Photo (cropped) by Edward Kimmel, 2016. Creative Commons License 2.0

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D -Maryland) announced yesterday that he's been diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, "a serious but curable form of cancer." He also noted that "Prognosis for most people in my situation is excellent after four months of treatment." From your press release to God's ear, Rep. Raskin.

Raskin said on MSNBC last night that his doctors had detected the cancer early and that he'll begin outpatient chemotherapy this week, crediting in part "all the medical research and science and technology" for his good prognosis. I had to smile at that, because here he is facing a frightening diagnosis but still reminding viewers that government does good, too. Here's the clip:

When Republicans take over the House next week, Raskin, 60, will become the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, after his colleagues elected him last week. He's also been serving on the Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, and was the impeachment manager for Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. He was reelected in November with 80 percent of the vote in his district.

Raskin, a former constitutional law prof, is also among the smartest, most media-savvy Democrats in the House. Let's digress a moment to appreciate once more that time in 2021 when, during the hearing on referring Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress, Raskin, as Yr Wonkette's Evan Hurst put it, "just drop-kicked Matt Gaetz's very large face so far up into outer space that, well, quite frankly, you could still clearly see it, because his face is too large for his body."

Raskin, after demolishing Gaetz's sad attempts to suggest that somehow 61 judges were all wrong in tossing out Trump's bogus cases of election fraud, dismissed him with "That might work on Steve Bannon's podcast, but that's not going to work in the Rules Committee of the United States House of Representatives, I'm sorry, forgive me." Just lovely.

Content warning: suicide.If you are having thoughts of suicide, please call the national hotline number, 988.

NBC News notes that Raskin's announcement comes

almost two years to the day after the death of Raskin's 25-year-old son, Thomas "Tommy" Bloom Raskin, by suicide. An obituary posted online by Raskin and his wife said that their son had a "perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor" but that he was “tortured” by a “blindingly painful and merciless ‘disease called depression.’"

Following that trauma for the family, Raskin also feared losing his youngest daughter, Tabitha, who had accompanied him to the Capitol on January 6, 2021; she and her husband had joined Raskin for certifying the electoral vote that day, and when the rioters came, he was on the floor of the House while they were in an office. Raskin wrote movingly about his family's grief and the shock to democracy in his book Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy.

The Washington Post also notes that Raskin was successfully treated for cancer in 2010, undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for Stage 3 colon cancer.

Raskin says he intends to keep working through his treatment, noting that since chemo also does a job on the human immune system as well as on cancer cells, he'll be taking steps to avoid exposure to COVID-19, the flu and other viruses — and yes he's doing some public service messaging there, too. He also added this important goofy Dad Joke, for which we are very grateful:

I am advised that [the chemotherapy treatment] also causes hair loss and weight gain (although I am still holding out hope for the kind that causes hair gain and weight loss).

We're all pulling for you, Rep. Raskin. America needs you so much right now.

[Jamie Raskin / NBC News / WaPo / Photo (cropped):Edward Kimmel, Creative Commons License 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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