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John McCain Talks About Death — His Own Death — in His New Memoir

It’s been nearly a year since Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma in 2017. Ever the inspiring fighter he is, the politico has done many things in the undoubtedly difficult time since, including keeping to as many political responsibilities as his health permits, and now, promoting his upcoming memoir, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations.

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McCain recently read an excerpt from The Restless Wave that is now making the rounds, and it details his thoughts on his own death, the date of which becomes harder to predict.

“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here. Maybe I’ll have another five years. Maybe, with the advances in oncology, they’ll find new treatments for my cancer that will extend my life. Maybe I’ll be gone before you read this. My predicament, is well, rather unpredictable,” the Arizona senator writes in the book according to an excerpt obtained by

The memoir, which will be released on May 22, also addresses a few final things McCain hopes to see realized. Among them? Continuing to dialogue with his fellow Americans about important issues at hand.

In a sneak peek of the book given to NPR, McCain’s spot-on perspective (and patriotism) shines through. “My fellow Americans, no association ever mattered more to me,” McCain writes.

“We’re not always right,” he continues. “We’re impetuous and impatient and rush into things without knowing what we’re really doing. We argue over little differences endlessly and exaggerate them into lasting breaches. We can be selfish and quick sometimes to shift the blame for our mistakes to others, but our country ‘tis of thee. What great good we’ve done in the world, so much more good than harm.”

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McCain goes on to remind us that, sure, our country can be self-serving. But above and beyond, we are a nation that protects the freedom and liberty of all people.

“We need each other. We need friends in the world and they need us. The bell tolls for us, my friends. Humanity counts on us, and we ought to take measured pride in that. We have not been an island, we were involved in mankind,” reads the poignant memoir, which urges Americans to “remember that this shared devotion to human rights is our truest heritage and our most important loyalty.”

It’s also clear McCain intends to make the most of what time he has left with his family. “Their love for me and mine for them is the last strength I have,” he writes. And it is equally apparent the senator will continue to fight for the best interests of his country.

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And only then, when he feels his work is finished, does McCain intend to rest: “Then I’d like to go back to our valley and see the creek run after the rain and hear the cottonwoods whisper in the wind. I want to smell the rose-scented breeze and feel the sun on my shoulders. I want to watch the hawks hunt from the sycamore, and then take my leave bound for a place near my old friend Chuck Larsen in the cemetery on the Severn, back where it began.” 

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