FROM TODAY’S PRESS RELEASE
Al Melvin, the first-term senator from LD26, has announced he has Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He made the announcement because the treatments he is receiving are expected to cause considerable hair loss and he wanted to be sure that people knew the reason for it.
“I don’t have a great deal of hair”, said Melvin, adding “so those that I do have are like members of my family. I’ve known them for so long and I’ll be sad to see them go, particularly with winter approaching.”
On a more serious note, Melvin said that he had been lucky that the detection was fairly early, allowing the doctors to treat the disease in ample time, dramatically increasing his odds of a full recovery.
“There are two types of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma one that is slow developing but which is nearly impossible to eliminate, and the other that is faster growing but that can be cured. Fortunately, I have the second, so we can cure it and I can go on with my life.”
“According to the National Cancer Institute, three of the risk factors for developing NHL are being “older, male or white”, so I guess my goose was cooked from the get-go!”
Melvin said that the disease had not interfered with his work and he did not anticipate any problems. “I haven’t been sick or had any ill effects from it, and the doctors have said that I should be fine during and after the treatments. ”
On a related point, Fred Thompson, in his 2008 bid for the White House, announced that he had NH Lymphoma. His doctor, like Melvin’s, encouraged him to continue his public service and he continued with his presidential campaign.
Currently, Melvin is the vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and also serves on the Public Safety and Human Services Committee and the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. He has also been serving as the Senate co-chairman of the Legislative Ad Hoc Committee on Energy and Water Development, which has been meeting regularly while the Legislature is out of session.
Melvin also plans on speaking with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to seek out advice on maintaining and polishing his new head.