Molly Ivins’ Cancer ‘Back With a Vengeance’

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By: E&P Staff

Almost three weeks ago, Molly Ivins wrote that she would dedicate every single one of her syndicated columns from now on to the issue of stopping the war in Iraq — until it ended. But she has managed to finish only one more column since.

The gravely ill Texas columnist has been hospitalized again this week in her ongoing battle with breast cancer.

Her assistant Betsy Moon says she may be able to go home Monday. She adds that those close to Ivins are “not sure what’s going to happen, but she’s very sick.”

“I think she’s tough as a metal boot,” her brother, Andy Ivins, said Friday after a visit with her at Seton Medical Center in Austin.

Andy Ivins told a newspaper this weekend that the cancer “came back with a vengeance,” and has spread through her body.

The 62-year-old columnist had taken an earlier break from her syndicated column, but resumed writing earlier this month.

Last October she had suggested this headline to an E&P interviewer: “Molly Ivins Still Not Dead.”

E&P wrote then, “The third recurrence of the breast cancer she has been battling since 1999 (and which recently claimed her good friend, former Texas Gov. Ann Richards) has left the 62-year-old Ivins with precarious balance, minimal hair, and no illusions about the redemptive quality of life-threatening illness. ‘I’d hoped to become a better person from confronting my own mortality,’ she laughs. ‘But it hasn’t happened.'”

In the Jan. 11 column, which opposed the troop escalation, Ivins wrote ?We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war….If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, ‘Stop it, now!'”

But this was the last newspaper column she has been able to write.

The column she wrote before that, a few days earlier, opened, “The president of the United States doesn’t have the sense God gave a duck. So it’s up to us. You and me.

“I don’t know why Bush is just standing there like a frozen rabbit, but it’s time we found out. The fact is we have to do something about it. This country is being torn apart by an evil and unnecessary war, and it has to be stopped now.”

She vowed, “This will be a regular feature of mine, like an old-fashioned newspaper campaign. Every column, I’ll write about this war until we find some way to end it.

“Every time, we’ll review some factor we should have gotten right.”

Nearly 400 newspapers subscribe to her column.

The longtime journalist and former New York Times reporter got her third cancer diagnosis more than a year ago and has undergone chemotherapy.

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