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Ted Kennedy Released From Hospital, Awaits Further Test Results And Treatment Options

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Read the full account of Sen. Ted Kennedy's condition below, followed by the latest reactions from Kennedy's colleagues in Congress:

UPDATE (5/21 10:13 AM): Kennedy has been released from the hospital today and will head to his home in Cape Cod, where he will await further test results and treatment options:

His doctors said the Massachusetts Democrat "has recovered remarkably quickly" from a biopsy conducted after he suffered a seizure last weekend at his home on Cape Cod. He will await further test results and treatment options while convalescing at his home over the Memorial Day weekend, the doctors said in a statement...

...His wife, Vicki Kennedy, told friends the grim diagnosis was "a real curveball" that left his family stunned even as he joked and laughed with them, but expressed pride in how her husband was handling the news.

His wife, Vicki Kennedy, told friends the grim diagnosis was "a real curveball" that left his family stunned even as he joked and laughed with them, but expressed pride in how her husband was handling the news.

"Teddy is leading us all, as usual, with his calm approach to getting the best information possible," she wrote in an e-mail Tuesday to friends.

UPDATE (2:15 PM): Kennedy's primary physician and the vice chairman of the Neurology Department at Massachusetts General Hospital have released the following statement on Ted Kennedy's condition:

"Over the course of the last several days, we've done a series of tests on Sen. Kennedy to determine the cause of his seizure. He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital. Some of the tests we had performed were inconclusive, particularly in light of the fact that the senator had severe narrowing of the left carotid artery and underwent surgery just 6 months ago. However, preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe. The usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy. Decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Sen. Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis. Sen. Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy."

UPDATE: Here is the full report from the Associated Press:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor Tuesday in what could be the grim final chapter in a life marked by exhilarating triumph and shattering tragedy. Some experts gave the liberal lion less than a year to live.

Doctors discovered the tumor after the 76-year-old senator and sole surviving son of America's most storied political family suffered a seizure over the weekend. The diagnosis cast a pall over Capitol Hill, where the Massachusetts Democrat has served since 1962, and came as a shock to a family all too accustomed to sudden, calamitous news.

"Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy family have faced adversity more times in more instances with more courage and more determination and more grace than most families have to," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. "Every one of us knows what a big heart this fellow has. He's helped millions and millions of people _ from the biggest of legislation on the floor to the most personal."

Kerry added: "This guy is one unbelievable fighter."

Kennedy's doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital said he had a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe, a region of the brain that helps govern sensation, movement and language.

Seizures can be caused by a wide variety of things, some of them relatively minor. The finding of a brain tumor _ and specifically a glioma, an especially lethal type _ was about the worst possible news.

Kennedy's doctors said he will remain in the hospital for the next couple of days as they consider chemotherapy and radiation. They did not mention surgery, a possible indication the tumor is inoperable.

Outside experts gave him no more than three years _ and perhaps far less.

"As a general rule, at 76, without the ability to do a surgical resection, as kind of a ballpark figure you're probably looking at a survival of less than a year," said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In a statement, Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of neurology at Massachusetts General, and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy's primary physician, said the senator "has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital."

"He remains in good spirits and full of energy," the physicians said.

An Associated Press photographer who was given access to the senator on Tuesday captured Kennedy, dressed in a gray sweater and dark slacks, joking and laughing with family members as he sat at a table in a family room at the hospital.

Kennedy's wife since 1992, Vicki, and his five children and stepchildren have been at his bedside.

"Obviously it's tough news for any son to hear," said Robin Costello, a spokeswoman for one of Kennedy's sons, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I. "He's comforted by the fact that his dad is such a fighter, and if anyone can get through something as challenging as this, it would be his father."

Kennedy, the Senate's second-longest serving member, was re-elected in 2006 and is not up for election again until 2012. Were he to resign or die in office, state law requires a special election for the seat 145 to 160 days afterward.

Among the potential Democratic candidates: Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general; Rep. Edward J. Markey; former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, Kennedy's nephew; and Kennedy's wife. The Republican contenders could include former Gov. Mitt Romney or former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.

Kennedy has left his stamp on a raft of health care, pension and immigration legislation during four decades in the Senate.

Senators of both parties heard about Kennedy's condition during their weekly, closed-door policy lunches, and some looked drawn or misty-eyed.

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., the longest-serving member of the Senate, wept as he prayed for "my dear, dear friend, dear friend, Ted Kennedy" during a speech on the Senate floor.

"Keep Ted here for us and for America," said the 90-year-old Byrd, who is in a wheelchair. He added: "Ted, Ted, Ted. My dear friend. I love you and miss you."

"I'm really sad. He's the one politician who brings tears to my eyes when he speaks," said former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., who happened to be in the Capitol.

In a statement, President Bush saluted Kennedy as "a man of tremendous courage, remarkable strength and powerful spirit." He added: "We join our fellow Americans in praying for his full recovery."

Malignant gliomas are diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year. In general, half of all patients die within a year.

"It's treatable but not curable. You can put it into remission for a while but it's not a curable tumor," said Dr. Suriya Jeyapalan, a neuroncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

The Kennedy family has been struck by tragedy over and over. Kennedy's eldest brother, Joseph, died in a World War II plane crash; President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963; and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. The tragedies thrust "Uncle Teddy" into the role of surrogate parent to his brothers' children. He walked Caroline Kennedy down the aisle.

A high point in his life came in 1980, when Kennedy challenged Jimmy Carter for the Democratic presidential nomination. He eventually bowed out with a stirring speech in which he declared, "The cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." His eulogy for his brother Robert was equally stirring.

The low point was 1969, when Kennedy drove a car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island on Martha's Vineyard. The accident killed aide Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy at the time was married to his first wife, Joan, whom he later divorced. His failure to promptly report the accident, and questions about his relationship with the young woman, may well have cost him the presidency.

Kennedy has been active for his age, maintaining an aggressive schedule on Capitol Hill and across Massachusetts. He has made several campaign appearances for Sen. Barack Obama.

"He fights for what he thinks is right. And we want to make sure that he's fighting this illness," Obama said Tuesday. "And it's our job now to support him in the way that he has supported us for so many years."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said: "Ted Kennedy's courage and resolve are unmatched, and they have made him one of the greatest legislators in Senate history. Our thoughts are with him and Vicki and we are praying for a quick and full recovery."

Last summer, Kennedy announced a deal with a publisher to write a memoir, scheduled to come out in 2010.

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Reactions:

Barack Obama:

"Michelle and I were saddened to hear the news about Senator Kennedy's condition today, and we plan on doing whatever we can to support him, Vicki, and the entire Kennedy family during this time. Senator Kennedy has been a fighter for his entire life, and I have no doubt that he will fight as hard as he can to get through this. He has been there for the American people during some of our country's most trying moments, and now that he's facing his own, I ask all Americans to keep him in our thoughts and prayers."

Hillary Clinton:

"Ted Kennedy's courage and resolve are unmatched, and they have made him one of the greatest legislators in Senate history. Our thoughts are with him and Vicki and we are praying for a quick and full recovery."

John McCain:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Senator Kennedy and his family. We hope and pray his doctors will be able to effectively treat his condition and that he will experience a full recovery. I have described Ted Kennedy as the last lion in the Senate, and I have held that view because he remains the single most effective member of the Senate."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

Senator Kennedy is a champion for health care for all Americans and a great fighter for America's children, workers and seniors. This same strength and fighting spirit will serve him well in this challenge. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, with his wife Vicki, and with our colleague Patrick, and the entire Kennedy family.

Chuck Schumer:

"We just don't feel like going on. He is the center of the Senate, the heart, mind and soul. Just pray."

Ted Sorenson:

More reactions to Sen. Kennedy's brain tumor diagnosis.