Meghan McCain is back on the market.
The polarizing pundit and new mom announced that she would not be returning to The View in September, after four seasons with the daytime talk show. McCain was instrumental in driving up ratings with her views on former president Donald Trump, her insights into the 2020 election, and her firsthand account of her father’s battle and death from the fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor glioblastoma.
Read More“I’m just eternally grateful to have had this opportunity here so, seriously, thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart.” https://t.co/ZiP1UTs2xu pic.twitter.com/eLuEAJ4KLT
— The View (@TheView) July 1, 2021
“I’m just going to rip the band-aid off. I am here to tell all of you, my wonderful co-hosts, and the viewers at home that this is going to be my last season here at The View,” said McCain at the top of the show.
McCain, 36, said she would still be appearing on the show until the end of July and then relocating to Washington DC, where she splits her time with husband Ben Domenech and daughter Liberty. She said that the COVID pandemic played a large role in her decision to step down.
“I came from the D.C. area, which is where my husband and I have always split time – and it’s where I grew up splitting time – and we have this incredible life here,” said McCain. “We’re surrounded by my family, and friends and a new mom knows when I think about where I want Liberty to have her first steps and her first words, I just have this really wonderful life here that ultimately I felt like I didn’t want to leave.”
McCain then told the hosts: “This show is one of the, hands down, greatest, most wonderful privileges of my entire life.”
She was not with the co-hosts as the women are still filming remotely, and there is no word on whether or not any of the other five women – Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines and Ana Navarro – will also be exiting the show after this season.
100% certain that @MeghanMcCain best days lie ahead as a conservative commentator and thought-leader among her generation.
Meghan is highly intelligent, feisty, patriotic and stands up for her causes.
I wonder where she got that from?
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 1, 2021
Her fathers’s good friend Senator Lindsey Graham was among the first to congratulate Meghan for her time on the show, tweeting that her best days lie ahead and noting: “Meghan is highly intelligent, feisty, patriotic and stands up for her causes. I wonder where she got that from?”
McCain even got some kind words from cohost Joy Behar. “We have, you and I, have had our disagreements,” noted Behar. “We have had our fights. We’ve also had some drinking moments, which were rather fun and interesting.”
She returned the compliment, telling the women: “It is a privilege to work alongside such strong, brilliant, intelligent, incredible broadcasters like the four of you. You are the most talented women on all of television hands down and it has been so incredible.”
McCain shared every detail of her father’s battle with viewers, from the day he was diagnosed until the day he passed away.
“Abby [Huntsman], when my dad was first diagnosed I got wasted with you,” said an amused McCain in her return to the show after her father’s death.
“And I drank so much. She was heavily pregnant and she watched me down Jack Daniels after Jack Daniels and then I threw up and her sister held my hair back.”
Her laughter then turned to tears as she paid tribute to her father.
“My father’s farewell address, he said that we’re Americans and we can never surrender,” said McCain.
“We can never surrender to what is happening in the country right now. I understand how divided and how scared a lot of people are and it looks like the fabric of democracy is fraying. We do not surrender.”
She then announced: “I’m not surrendering. You don’t do it either so you have to join me in not surrendering. Okay. Because I’m still here fighting and I want all of you to fight with me.”
McCain then took some time to acknowledge two men who were crucial in getting her back on her feet after the tragedy.
“And I have one more final thing and then I will get off my soap box. God is real. I wouldn’t be here without my faith, but I also wouldn’t be here without Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman,” said McCain.
McCain’s Cancer Battle & Glioblastoma Treatment Options
John McCain underwent treatment for glioblastoma (GBM) brain cancer starting in July 2017, and he ended his treatment before passing in August 2018.
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive primary brain tumor. But despite its aggressive nature, Duke University Medical Center’s Dr. Henry Friedman tells SurvivorNet in an earlier interview there is hope. Dr. Friedman is a top brain researcher in the U.S., as well as a neuro-oncologist.
“You are not dead just because you’re diagnosed with a glioblastoma,” he says. “So many people are told by their doctors or their institutions that they’re at, ‘I’m sorry, put your affairs in order and just move on.'”
Dr. Friedman and his Duke colleagues are investigating a new therapy that combines the modified poliovirus and immunotherapy. “The modified poliovirus is used to treat this tumor, by injecting it directly into the tumor, through a catheter. It is designed to lyse the tumor and cause the tumor cells to basically break up” he tells SurvivorNet.
“I think that the modified poliovirus is going to be a game-changer in glioblastoma,” explains Dr. Friedman, “but I should also say that its reach is now extending into melanoma soon to bladder cancer.”
Coping with Loss of a Parent to Cancer
Losing a parent to cancer, as Meghan McCain has, is a difficult and grief-filled experience. While the grief journey may feel overwhelming at times, know that there are resources that can support you along the way. Many people find support groups and therapy to be helpful resources in processing the pain of grief.
Camila Legaspi was in high school when she lost her mother to breast cancer. Legaspi credits therapy with “saving” her during that emotionally difficult time in her life. She says in an earlier interview, “Therapy saved my life. I was dealing with some really intense anxiety and depression at that point. It just changed my life, because I was so drained by all the negativity that was going on.”
“Going to a therapist helped me realize that there was still so much out there for me, that I still had my family, that I still had my siblings,” says Legaspi. “The reality is, is when you lose someone, it’s really, really, really hard. And it’s totally OK to talk to someone. And I’m so happy that I talked to my therapist. Keep your chin up, and it’s going to be OK.”
Understanding the Standard of Care for GBM
The standard of care treatment for a GBM patient usually consists of a surgical resection followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
A neurosurgeon will try to take out as much of the tumor as possible without causing any damage to critical brain structures. Depending on where the patient’s tumor is located, sometimes the surgeon can remove the entire tumor, while in other situations the surgeon is only able to remove a portion of the tumor. The goal, in both cases, is to get as much as possible in the safest way. After surgery, patients are given time to heal and regain their strength; usually during four to six weeks of recovery.
The next step is to start radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Most patients who need radiation therapy will have external beam radiation therapy, which is usually given every day (Monday – Friday) for six weeks, for a total of 30 treatments. Chemotherapy consists of a drug called temozolomide (also called Temodar) that is given daily with radiation. Unlike other chemotherapies, Temodar is a pill that is taken daily and does not require an IV or port placement. After radiation, patients will get additional chemotherapy using Temodar for 6 months or more depending on how they tolerate the medication.
Some physicians may also use a device called Optune, which goes on a patient’s head. Several electrodes are attached to the patient’s scalp to deliver an alternating electrical current. While patients do not feel this current, the Optune device has been shown to improve survival and slow tumor growth. However, it’s not for everyone. Patients who use Optune will need to shave their heads and wear the device for most of the day, so it’s important to discuss with your doctor about whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
Although these treatments can help improve symptoms and slow tumor growth, a GBM tumor is so aggressive that it typically grows back after several months. Another standard of care option is to enroll in a clinical trial.
Contributing: Anne McCarthy