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Tauscher diagnosed with esophageal cancer

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 at 9:59 am in Congress, Contra Costa politics.

Ellen Tausher

Ellen Tausher

UPDATE: Those who wish to send a card or note may use this address: Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington DC 20520

Former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, a top arms control official in President Obama administration who represented the East Bay for 14  years, has been diagnosed with early stage cancer of the esophagus, according to ForeignPolicy.com.

ForeignPolicy.com published this morning a memo that Tauscher sent to her staff last week:

“I had not been feeling well for several weeks. Fortunately, instead of sending me home with some medicine, my doctors did test after test to figure out what was wrong,” she wrote in a July 21 memo to all the members of her “T” bureau. “Nothing is certain, but the prognosis is good.”

Tauscher, the former California congresswoman who has been leading the State Department’s nonproliferation and arms-control efforts, has been working non-stop since her appointment last year, including several trips to Russia and Eastern Europe. She’s been at the center of the administration’s efforts to revamp plans for missile-defense deployment abroad and negotiate Obama’s new strategic arms treaty with Russia.

A close friend of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she’s been given credit for restaffing, reorganizing, and revamping the arms-control bureau at State, which Obama administration officials say was neglected during the George W. Bush administration.

Tauscher started an aggressive treatment regiment, which will include surgery. She’ll continue on in her duties, albeit with a scaled-back travel schedule, with the goal being a full recovery by early next year.

The Web site contains a copy of her full memo to her staff.

My prayers go out to Tauscher for a full and speedy recovery.

UPDATE 7/28/10: Tauscher friend David Bowlby sent this comment over this morning:

“Ellen has been a very special, dear friend for many, many years. She truly is a strong, resilient and remarkable person. I know her loving husband, daughter, parents, siblings and her huge, deep circle of friends and colleagues will provide her with love, encouragement and support.”


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  • John W

    Yikes! Wish her well.

  • Tanya

    Good Luck — Dr. Tsai is an excellen surgeon in the east bay willing to do your surgery. Please call if you need anything 925-407-5632– I highly reccommend a minimumly invasive esophagectomy done completly by the surgeon from beginning to end. — We are located in the east bay and have the latest technology right here at JMH.
    THanks for all your hard work and efforts…. My heart thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Please call if you would like more information. I truley wish you the best and I am your advacate.

  • Jane Brown

    Hello, I just wanted to know how you are doing. We also wanted to know what stage your cancer is and what treatment you have undergone.
    We being my self and my mother-in-law, who was diagnosed with stage 3 L1, and had surgery- Ivor Lewis at Stanford last winter.
    She had been foolowing your story- and wanted to know more.

    Best wishes, Jane Brown