Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff Declares Himself "Cancer-Free"; Calls For His Resignation Over The Debra Brown Flip-Flop Should Subside
Regardless of how one feels about Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's politics, one should rejoice at the news that Shurtleff has declared himself "cancer-free" on June 7th, 2011. On Twitter, Shurtleff announced "Full body CT/PET scan results are in: I'M CANCER FREE! Sincere thanks to ALL for faith, prayers, love and support!"
Shurtleff was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in November 2010 after doctors discovered a malignant growth when performing an emergency appendectomy. He underwent surgery to remove a portion of his colon just two weeks later and began a grueling chemotherapy regiment, but Shurtleff continued to work throughout his treatment.
But in early May, he was admitted to the hospital after having a bad reaction to the chemo. This was triggered in part by the fact that because he attempted three types of chemotherapy, departing from the normal protocol. It was during this time that the Debra Brown controversy broke out; after she was declared factually innocent of murder and released from prison, the Attorney General's office first said they would appeal. But on the same day, Shurtleff got on Twitter and overrode that decision; days later, Shurtleff flip-flopped again and declared his intent to appeal. This outraged many people and triggered concern as to whether or not Shurtleff's judgment was being adversely affected by the chemotherapy; grass-roots calls for Shurtleff's resignation began to surface.
Shurtleff then asked doctors to halt the chemotherapy thereafter, stopping him about five treatments short of what was originally scheduled. One doctor then decided to run a scan to see if any cancer remained and, while Shurtleff was in Jackson Hole, WY for a conference with other attorneys general, he got a text on Monday June 6th giving him a clean bill of health. The doctor told Shurtleff he could resume his full schedule and that he would have to be checked again in six months to ensure the cancer hasn’t returned.
So if Shurtleff can resume his full schedule and is no longer being dosed with chemo drugs, this means his capacities are no longer impaired or diminished. Consequently, there is no need for him to resign for medical reasons, and calls for his resignations should subside. I say "should"; comments to the Tribune story indicate a few people are still put out over his mishandling of the Debra Brown situation.
Shurtleff will be growing his hair back, for those who are wondering. This man has had more than his fair share of serious challenges; cancer, a daughter with emotional problems, and a difficult recovery from a previous motorcycle accident in which he nearly lost a leg.