Maryland Senate President Mike Miller made his diagnosis clear Thursday, mostly through a written statement, that he has prostate cancer.
Miller issued a statement, saying, in part, "This past July, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer along with my osteopathic issues."
As Miller addressed the General Assembly in chambers, he declined questions from the media, saying, "I'm not going to take any questions from the press. This is the story. It's what happened, where we are."
In December, after reporting a sharp pain in his leg, his doctor told him the cancer can no longer be treated with just drugs.
"As a result, I will be undergoing chemotherapy during this legislative session," Miller said in the statement.
In typical Miller style, he broke the news with humor.
"It affects every decision you make. So you look in the mirror in the morning to see if your hair's still there," he said.
A bipartisan group of well-wishers, including former staff, colleagues and clergy, filled the Senate Gallery.
"In the gallery, two very special people came to pray for you," Sen. Ed Reilly said.
Gov. Larry Hogan, who fought non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2015, wished the best for Miller's recovery.
“My heart goes out to President Miller on what I know must be one of the toughest days he’s faced," Hogan said in a statement. "I know firsthand how hard it is to receive a diagnosis like this. But I also know firsthand that Mike Miller has earned his place in Maryland political history because he’s a fighter who always gives it everything he’s got, no matter how tough things get. Mike’s tenacity, bravery, and perseverance will ensure that he wins this battle, and he has my full support."
"I got a cane, I got a bad hip, a bad knee and I've got a cane that I'm going to be using to walk with, knock heads with. As long as I'm healthy, I'm going to be here. I'm going to stay here. I'm going to stay here until the band stops playing," Miller said Wednesday.
Miller has served 44 years in the General Assembly, and he has been president of the Senate since 1987.
READ: STATEMENT FROM SENATOR THOMAS V. MIKE MILLER JR.
Annapolis, MD – Today, Senator Miller provided the Senate of Maryland this statement regarding the state of his health:
In recent months, it has been obvious to many that I have been struggling with pain management. As I was told and have shared with many of my friends and colleagues since the beginning of last year, I have been experiencing significant back pain after hip and knee replacement surgery that never seemed to heal appropriately.
After the legislative session last year, I saw an orthopedist regarding these continuing issues. My doctor prescribed a series of shots to deal with the pain which did not address the debilitating pain issues.
This past July, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer along with my osteopathic issues. I was prescribed medicines for the prostate cancer and continued physical therapy.
Despite these treatments, the pain did not subside and on December 27th, I awoke with a sharp pain in my leg. After another series of tests at Johns Hopkins, the oncologist informed me and my family that the prostate cancer could no longer be managed through pharmaceuticals alone and that additional treatment would be necessary. As a result, I will be undergoing chemotherapy during this legislative session.
As many of you know, beyond my tremendous love for my wife and family, I have no greater commitment than to the success and stability of the Maryland Senate. I have been told that in spite of my treatments, I will be fully able to join my colleagues and preside this session. Despite my longevity as President, I have never sought to retain this position out of personal gratification but out of a true belief I could lead the body to the tremendous achievements we have accomplished together over the years.
I share my personal health issues with you as the President of the body I love so dearly because I believe I owe you my honesty in person as soon as I was made aware of my changed condition. With your continued support and indulgence, I fully intend to fight this disease as so many have and to fully carry out my Senate responsibilities. There are not enough words to thank you all for your continued support and service to our great state of Maryland. Now, let’s get to work.