John McCain, one of the country’s most well-known politicians and a Vietnam War hero, sent shockwaves across the country when he announced this summer that he has an aggressive form of brain cancer. Well-wishes from Americans everywhere were sent out, as people hoped he beat the cancer. So people were understandably concerned when he was rushed to the hospital this week.

McCain was checked in to Walter Reed Medical Center after missing votes in the Senate both Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, his office released a statement saying that he was being treated for “normal side effects of his ongoing cancer therapy”. He will be returning to the Senate “as soon as possible”, the statement promised.

There has been rampant speculation about McCain’s future in the Senate since he announced his diagnosis, especially as both the House and the Senate are attempting final votes next week on the $1.5 trillion tax cut bill. McCain’s continued absence could upset an already fragile coalition in the Senate. If the tax cut bill is passed, it would be Donald Trump’s first legislative achievement since taking office in January.

In July, McCain had an emergency craniotomy performed to remove a blood clot. Testing revealed that he actually has glioblastoma, a particularly deadly form of brain cancer. He has been undergoing both chemotherapy and radiation, but returned back to work at the Senate after Labor Day.

McCain has had his moments of being healthy — he has maintained a steady work schedule, attended his daughter Meghan’s wedding, and received the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in October. But that doesn’t mean the battle against his cancer has been easy. McCain has been in a walking boot for several weeks now after tearing a tendon in his leg, a known side effect of his treatment.

But McCain still insists that he wants to serve his country for as long as he can. “I am more energetic, and more engaged, as a result of this because I know that I’ve got to do everything I can to serve this country while I can,” he said in a September interview with “60 Minutes”.

As for his current status, the statement released Wednesday read, “As ever, he remains grateful to his physicians for their excellent care, and his friends and supporters for their encouragement and good wishes.”

Wednesday, Meghan McCain became emotional when talking about her father on “The View”, and was consoled by former Vice President Joe Biden, whose son, Beau, passed away from the same cancer. “I think about Beau almost every day and I was told — sorry — that this doesn’t get easier, but that you cultivate the tools to work with this and to live with this. I know you and your family have been through tragedy that I couldn’t conceive of — what would you tell — it’s not about me, it’s about everyone with cancer,” she said as she cried.

“Look, one of the things that gave Beau courage, my word, was John (McCain). Your dad, you may remember when you were a little kid. Your dad took care of my Beau,” Biden responded. Biden also said that McCain is one of his “best friends”. “We’re like two brothers who were somehow raised by different fathers or something because of our points of view,” Biden said. “Even when your dad got mad at me, said I should get the hell off the ticket, and remember what I said about your dad? I said, I know, and I mean this sincerely, I know if I picked up the phone tonight and called John McCain and said, … ‘I need your help, come,’ he’d get on a plane and come. And I would for him.”

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