McCain memoir: ‘I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here’

McCain memoir: 'I don't know how much longer I'll be here'

May 4 (UPI) — Nearly a year after he was diagnosed with brain cancer, Sen. John McCain outlined his upcoming memoir — saying he’s prepared to die, but has work he’d like to take care of first.

During an emotional three-minute reading of book excerpts, posted by NPR, McCain details some passages in The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations.

“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here. Maybe I’ll have another five years, maybe with the advances in oncology they’ll find new treatments for my cancer that will extend my life,” the six-term Arizona said. “Maybe I’ll be gone before you hear this, my predicament is, well, rather unpredictable. But I’m prepared for either contingency or at least I’m getting prepared.”

McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee who lost the White House to then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, announced last summer he has brain cancer. Earlier this month, he was admitted to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix for surgery related to diverticulitis.

Since his cancer fight, McCain has taken a reduced role in the Senate — voting on select legislation, when his health allows.

McCain said before he dies, he has “some things I’d like to take care of first.”

“Some work that needs finishing and some people I need to see, and I want to talk to my fellow Americans a little more if I may.

“We’re not always right. We’re impetuous and impatient and rush into things without knowing what we’re really doing. We argue over little differences endlessly and exaggerate them into lasting breaches. We can be selfish and quick sometimes to shift the blame for our mistakes to others, but our country ’tis of thee.”

During his reading, McCain touched on the state of the U.S. political system.

“Before I leave, I’d like to see our politics begin to return to the purposes and practices that distinguish our history from the history of other nations. I’d like to see us recover our sense that we are more alike than different,” he said. “Whether we think each other right or wrong in our views on the issues of the day, we owe each other our respect, as so long as our character merits respect.

In closing the recording, McCain said he wants to go to the valley and see the creek run after the rain and hear the cottonwoods whisper in the wind.

“I want to smell the rose scented breeze and feel the sun on my shoulders. I want to watch the hawks hunt from the sycamore, and then take my leave bound for a place near my old friend Chuck Larsen in the cemetery on the Severn, back where it began.”

McCain’s memoir goes on sale May 22.