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Novelist Vince Flynn Talks to Hugh Hewitt About His Cancer Fight (and Much, Much More)


HH: Before we talk about bin Laden, you had posted news at that you’ve had a health challenge yourself. Update the audience on how you’re doing.

VF: Well, I feel good. And weird enough, I was talking to Duane before we went on the air, I was on tour last fall, and I hadn’t been feeling good, and I was at dinner with you and Duane and some friends out on the West Coast, and it was really the low point. And up until then, I thought I had prostatitis, and I was being treated by doctors. But something was wrong that night. I mean, I was in pain that I hadn’t been in, you know, ever. And went and spoke at the Reagan Library that next night, and then got on a plane and went back to Minneapolis, and went in and within days was informed that I had advanced metastatic prostate cancer, which was like getting hit with a sledgehammer. For the first 36 hours, we didn’t know what, my wife and I basically huddled in our bedroom like we had the flu, because we couldn’t tell the kids anything, because there wasn’t any good news. I mean, I didn’t know if I was going to make it to Christmas.

HH: Right.

VF: And it’s amazing how quickly things can turn around. We ended up, I’m fortunate to live only an hour and fifteen minutes from the Mayo Clinic. And I ended up down there like five days later in front of a genius named Eugene Kwon, who looked at me and said, you know, you might not feel like it, but you’re a blessed guy. Two years ago, we couldn’t have done anything for you other than try to placate this. But now, we can kill it. And worst case scenario, I’ve got five to ten years, and I plan on doing a lot better than that. So I feel good. I’m on hormone therapy, which I am going to have to write a book about at some point. I’m basically a 45 year old man going through menopause.

Read the full transcript here.


And clearly Vince is learning a great deal about the health care system:

HH: I’ve got to ask you, what do you think of the American medical system since it’s so much in the headlines, now that you’ve been in its grip for a year?

VF: Well, you know, I’m in an interesting position, because the Mayo Clinic is not, it’s not a public hospital.

HH: Right.

VF: It’s a private clinic, and it’s funded chiefly by donations by extremely wealthy people who are constantly billed and billing. I couldn’t be more impressed with my doctor, Bill Utz, here in Edina, who’s also in private practice, and Eugene Kwon in the Mayo Clinic. I mean, I’m in…Hugh, I’m a research guy. You know that. That’s why I come on your show.

HH: Yup.

VF: So when this hit, you know, I reached out. And Roger Ailes put me in touch with Michael Milken, and I got on the phone with Milken and his top research guy, a guy named Dr. Howard Sewell, and I said to him here’s where I am, I’m down at the Mayo Clinic, and they breathed a sigh of relief, and they said you know what? There’s only the top two hospitals in America for what you have, are Sloan-Kettering in New York, and the Mayo Clinic.

HH: Wow.

VF: And Eugene Kwon is a genius, and you need, that’s exactly where you need to be. So that’s a great burden that I don’t have to sit there and worry am I with the right guy. And these, both Utz and Kwon have been amazing, and I have not had that experience of problems. I mean, other than (laughing) you really start to get sick of being probed and scanned all that other stuff…

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