy’s prostate cancer? It made people nervous. SOME people hear the “C” word and that’s all they hear. There have been great strides in treatment of cancer. Lymphoma CAN be a tough one but he is in remission and being monitored. Also, even if something did happen, God forbid, and he could not finish out his presidency (again God forbid), I just feel whatever time he could give us, we would be all the better for it. In closing, my thoughts and prayers to him and his family.

Glynn on April 11, 2007 at 9:57 AM

Sorry for the typos.

Glynn on April 11, 2007 at 9:57 AM

Fred Thompson has put a post about it at RedState.

http://www.redstate.com/

januarius on April 11, 2007 at 10:01 AM

FDR had polio. We have had Presidents with illness before, and no problem electing them.
CrimsonFisted on April 11, 2007 at 9:56 AM

Let alone the mental problems with Clinton and Carter.

right2bright on April 11, 2007 at 10:02 AM

Hey, glad to hear that all he needs is some pills. He’s staying in the game.

Savage on April 11, 2007 at 10:04 AM

All my prayers with Sen. Thompson.

Ugh, At this point he was the only real viable candidate in my mind. Still might be but I wonder if this would have been better kept between him and his doctor.

Kahuna on April 11, 2007 at 9:32 AM

No… because it could affect his ability to govern (assuming he decides to run), he has a responsibility to share the info.

dalewalt on April 11, 2007 at 10:10 AM

Sounds more liek he is testing the waters. Anyone ever watch “West Wing” (I know I know, should have been called ” The left wing” )
That president had some degenerative disease which his doctor wife diagnosed him with before he even ran. He kept it a secret from the people and it kinda backfired on him. fred may jsut be pre-emptively airing his laundry so no one can try to peg him on it later.

Wyrd on April 11, 2007 at 10:11 AM

I’m not sure it hurts his chances too much. If anything, this makes him sympathetic. I think he’s just doing this to get the story out of the way and as Wryd said “test the waters.”

If this were brought up during a campaign by another candidate, it would have been much more damaging.

Slublog on April 11, 2007 at 10:15 AM

He’s running. No way he goes on about his health and he’s not running. What would be the point, especially since its asymptomatic and non-life threatening, but potentially a story once he’s officially a candidate.

I’m looking forward to seeing where Fred! stands on the issues that matter to me. The current field is weak, to say the least.

Fred on April 11, 2007 at 10:19 AM

I would rather have Fred with cancer than Giuliani, McCain, Gingrich,and Romney healthy.

archon2001 on April 11, 2007 at 10:24 AM

yup, pluss, if an opponant brings it up in a few months Fred! has full disclosure covered, plus it will make the opponant look likea royal arse.

Wyrd on April 11, 2007 at 10:25 AM

I would rather have Fred with cancer than Giuliani, McCain, Gingrich,and Romney healthy.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA that’s great.

Enrique on April 11, 2007 at 10:27 AM

Heartache.

Indeed.

Lawrence on April 11, 2007 at 10:28 AM

I’ve posted a synopsis of lymphomas over at The Autopsy for any who are interested. Indolent NHL’s are treatable, which is good news. I wouldn’t expect this to really impact him, but I think it would make the choice of a good VP that much more important.

Nethicus on April 11, 2007 at 10:41 AM

Lefty blogs celebrate in glee and wish for his death in 3…2…

SillyRyno on April 11, 2007 at 10:41 AM

This is nothing for Fred!. Indolent lymphomas according to most docs are treatable with little effect on the quality of the patient’s life. America has elected presidents with treatable diseases before and we will again.

Bill Clinton undoubtedly has been living with herpes for years and according to the TV commercials for Valtrex that’s treatable and you can continue to take advantage of overweight interns without significantly affecting your ability to blame others for your behavior.

ScottMcC on April 11, 2007 at 10:53 AM

My heart sank when I first read this, but it sounds like he is putting it out there because 1) he is seriously going to run (YES!) and 2) someone already knows and was about to expose it.

You are in my prayers Mr. Thompson.

ctmom on April 11, 2007 at 10:56 AM

If it’s any consolation, it’s considered a “good” cancer…or as good as cancer can be…He’s in remission, and should recover fully.

Another FOX exclusive, Fred! will be on Cavuto this afternoon with “an announcement”….

Can it be? *crosses fingers*

JetBoy on April 11, 2007 at 11:00 AM

He’s playing oppossum. He’s just faking his illness, so when the time comes, he can spring up and ram his fist down the throats of his opponents. It’s quite southern, actually.

lorien1973 on April 11, 2007 at 11:01 AM

Enough, please no one deserves cancer left or right, wacko or normal

No one we should be blesed by our good fortune that so many people on both sides of the spectrum are dealing with it in dignity

EricPWJohnson on April 11, 2007 at 11:05 AM

Geez, is there ever any good news anymore? God bless you Fred! You still have my vote!

soulsirkus on April 11, 2007 at 11:17 AM

He’s still my candidate! End of story! Besides, if God forbid, something were to happen J.C. Watts would become President!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on April 11, 2007 at 11:17 AM

Better to let this one out in the open prior to announcing his run for presidency and let rumours and disinformation die out first and not be the focus during his run.

Kokonut on April 11, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Bill Clinton has Herpes?

Oooohh…I seeee.

Share a cigar anyone?

Kokonut on April 11, 2007 at 11:33 AM

We get old. We get sick. We die.

Fred Thompson is running. No doubt about that. I love this man!

Connie on April 11, 2007 at 11:42 AM

Fred!

I wish him well and feel, like so many others, that this is indeed an indication that he will run. He is a truly formidable candidate for us. Even the Kos Kiddies are scared:

He’s the only Republican “candidate” that worries me at all.by RyneSandberg on Wed Apr 11, 2007 at 07:55:26 AM PDT

Re: He’s the only Republican “candidate” that (0 / 0)
worries me at all.
Ditto. by casperr on Wed Apr 11, 2007 at 08:08:14 AM PDT

Oh yeah. Fred!

IrishEi on April 11, 2007 at 11:47 AM

From what I can gather, Fred and I were diagnosed at about the same time with indolent lymphoma. I also have no symptoms and feel very good. Like him, I still have that little bit of “they made a mistake with this diagnosis.” That is how good you can feel even though you have a nasty disease. My oncologist has me on watch and wait which I agree with compeltely.
I say, “go Fred.” Don’t let this disease stop you from doing whatever it is you want to do. I know for sure you are not telling any stories or trying to cover up how good you can feel with indolent lymphoma.

bjb on April 11, 2007 at 11:49 AM

bjb you tell’em! Someday people are going to come to the realization that each of us are only temporarily abled and that being disabled, just like youth, middle and old age, isn’t anything more than just another phase of life.

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on April 11, 2007 at 12:02 PM

A. I hope he makes a complete full recovery

B. Can we please get a candidate without a history of illness?

Defector01 on April 11, 2007 at 12:10 PM

Get well, Fred. Our prayers are with you.

thirteen28 on April 11, 2007 at 12:13 PM

Unpleasant news for Fred and his family, though obviously it isn’t news to them. For the rest of us, this is as big a non-story as we will see from a presidential candidate. Nobody in the nation has more medical expertise available than the President, so I’m not the least bit concerned.

Run.

Freelancer on April 11, 2007 at 12:23 PM

It may be a good prognosis for his health, but not for his candidacy. At the very best, it would make his choice for VP almost as important as his candidacy itself, as voters will know they could effectively be voting for two presidents at once. I suppose that’s not necessarily crippling, but does make things complicated.

Blacklake on April 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

Well, we can imagine all kinds of diseases Clinton might have had. We have to imagine because he never released his medical records.

Glynn on April 11, 2007 at 12:54 PM

Complicated?

Not When you have stories of Guiliani’s prostate cancer he fought and won. Not about McCain’s melanomas. Or Mrs. Edwards fighting cancer. Or Tony Snow’s returning cancer. In Fred!’s case, it’s treatable. It’s a very slow growing condition. No symtoms. And such. If you say this is a problematic issue then I suppose you are willing to forget Senator Tim Johnson’s brain hemorrhage and a move to get him re-elected despite him doing therapy where he is unable to walk.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,265305,00.html – one hour ago.

Kokonut on April 11, 2007 at 12:59 PM

Fred is going to be on with Cavuto today at 4. Audio excerpts being played on radio stations that carry Fox News radio.

TheBigOldDog on April 11, 2007 at 1:05 PM

(Read with Fred Thomson’s Southern Drawl)

Now y’all just relax, ain’t no big thing……..

I am one of the lucky ones. There are many lucky ones today. And for all of our diversity, we share one thing in common–a deep appreciation for the fact that we live in the United States of America and have the best medicine and the best doctors the world has even known.

PinkyBigglesworth on April 11, 2007 at 1:09 PM

PinkyB..

I think Canada would object to Fred!’s assertion about the best doctors and medicine in the U.S. Maybe Hillary would object, too?

Kokonut on April 11, 2007 at 1:16 PM

Seems like all the cool kids are getting cancer…

honora on April 11, 2007 at 1:22 PM

That’s very saddening news. I wish him and his family all the best.

John on April 11, 2007 at 1:28 PM

He helped capture the Red Oktober, can reign in Jack McCoy, and now he beat cancer? AND he’s got a smokin’ hot wife?

The boy’s a shoe in.

Iblis on April 11, 2007 at 1:30 PM

Fred!’s still my candidate of choice. I don’t see this announcement as anything negative at all. More like full disclosure.

RUN! FRED! RUN!

techno_barbarian on April 11, 2007 at 2:11 PM

FDR had polio. We have had Presidents with illness before, and no problem electing them.
CrimsonFisted on April 11, 2007 at 9:56 AM

Let alone the mental problems with Clinton and Carter.
right2bright on April 11, 2007 at 10:02 AM

ROTFLMAO!

ITmonkey on April 11, 2007 at 2:49 PM

The problem isn’t illness; the problem is an illness that has a high perceived likelihood (whether realistically or not) to limit his ability to serve in office for a full 4-8 years. I genuinely like Thompson, but the fact that he might have to step down at some point in a hypothetical presidency to pursue treatment if things take a turn for the worse (as they did with Tony Snow and Mrs. Edwards) means that I would have to look far more closely at any VP nominee he picked than I would with another candidate.

This is simply political realism. And beyond reasonable concerns, in the world of hardball politics it’s not like precedents aren’t already set. Dick Cheney’s heart disease has been used repeatedly by political opponents and the MSM (not that there’s a clear distinction to be drawn there) to question his viability to serve merely as VP. Rest assured that candidate Thompson’s lymphoma would be used every bit as aggressively to question his viability as president.

Again, none of this means a Thompson candidacy is dead in the water. It just means it’s complicated.

Blacklake on April 11, 2007 at 3:43 PM

Dang. I’m very sorry to hear about this.. And not just because I wish Fred! well personally.

I think it IS a slight negative to any potential campaign, but not an overly significant one.

LegendHasIt on April 11, 2007 at 5:22 PM

Run Fred! Run!

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on April 11, 2007 at 5:37 PM

Here’s hoping he licks this and quickly.

spmat on April 11, 2007 at 6:54 PM

This is just another step toward announcing his candidacy. Anyone seriously considering a run releases information like this rather than letting the opposition do it for them.

I don’t think this will knock him out of the race, but it makes his VP pick much more important.

He’s got my vote. Keep him in your prayers. I do in mine.

doingwhatican on April 11, 2007 at 7:18 PM

VICE PRESIDENTS DON’T HAVE TO BE 100%.

Right, Dick?

seejanemom on April 11, 2007 at 9:52 PM

PinkyB..

I think Canada would object to Fred!’s assertion about the best doctors and medicine in the U.S. Maybe Hillary would object, too?

Kokonut on April 11, 2007 at 1:16 PM

They might, but it’s as important as a boil on a flie’s behind, but Fred and the Mrs. are used to flies, just like on the farm when the cows are eating healthy. Now, just sit back on down, add a little more sour mash to the “julip” and watch…… anyone hungry for some BBQ? In the mean time, we have a pile that we can send to AlGore, for “carbon credits”, makes me laugh inside, and THAT cures all……!

PinkyBigglesworth on April 12, 2007 at 2:33 AM

I think Fred was wise to go ahead and announce this ahead of making a final decision to run. Frankly, I still don’t think Fred Thompson will ever be president.

What I think is, today he may be well enough and have a decent life-expectancy, and I certainly hope so, but the rigors of campaigning with late nights and little sleep, temptations to eat far too much rich food, could indeed, cause his lymphoma to go out of remission.

And then, what would we have? I agree with seejanemom, perhaps this will put Fred in the sweepstakes as VP with Giuliani–a terrific combo in my opinion.

Webutante

Webutante on April 12, 2007 at 1:05 PM

We don’t know what makes lymphoma go out of remission.

The treatment Fred had was one of the latest to generate a lot of promise. It does not make you hairless or have any other problems like chemo. You do not get weakened or unable to function.

Some people are on wait and watch for more than 20 years and never even had to have a treatment. It is a disease that is different in everyone per my oncologist.

I am the same age as Fred, was diagnosed at the same time, with the same disease – indolent non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
I am symptom free and have never had any treatment. Very few people would even guess that I have cancer.

Go, Fred, go.

bjb on April 14, 2007 at 2:11 PM