Specter finishes chemotherapy treatments

July 14, 2008 8:51:33 PM PDT
Today was Senator Arlen Specter's last treatment for Hodgkin's Disease. The 78-year-old Senator beat cancer in 2005. Then, just in April, he was diagnosed with a recurrence. Again, he kept up with his busy schedule but says the second time around wasn't as easy.

Specter stepped out this morning in good spirits for his last round of chemotherapy at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Senator tells us, "To get all the chemicals out of my system is something to look forward to."

Pennsylvania's senior Senator has gone through 12-weeks of chemotherapy to treat Hodgkin's Disease. Throughout, he has kept up with his busy Senate schedule.

We caught up with him at his office on Capitol Hill last week, and although he appeared pale and tired, he says working has been the best medicine.

"I found the busier I stay, the better off I am because there's less time to think about myself."

But Specter says he takes frequent naps in is office at the Senate, and his squash schedule has been cut back.

The 78-year-old says fighting cancer was harder the second time around. "Several years ago I had 12 treatments and now I've had 12 more, so that has a cumulative effect."

But the overall effect is good. Specter says his doctors say his prognosis is excellent.

In March, Specter released his book "Never Give In - Battling cancer in the Senate." It's about beating Hodgkin's the first time in 2005. Now he'll add a few chapters to the paperback version. That's just one of many things the senator has planned for his recovery.

"I'm looking forward to being on the squash court again - that's a big part of my life," the Senator said.

Experts tell us Hodgkin's is highly curable. But after treatment, it's still hard to tell if and how long the cancer will stay in remission.

The Senator is up for re-election in 2010. He'll be 80-years-old then... and he says he looks forward to running for another term.