- The Washington Times - Monday, June 22, 2015

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday that he has been diagnosed with a “very aggressive” cancer that had spread throughout his body, but he vowed to battle the disease and confidently predicted he would beat it.

Mr. Hogan made the surprise announcement that he has B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes, at a hastily arranged press conference at the State House in Annapolis, where he was surrounded by members of his family and his Cabinet.

“I’m going to face this challenge with the same energy and determination that I’ve relied on to climb every hill and overcome every obstacle that I’ve faced in my life,” said Mr. Hogan, who won in an upset last year to become only the second Republican governor to preside over deep-blue Maryland since 1969.

Mr. Hogan said he would not step down as governor and would continue to do his job during treatment, saying that many cancer patients manage to keep working.

He said the cancer is either stage 4 or an advanced stage 3, indicating it had spread extensively in his lymph nodes. He said he had more than 30 tumors scattered from his neck to his groin area.

Mr. Hogan said that doctors told him the cancer responds well to chemotherapy and that he had a good chance of emerging cancer-free following an aggressive treatment regime.

As he prepared for a grueling 18-month chemotherapy regime, Mr. Hogan remains upbeat about his future.

“The best news is that my odds of getting through this and beating this are much, much better than the odds I had of beating [former Lt. Gov.] Anthony Brown to become the 62nd governor of Maryland,” he said, ferrying to his Democratic opponent last year.

He said the odds also are better than he had for doing away with the state’s infamous “rain tax,” providing tax relief to Marylanders, passing a budget without tax increases and reducing the state’s highway tolls for the first time in 50 years — all feats that Mr. Hogan achieved since taking office in January.

Mr. Hogan said he would remain at the helm of the state, though he expected to miss some meetings.

He said that Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford would fill in for him when needed.

“Boyd has my back,” he said.

The governor said he was “shocked” when he got the diagnosis a few days ago.

“It just sneaks up on you,” he said of the cancer. “I had no symptoms whatsoever. I just felt great.”

Mr. Hogan said he first discovered a lump in his neck while shaving before leaving for a 12-day trade mission to Asia last month. He said he felt fine during the trip.

Upon his return, his doctor found 12 more lumps in his neck and chest. He was sent to a specialist and underwent a series of MRI and CAT scans that found 20 or 30 more tumors in his abdomen and groin areas.

“It was like peeling an onion,” he said of the increasingly alarming diagnosis.

Mr. Hogan said he had been warned that the treatment would be arduous but worth it.

“All of the experts tell me that I’ll come out of all that completely clear. They also tell me it’s going to beat the hell out of me,” he said. “They honestly tell me, ‘You’re going to go through hell and back again, but you’re going to love it when you get back.’”

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