Meghan McCain shared an emotional tribute to her father on Twitter Wednesday, following the announcement that the 80-year-old politician was diagnosed with brain cancer.
“The news of my father’s illness has affected every one of us in the McCain family. My grandmother, mother, brothers, sister, and I have all endured the shock of the news, and now we live with the anxiety about what comes next,” the Outnumbered co-host, 32, wrote in a letter.
Meghan’s siblings include Douglas, 57, Andrew, 55, Sidney, 50, John Sidney, 31, James, 29, and Bridget, 25.
“It is an experience familiar to us, given my father’s previous battle with cancer—and it is familiar to the countless American families whose loved ones are also stricken with the tragedy of disease and the inevitability of age. If we could ask anything of anyone now, it would be the prayers of those of you who understand this all too well. We would be so grateful for them,” she said.
Days before the Arizona Republican’s cancer news, Meghan was by her father’s side after he underwent surgery at Phoenix’s Mayo Clinic to remove a blood clot above his eye. On July 14, Sen. McCain had a “minimally invasive craniotomy” to remove a 5-cm blood clot from above his left eye, according to a statement released from McCain’s office.
“It won’t surprise you to learn that in all this, the one of us who is most confident and calm is my father. He is the toughest person I know. The cruelest enemy could not break him. The aggressions of political life could not bend him. So he is meeting this challenge as he has every other. Cancer may afflict him in many ways: But it will not make him surrender. Nothing ever has,” Meghan added.
“My love for my father is boundless, and like any daughter I cannot and do not wish to be in a world without him. I have faith that those days remain far away. Yet even in this moment, my fears for him are overwhelmed by one thing above all: Gratitude for our years together, and the years still to come. He is a warrior at dusk, one of the greatest Americans of our age, and the worth heir to his father’s and grandfather’s name. But to me he is something more.”
Concluding, “He is my strength, my example, my refuge, my confidante, my teacher, my rock, my hero—my dad.”
The form of brain cancer that Sen. McCain had removed, called glioblastoma, is the most aggressive. The father of seven is recovering “amazingly well” and his current health condition is “excellent,” according to McCain’s doctors. “He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona,” a statement from McCain’s office read.
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McCain, who has served Arizona in Congress since 1982, is a three-time survivor of melanoma, an aggressive skin cancer that can spread to the brain and cause bleeding. McCain was diagnosed with invasive melanoma in 2000, and has been regularly screened by his doctors.
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On Monday, Meghan posted a photo of her father’s legs (in dress shoes and pressed khakis) along with an update about his recovery. “He’s doing very, very well with all of us in Arizona! I’m trying to convince him to watch The Crown with me,” she shared.
Then one day later, she hit back at Twitter trolls, even calling for the resignation of Nevada GOP committeewoman, Diana Orrock, who retweeted with “Amen” to a tweet wishing death to her father.
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“You are a godless, horrible monster who should be nowhere near GOP politics—let alone society in general,” Meghan tweeted at Orrock, who later apologized and called Sen. McCain an “American hero.”