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Jimmy Carter's touching response to his brain cancer diagnosis: 'I felt surprisingly at ease. I've had a wonderful life.'

In an optimistic and candid announcement Thursday morning, former President Jimmy Carter, 90, announced that four "very small" spots of melanoma were discovered on his brain and that he will be undergoing his first radiation treatment Thursday afternoon. Carter's cancer diagnosis came after a recent liver surgery led to the discovery that cancer had spread to other parts of his body.

Though holding a press conference to discuss serious health issues is a rarity, Mark K. Updegrove, an author of Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House, said the move is characteristic of Carter. "It's probably unusual for most former presidents, but not Jimmy Carter," Updegrove told The New York Times. "I think he's always been open and candid. This is just another example of that."

Indeed, Carter expressed a message of hope and acceptance. "I thought I had a few weeks left, but I felt surprisingly at ease. I've had a wonderful life," Carter said of his reaction to the initial diagnosis. "I'm ready for anything and looking forward to a new adventure."