Steve Scalise shares sobering cancer update

House Republican Majority Leader Scalise shocked the country with his sudden diagnosis. Now he’s baring all.

And Steve Scalise shared this sobering cancer update.

House Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., returned to the Capitol for the first time since being diagnosed with cancer on Thursday, saying his treatments are “going well.”

Scalise, who was diagnosed with blood cancer three weeks ago, told reporters that he has started chemotherapy and that his doctor is “encouraged” by his progress and has allowed him to return to work.

“Obviously a few weeks ago I got diagnosed with cancer. As you can see, my protocols are going to be a little different for the next few months because cancer, one of the many things that does is it attacks your immune system,” Scalise said as he explained why he was wearing a face mask and had asked reporters to interview him from a distance.

“I am probably about three weeks into a treatment on chemotherapy. So we’re making sure that I’m working with my doctors, my doctor Shirley signed off and be coming back today,” he added.

Scalise said he spoke with all of the House Republican committee chairs on Wednesday and was keeping up with House activity while focusing on his health.

“It’s going well, we have a great team. We’re focused on the treatments, they’re going to continue to evaluate me,” Scalise said.

“It’s kind of a few months process. They don’t yet know how long it’s going to be, four months, six months, but they want to continue to evaluate.”

“I thank everybody for the prayers because the prayers are giving me strength. And my colleagues even give me incredible strength and every step of the way,” he said.

Scalise was hospitalized in June 2017 when a gunman opened fire on Republicans as they practiced for the congressional baseball game that year.

He was one of five people that were shot. Scalise was critically injured and did not return to the House floor until September of that year.

Scalise disclosed last month that he had been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a curable blood cancer.

His situation elicited a flood of well-wishes from his colleagues and supporters, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who referred to him as a “faith-filled fighter” and wished him a rapid recovery.

Scalise said Thursday that breakthroughs in medicine will allow him to receive chemotherapy as an outpatient, even from his Capitol office. He also revealed that when he became ill in August, his wife was the first to recognize something was wrong.

“I was on the road during August recess, you’re on the road a lot. And it was really my wife who noticed I was – my appetite was dropping. I was doing a bunch of political events. And you know, I need a lunch and wasn’t even hungry for dinner. It was just kind of that feeling myself. And she’s on the phone with me, and she’s saying, Steve, this doesn’t sound right. When you come home, we’re getting some, we’re getting some tests run,” he recounted.

Doctors confirmed Scalise’s wife’s diagnosis of Myeloma after a hospital visit and some testing.

“She was very stern, and she knew she could tell me better than me and, you know, sometimes you don’t listen to your body,” he shared in good humor.

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