Glenn to continue legislative duties despite prostate cancer diagnosis

Midland, Mich. -- Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, vice chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, Tuesday said he was diagnosed with prostate cancer late Friday evening at Mid-Michigan Medical Center in Midland following a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination that had been expected to identify something less serious -- a herniated spinal disk -- as the source of severe nerve pain in his right leg the last three months.

Glenn said he is making the condition public because he believes voters should know, but even more so because he believes in the power of prayer. "Having hundreds of people praying for my family who know us personally is a good thing. Having thousands who share our faith in Christ and will want to join in praying for us once they learn of the need is even better, so we want everyone to know."

He said multiple churches in Midland, statewide, and even in other states have already placed him on their prayer lists. Groups representing two Midland churches visited his hospital room Sunday to pray for him, he said.

Glenn's also receiving encouragement from the team of MMMC physicians coordinating his care, who he said have told him the cancer is "entirely treatable" and have cleared him to continue his legislative duties in Lansing, starting today, without interruption or limitation. 

Glenn has a perfect attendance record to date in his first term and will return to Lansing today as usual to attend a House Republican caucus meeting, multiple other meetings, and the Governor's State of the State address, followed Wednesday and Thursday by multiple legislative committee meetings and House floor sessions.

Friday, he will have his first appointment with prostate cancer experts at the University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, which is directed by an oncologist who was born and raised in Midland. "I'm in good hands from Midland in both places," Glenn said.

Glenn said doctors also told him there is no physical or medical reason that would prevent him from seeking reelection to the state House of Representatives in 2016. He will formally announce his intentions in April when candidates must file formal statements of candidacy.

Glenn said he was pleased to find that he and Annette, his wife of nearly 33 years, responded to the shock of being told he has cancer consistent with their Christian faith that "our lives are in bigger Hands than our own. It was comforting to learn that when actually faced with that kind of sobering news, we responded in faith, not fear."

"The toughest and most emotional part was when I thought of having to tell our children that their Dad has cancer," Glenn said. "But that hard part is behind us. They're concerned, naturally, but seem to be handling it with faith as well. I ask for prayers of comfort and support for them in particular."

Glenn praised the care he received from the staff at Midland's hospital over the weekend.

"I can't imagine receiving more professional, caring support than I did from the multiple physicians, nurses, and technicians who MRI'ed me, CAT-Scanned me, X-rayed me, diagnosed me, radiated me, and encouraged me with an aggressive plan of action and treatment," said Glenn, who will receive five radiation treatments this week at MMMC. "Their goal, and mine, is complete remission and recovery."

The radiation treatments and anti-inflammatory drugs he received over the weekend have already all but eliminated the pain in his leg.

One doctor even told him his recovery can even include resuming a favorite hobby, playing basketball as he has for over 15 years with a group of mostly Dow Chemical employees at the Midland Community Center twice a week over the lunch hour. It was playing basketball in mid-October that Glenn said he first experienced pain in his lower back and hip, which has grown more severe in the last three months. He hasn't played since.

But Glenn said he will not be sidelined from the key role he is playing in Lansing -- even as a first-term lawmaker -- in the state's ongoing energy policy reform debate, a leadership role which led to his being chosen from among 55 first-termers as "Freshman Legislator of the Year" by state capitol reporters for Michigan Information and Research Service (MIRS), the oldest daily capitol news service founded in 1961.

"I will continue to faithfully perform the legislative duties to which I was elected and have been assured I can schedule my medical care so as not to interfere with my responsibilities to the people of Bay and Midland counties," Glenn said.

"Thankfully, my health and physical condition is otherwise strong, which puts me in a strong position to take on this new challenge with the support of my wife Annette and family and legislative staff, a team of highly-knowledgeable and skilled physicians in Midland and Ann Arbor, and hundreds if not thousands of partners in prayer who share our belief that our ultimate hope is in the healing power of Jesus Christ," he said.

Glenn was discharged from MMMC on Monday afternoon in time to attend a Human Trafficking seminar -- hosted by the Salvation Army on Waldo Road in Midland -- featuring Attorney General Bill Schuette, Midland County Prosecutor J.D. Williams and Sheriff Scott Stephenson, and members of the Midland County Human Trafficking Task Force.