President Carter: One year after cancer announcement

AUGUST 30TH, 2016 - "And they did a biopsy and found out it was indeed cancer," President Jimmy Carter said to the world last August.  

An incredibly encouraging-sounding former president informed the press and the world that he had melanoma, and it had spread to his brain.  

"It's in the hands of God and my worship and I'll be prepared for anything that comes," President Carter said.

While the former president has grown older before our eyes, there is something almost immortal about him.
He has always been vibrant, insightful,  feisty, and full of vigor but now staring down something that
cannot be beaten by a 90-year-old man. Doctors were giving him less than a year.

A few days later, in his inimitable way, the 39th president of the United States faced cancer the way that only he could-.

On August 25 at Marantha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. -- just days after his announcement -- President Carter taught Sunday School.

The crowds began arriving in darkness wanting to be part of something special. The humidity, near 100 percent.  The plume of no-see-ums were ready too.  But the crowds were so big the church accommodated many of them in an overflow room and President Carter taught another Sunday School Class at another location.

It was an extraordinary morning. Jimmy Carter was as you would expect. Buoyant, funny, wise -- and revealing on the subject of sex.

"Another one is Eros," President Carter said.  "Anybody know what Eros is.Nobody here knows. (Laughs) Yeah Ok,  It's OK to mention it in church."

It was impossible not to feel a sense loss. A wistful moment when a high school orchestra played -- just an old sweet song: Georgia on my Mind.

Would this be the last time for President Carter and his legendary Sunday school teaching?  It was assumed his strength would fail just as so many of us who have lost loved ones to cancer have been forced to witness. But as the months progressed so to did the health of Carter.

By December, another announcement: the cancer was in remission.

"And I went their (The Doctor's Office) this week and they didn't find any cancer at all," he said.

Jimmy Carter’s entire remarkable life has been about overcoming enormous odds. Getting out of a small Georgia town to become a towering symbol of the best of what America is and can be.  A fearless man standing up to obstacles from the time he left Miss Lillian’s home.

Is there anything about James Earl Carter that surprises? The answer is a resounding no.

"I was putting on a kind of false, optimistic face," President Carter said at a recent press conference in Memphis, Tennessee. "I wasn't nearly as certain as I might have indicated to the news media about I'll be back next year.  But I was hoping I would and of course God has blessed me in many ways and of course this is one of them."


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