Frank Lautenberg diagnosed with stomach cancer

posted at 1:08 pm on February 19, 2010 by Allahpundit

Poor guy. He fell down a few days ago and was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer, but upon further review it’s quite a bit worse than that: B-cell lymphoma, which is fast-growing but evidently responds well enough to chemo that half the people who are treated for it recover. Here’s hoping.

The Democrat still plans to finish out his current term – his fifth in the Senate – and seek re-election in 2014.

“This doesn’t change any of that,” Lautenberg’s chief aide, Dan Katz, said of the senator’s political plans. “After he receives his treatment, back to normal.”

Moments ago, Lautenberg’s office issued a statement from the senator’s oncologist, James F. Holland, saying:

“We expect a full and complete recovery for Senator Lautenberg. The senator will be treated with chemotherapy administered approximately every three weeks. We anticipate that he will receive between six and eight treatments, and in between treatments, the senator is expected to be back at work in the Senate.”

He’s 86, which means he’d be seeking reelection in 2014 as … a 90-year-old cancer survivor. He can take as much time away from Congress as he needs to recuperate — remember how long Tim Johnson’s absence was after he had that stroke? — but this is another thorn in Reid’s side in the short term. He’s been busy looking for the 60th vote for the Democrats’ jobs bill and now, suddenly, he has to look for a 59th vote too. When it rains, it pours.

Something worth flagging in case Lautenberg opts for early retirement: New Jersey Democrats introduced a bill in the state legislature back in November, almost certainly with him in mind, to replace special elections for vacant U.S. Senate seats with a rule that would let the governor appoint a successor. With one catch — the governor could only appoint someone from the same party as the outgoing senator. Obviously, that’s a response to Chris Christie’s gubernatorial win, with state Dems worried that in this political climate a special election would be no automatic win even in a state as blue as Jersey. Their fears proved well founded two months later in Massachusetts; I wonder what’ll happen to that bill in light of today’s news.

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Midas on February 19, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Agreed. A friend of mine died of stomach cancer. When I saw him shortly before he died, I could hardly recognize him–that terrible disease takes such a toll. I cannot wish Lautenberg anything but to get well as a private citizen.

DrMagnolias on February 19, 2010 at 9:10 PM

You really should fix that headline. Lymphomas are cancers of the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes and not of the stomach. (Oh for those that wonder B-Cells are the cells that make antibodies. They’re pretty cool because the way they do it is that the re-write their DNA.)

Dave_d on February 19, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Of interest here is that this man has been consistetnly against his country all of his terms. He is a disgusting scumbag.

proconstitution on February 19, 2010 at 10:16 PM

Frank Lautenberg is still alive?

Cylor on February 19, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Lautenberg has been my Senator for what seems like forever. Only time I have ever agreed with him is over Kadafi not bringing his tent to NJ. But I did make painstaking efforts to wish him well because I never, never, never, never, never want to be like the other side wishing ill on people. As someone who suffered with a bad pancreas because of a birth defect, I would not wish this on my anyone.

Godspeed Senator.

margategop517 on February 19, 2010 at 11:06 PM

If a bill was introduced in the State Senate to require the governor to appoint a Senator of the same party as the outgoing Senator, was it ever passed?

If not, Governor Christie probably would veto it!

Steve Z on February 19, 2010 at 11:17 PM

No sympathy from me for this SOB who conspired with the NJ Democrud Party and the crooked NJ Supreme court to take away my right as an American to live under the rule of law as well as y civil rights when he replaced the Torch 2 weeks after the deadline in the NJ election law. I hope he suffers and burns in hell.

bill30097 on February 20, 2010 at 12:07 AM

Where’s the death panel?

Captain America on February 20, 2010 at 12:11 AM

Lautenberg has always been a nasty piece of work, aside from his tedious limo-leftist views. When the lowlife ran against GOP Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick in 1982, his campaign strongly implied that Fenwick, then aged 72, was too old for the job, and probably senile. I hope this hypocritical paleozoic fossil finally goes away and convalesces as a private citizen.

Travis Bickle on February 20, 2010 at 2:32 AM

I’m sure as a solid adherent of President Obama, Senator Lautenberg, at the very advanced age of 86 and having already lived a full life, will take President Obama’s advice and will “just take the pill.” It’s the right thing to do to set a good example for the rest of us.

Dilbertnomore on February 20, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Anyone who doubts that if Obamacare was in place that Senator Lautenberg, age 86, would be “in front of a death panel” is certifiably INSANE. I don’t particularly like the senior senator from my home state, but he should be thankful that Obama care has been passed yet. OH..WAIT A MINUTE. I forgot, Congress has already decided they personally don’t have to go along with O’Care. NEVERMIND.

Dan Pet on February 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM