Jimmy Carter, 90, isn't quitting his job to fight cancer

Jimmy Carter isn't quitting his job to fight cancer
(Image credit: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Former President Jimmy Carter may be at peace with his brain cancer diagnosis, but he's still fighting the four small melanoma tumors doctors discovered inside his head. On Thursday, he received targeted radiation treatment, and earlier this week he got the first of four injections of a newly approved drug, pembrolizumab, aimed at boosting his immune system. And Carter, 90, says he still plans to teach Sunday School at his church this weekend, even while family gathers in Plains, Georgia, for his wife, Rosalynn's, 88th birthday.

At his unusually upbeat news conference on Thursday, Carter also said that he isn't quitting his humanitarian work, his lecturing position at Emory University, or raising money for the Carter Center. "Within the bounds of my physical and mental capability I'll continue to do it," Carter said. "But I'm going to have to give the treatment regimen top priority."

Carter Center CEO Mary Ann Peters supports those priorities. "We understand that he has to focus on his treatment, and that's what we want him to do," she said. "The best thing we can do is continue to do our job so that when we report to him, we're not creating any problems." But grandson Jason Carter suggested to The Associated Press that perhaps his grandfather, who turns 91 on Oct. 1, should consider slowing down "to go catch some fish, and hopefully catch more of his grandkids' baseball games."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.