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Sen. John Kerry, who visited his fellow Massachusetts Democrat over the weekend, said, “He’s in a fighting mood. … I know that Ted is determined to fight this.”

Mr. Kennedy has not been seen in public since his seizure, but he has called some of his closest colleagues from his hospital room.

“My cell phone rang and I picked it up and here was this voice that sounded terribly familiar to me talking about how those nurses were picking on him up in that hospital. It had me laughing,” Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, told reporters.

The senator received some optimistic advice from Sen. Arlen Specter, who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 1993. “I’ve been there,” the Pennsylvania Republican said on the Senate floor yesterday.

Mr. Specter said he was “given three to six weeks to live,” but “the diagnosis … turned out to be incorrect.” Surgeons removed what turned out to be a benign tumor from the senator, who is fighting his second bout of Hodgkins disease and undergoing chemotherapy.

Kennedy is a real fighter … and I am betting on Senator Kennedy,” he said.

Glioma tumors are the second most common cause of cancer deaths in people ages 15 to 44, cancer specialists say. Survival rates can range from a year or less for the most severe cases to five to 10 years for slower growing, less aggressive tumors.

c Steven A. Miller and Christina Bellantoni contributed to this story.