Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, diagnosed six months ago with aggressive stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, announced on Monday, Nov. 16, that his illness is now in remission.
His health battle made the governor a cancer patient advocate and resulted in him balancing official responsibilities with treatments, particularly 30 days of 24-hour chemotherapy, three surgical procedures, four spinal taps, and multiple drug interventions.
In an emotionally charged news conference at the Maryland State House, Annapolis, Hogan proclaimed being 100 percent cancer-free at present.
“I am so incredibly thankful to so many people who have stood by me in the fight,” Hogan said with a cracking voice.
“God willing, I will be back to 110 percent before you know it,” added the governor, who will start undergoing regular scans and monthly health maintenance, and expects to see his hair grow back and his physique to return to normal in the forthcoming weeks.
The governor’s diagnosis was revealed back in June after discovering a lump on the neck during an official mission to Asia. His tumors in the body, according to his doctors, were of golf-ball and orange sizes.
Support poured out for the governor, including a handwritten message from President Barack Obama and the encouraging phrase “Maryland is HoganStrong,” which was a reference to a nonprofit group in his name for cancer research fundraising.
In August, Hogan said his scans showed that the tumors were 95 percent gone after an eight-week treatment regimen, but independent health experts at that time said the chemotherapy needed to be finished and additional scans had to be performed to clear his prognosis.
The head of Maryland remained on the job while being treated, even conducting news conferences at the hospital. He became a popular cancer awareness advocate and spent time with pediatric cancer patients. He even disclosed plans of continuing his health advocacy.
“It’s because of these fellow patients that I will remain committed to raising awareness, encouraging research that will one day lead to a cure for this terrible disease,” he said.
With the Republican governor during his announcement were his doctors, Dr. Aaron Rapoport and Dr. Arun Bhandari, who said that monitoring has to continue as the cancer could flare up again – something one will “know in retrospect.”
“[I]t’s a continuous process, so the longer time lapses without any sign of cancer, the more likely it is to remain that way,” explained Dr. Rapoport.
Photo : Maryland GovPics | Flickr