Former State Sen. Jacobs announces cancer diagnosis
— Former State Sen. Nancy Jacobs, who served Cecil and Harford counties for 20 years in the Maryland General Assembly, announced late Thursday that she has been diagnosed with the same cancer Gov. Larry Hogan battled last year.
She received the news last week that she has B-cell nonHodgkins lymphoma, but it’s a non-aggressive form, Jacobs said Monday.
“It was a shock to get the news, but I’ve had thyroid issues for years,” she said.
Jacobs was diagnosed after tissue tested from removal of part of her thyroid a few weeks ago came back positive for cancer. She got a second opinion from Dr. Aaron Rapoport, the same doctor that treated Hogan.
Luckily, the endocrinologist who has treated her thyroid for years noticed the surface had changed recently and was enlarged, Jacobs said. He recommended she get surgery to remove it, which led to the cancer diagnosis.
Jacobs was fitted for a mask Monday to help hold her head and neck still while she receives radiation, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 28 at the University of Maryland Medical Center, the same place Hogan was treated. Her treatments will be Monday through Friday for three weeks.
“They told me I’ll have a sore throat, fatigue, possible burns on my neck and some hair loss on my neck,” she explained.
After treatment is done, she must wait six months to have her first follow-up PET/CT scan done to see if the cancer is in remission and monitor with scans every six months afterwards.
“My doctors are confident that the cancer is slow growing,” Jacobs said. “They said it is not lifeending.”
Jacobs said her family and friends have been very supportive over the past few weeks.
“People have been reaching out to me every day,” Jacobs said, noting she has received several calls from former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his wife, Kendall.
“I also just heard from State Sen. J.B. Jennings and former State Sen. Rich Colburn,” she said, all of whom served with Jacobs in Annapolis.
“I appreciate the outpouring of love, support and prayers I’ve been receiving,” Jacobs said. “People have been amazing. All the waitresses at the Wellwood this last weekend came up and gave me hugs. People are so kind.”
Jacobs was elected to the House of Delegates in 1994 where she served four years before getting elected to the Maryland Senate where she served 16 years, leaving office in January 2015.
The same day Jacobs announced her cancer diagnosis, Hogan reaffirmed the state’s commitment to fighting cancer by highlighting the recently updated Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and signing an executive order that renews the Council on Cancer Control.
Hogan made the announcement outside the State House in Annapolis where he hosted a blood drive and a bone marrow registry to recognize World Lymphoma Day, which was Sept. 15.
Since announcing last November he was 100 percent cancer free, Hogan has been committed to raising awareness to support cancer and help those battling it. He told reporters last week that he has has been doing monthly chemotherapy treatments since being declared cancer- free last year, and has only one such session left.
State Sen. Nancy Jacobs, seen here in 2013, recently disclosed that she has been diagnosed with cancer.