Sunday, July 13, 2008

Robert Anthony (Tony) Snow Passes...

...This past April (less than twelve weeks before his untimely death), Tony Snow had joined CNN as a conservative commentator. Snow, who’d spent 10 years at Fox News, left his job as White House Press Secretary last September, to deal with a medical problem that turned out to be recurrence of the cancer he’d previously battled.

Aside from his ten year stint on Fox News and speech writing duties for George H. Walker Bush, Snow was also especially noted for writing a syndicated column for Creators Syndicate between 1993 and 2000. As a nationally syndicated columnist, his commentaries appeared in more than 200 newspapers nationwide. Even in print, Snow’s down home Kentucky charm exuded through the page, as he consistently made compelling arguments for his point of view.

Snow won numerous awards during his print career, including citations from the Virginia Press Association, the Detroit Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, The Associated Press and Gannet.

In March of 2007, Snow's malignant cancer returned and spread to his liver and elsewhere in his body. Fellow White House staffers at the time said he told them he planned to fight the disease and return to work.

"He is not going to let this whip him, and he's upbeat," President Bush said of his press secretary. "And so my message to Tony is, 'Stay strong; a lot of people love you and care for you and will pray for you.'"

Snow, 51, had his colon removed in 2005 and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with colon cancer. He underwent surgery on Monday to remove a growth in his abdominal area, near the site of the original cancer.

Doctors determined the growth was cancerous and the cancer had metastasized, or spread, to the liver.

The news rocked the White House. Snow had gone into the surgery saying he felt fine, and recent blood tests and imaging scans had indicated no return of cancer. He had said he opted to remove the growth out of "aggressive sense of caution."

He had recently reached the two-year mark of being free of cancer.

"He told me that he beat this thing before," said White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino, "and he intends to beat it again."

It is common for colon cancer patients to suffer a recurrence of cancer, particularly in the liver. Medical experts say advances in chemotherapy can allow people with the type of cancer Snow has to return to work and good health for years.

Over the past year Snow had battled cancer, but on the morning of July 12th, 2008, Tony Snow died at Georgetown University Hospital as a result of colon cancer that had spread to his liver.

The “happy warrior” is no more.


Uncle Joe said...

R.I.P. Tony. Condolensces to his family and friends.

JMK said...

The death of Tony Snow is a great loss, not only for Conservatism, but for civility and for the national discourse as well.

God bless him and his family.

Seane-Anna said...

Down home Kentucky charm? So THAT'S why I found Tony Snow so appealing. Rest in peace, happy warrior.

JMK said...

You have a lot of common sense wisdom and down home charm yourself Seane-Anna....and good taste. Tony Snow and Walter E Williams have always been two of my favorite commentary writers.

Don said...

rest in peace.

i recently (2 weeks ago) had an uncle succumb to colon cancer. i'm not familiar with tony snow but i am well-schooled on the dangers of colon cancer.

JMK said...

Sorry to hear that Don, my Dad died from complications due to prostate cancer almost eleven years ago, now.

Until my Dad contracted cancer I had no idea that every cancer was distinct. In my Dad's case, he hadn't caught the prostate cancer early, so it had gotten into his bones at certain site. I remember asking the doctor, "So, he has prostrate cancer and bone cancer?"

He answered, "No, he has prostate cancer that has spread to other sites. You can have prostate cancer or colon cancer that spreads to the liver and lungs and it's still prostate cancer, which acts differently than either liver cancer or lung cancer."

Today, early detection allows a lot more to be done, but contracting cancers earlier in life has more hazards, as those tend to move faster and be more virulent.

Frank Zappa died of prostate cancer in his early fifties, as did a NYC firefighter, Jack Myerjack, who'd led the FDNY Fitness Unit until his untimely passing in his fifties.

WomanHonorThyself said...

May he rest in peace. thanks for the tribute JMK.

conservative brother said...

I guess the good do die young, he will be missed. I knew Tony didn't support Bush on his immigration amnesty bill. He put aside his on convictions to serve the president. It had to really erk Tony having to defend something that on principal he as opposed to.

JMK said...

Hi Tyrone!

I admired Tony Snow as a columnist long before I ever saw him on TV. He was a dedicated Conservative, a "true believer," whose innate charm and decency even shined through in print.

Before he took the job as WH Press Secretary, he had criticized G W Bush for being too suppine, and you're right that he probably had a rough time supporting some of the things the Bush admninistration did - the "Shamnesty Bill," being a main one.

He was a true gentleman and his common decency, even in dealing with the most virulent detractors of this country, was incredible.

That's why some of the more vile shots taken at Snow (by the LA Times and AP in particular) are so pathetic and disgusting.

They demonstrate, perhaps more than anything else, the moral cowardice of the Western Left. Everyone knows that even Tony Snow himself would've ignored and let pass any such personal attacks, so he's an "easy target" for the unhinged Left.

Ironically enough, the very same folks who've vehemently attacked Tony Snow, lack the nerve to run, or even defend Western journalists and cartoonists who, in exercising the hallowed tradition of free speech, are charged with "defaming Islam."

Tony Snow, like America itself, often turned the other cheek to attackers, the Mullahs tend to take off hands and heads - that too many of our so-called "journalists" smear the likes of Snow, while cowering before Islamic militants says it all about their moral cowardice and their concern for "journalistic ethics."

Don said...

@jmk: sorry to hear about the loss of your father eleven years ago. i too lost my father, in '79.

and, yes, my uncle's cancer spread to his liver. honestly i think he gave up, cause he continued to drink hard liquor and barely ate. i can't reall say how i would respond in the event, but i know i wouldn't just give up like he did.

JMK said...

In your Uncle's day, I think cancer treatment was far less advanced than today. In fact cancer treatments have greatly advanced over the past twenty years!

Back in the 60s and 70s many people took the mere word "cancer," as a virtual death sentence.

Today, if caught early, many forms of cancer are highly treatable, the key seems to be early detection.

And not giving up and keeping a positive attitude (like yours) has got to be a plus. I know a fellow firefighter who beat testicular cancer (not caught as early as the doctors would've liked) and he swears it was largely due to his positive attitude.

Thanks for your thoughts about my Dad...I do still miss him very much and I carry him in my heart every day. Sometimes, when I go over things, I can almost hear what he'd say about it.

I was blessed to have him in my life for forty-two years.

defiant_infidel said...

As always, I am touched by your eloquent, accurate choice of words, Sir.

I too was one of those who didn't realize that cancer that spreads is still usually the same type of cancer, just metastasizing in a new location. My mother has been beating Leio Meio Sarcoma for going on nine years now (a new all time record and she is a case study). It has been found and squelched in her inner bone tissue most recently (it is a soft muscle tissue cancer, blood born, and usually manifesting in a high blood flow area such as the lungs or the liver). Two years ago, it recurred in her liver and she had the entire right lobe removed (80% of the total). But the liver does regenerate... the only body organ that does so, in about 16 weeks or so. One helluva tough recovery ride, though. She also had a stroke right in the middle of the recovery period. She has since recovered nearly 100% from ALL of it and is to date quite healthy with full mechanical and mental functions.

Miracles do happen and medical technology advances by leaps and bounds. I am so very sorry that Mr. Snow did not pull through. He was a true "good guy" and a living giant.

I am very sure that your dad was also an exceptionally fine gentleman... the apple and the tree thingy, you know. I have been without mine for 18 years now and there is not a day in my life I don't feel a pang of pain from his absence.

JMK said...

I'm glad your Mom pulled through DI.

Yes, there are miracles and many more of them as medical technology improves.

She's got to be one tough cookie, battling through a stroke in the midst of her cancer recovery.

God bless her.

As to our Dad's, I know my own grief is tempered whenever I think of how much more profound my Mom's grief is.

Losing a partner of a HALF A CENTURY is a staggering loss, for the Mom's.

Lucky is he who counts his blessings.

THANKS for stopping by and offering so many thoughtful and thought-provoking comments.

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