Heard on the Hill

Sen. Mike Rounds says wife’s chemotherapy has shrunk tumor in half

Jean Rounds had been diagnosed with a “high-grade, aggressive tumor near her sciatic nerve”

South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds, left, here with North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr in the Capitol in 2018, announced some good news about his wife’s cancer treatment this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Mike Rounds said there’s been a positive development in his wife’s cancer treatment.

“After multiple rounds of chemo treatment, we’re pleased to report that not only has Jean’s tumor shrunk in half, a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan showed no signs of the tumor spreading or metastasizing,” the South Dakota Republican said in a statement. He added that “the chemo is working as intended and Jean continues to handle the treatment well.”

The couple announced in June that Jean Rounds was diagnosed with a “high-grade, aggressive tumor near her sciatic nerve” and is being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Rounds said his wife, who served as first lady of South Dakota during his time as governor, will continue the current treatment, which includes “three intense days of chemotherapy followed by 18 days of recovery.”

The senator called the recent development a “testament to the power of prayer” before thanking his family and constituents for their support.

“For that, we are eternally grateful,” he said. “Please keep the prayers coming!”

Up for reelection in 2020, Rounds has drawn a primary challenger. While he’s been raising money for his campaign — second-quarter Federal Election Commission reports showed him with $1.4 million in the bank — he is focused on his work in the Senate and his wife’s health, a spokesman told the Argus Leader in July.

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