Panic rippled briefly across our battered national landscape Friday when the Supreme Court revealed 86-year-old, seemingly indomitable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has faced down cancer again, completing three weeks of radiation for a tumor on her pancreas. She underwent outpatient treatment for the cancer, which doctors found during a routine blood test in July, at New York City's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; doctors also inserted a stent in Ginsburg's bile duct. "The Justice tolerated treatment well," read the statement. "The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body." Over the years, Ginsburg has beaten several cancers, including colon, early-stage pancreatic, and last December, lung cancer. Most recently, she fell and broke three ribs, prompting a large swathe of America - the part we still recognize - to urge her to wear bubble-wrap at all times.
Many have faith in the endurance of "Notorious RBG." One Twitter fan fantasized, "RBG karate-chopped the tumor in half while staring at (its) distraught family. She later did a thousand push ups on the tumor's grave and laughed a laugh of glorious victory." But given the possibility she's all that stands between us and end times, many others freaked out. They offered best wishes, lungs and random organs, their first-born, two Kochs for one RBG. They threatened to turn to drink even when they don't drink. "Wrap her in everything that is holy and good," wrote one, and "#IHerebyOrder RBG to live forever." She's evidently working on it: In New York, she stayed busy, going to movies, opera, theater. One night, she went to see Fiddler on the Roof at the National Yiddish Theater, where the audience applauded her and she met her star-struck SNL doppelgänger Kate McKinnon. Before treatments began, she also sat for an interview with NPR, and was asked about her health. "There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months," she said. She forgets that senator's name, but he's dead now. "And I," she smilingly added, "am very much alive."
— HaleyDeanna (@HaleyDeanna173) August 23, 2019
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Photo illustration by Juliana Jimenez Jaramillo. Photos by Jim Young/Reuters and Thinkstock
What we all wanted to do last winter when RBG broke her ribs