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Friday, August 20, 2010

John Armor, Defender of the US Constitution
Rest In Peace

John Armor, Defender of the US Constitution, at the 2008 Macon County GOP Convention. Photo by Bobby Coggins.

John Armor, Defender of the US Constitution passed away this morning due to complications that arose from Colon Cancer.

I knew him since 2004 from Free Republic, where his screen name was Congressman Billybob.

John Armor was many things throughout his life. He was a writer, a lawyer, a businessman, a lecturer, and the best raconteur I ever knew. He practiced law in the Supreme Court, and in the 1980's worked for the Commission on the bicentennial of the US Constitution. 

He cared very much about America and worked tirelessly to defend the US Constitution and to raise awareness of what the Founders had intended. He could quote sections from the Federalist Papers from memory and referred to them as the epistles of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay to America.  

I was fortunate enough to be able to meet him, and film him on numerous occasions during his 2008 run for congress, and at other events afterward. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with him and his wife, Michelle Mead Armor, who he had just married a couple of years ago. 

I will miss John. He was a good guy. 

Brainshrub has a piece on his experience with John Armor at Scrutiny Hooligans. Read it. It is a testament to John that he could carry on a conversation with progressives. 

I'll let John have the last word, which was a warning that could save your life...

The End of My Cancer

On 23 April I had a routine colonoscopy, and found out that I had cancer. I knew then I’d have to write this column once I knew the outcome. I had 25 days of chemotherapy, simultaneous with radiation therapy, followed by surgery on 11 August.
The pathology reports came back yesterday. They were, as my surgeon said, ‘the best possible, given the circumstances.” They were clean margins and clean lymph nodes. The margins are the areas all around the site of the surgery. The lymph nodes are where cancer usually spreads first, from its original site.
In laymen’s terms, I am cancer-free. Going in my purpose for this column was, and still is, to save some lives. Three of the most common cancers in America today are colon and prostate cancer for men and breast cancer for women. All three have a common characteristic. They can be often and easily cured if they are detected early.
Let me repeat that, and pardon me for shouting, but THESE CANCERS CAN BE EASILY CURED IF THEY ARE DETECTED EARLY.
What stands in the way of early detection? The tests for these cancers, especially colon and breast, are obnoxious. Everyone winces and shudders when the tests are mentioned. I know.
I felt the same way when a routine examination with no symptoms showing, saved me from colon cancer once before. That one was only pre-cancerous. But it would have developed to the point of killing me years ago, if I had let it go.
After one time at the rodeo, you get cautious. I got routine exams on a routine basis. The readers of my columns are, I know, older and better educated than most. Many of you are woman or men “of a certain age.” Or, you may have risk factors for cancer in your personal or family history.
If there is any reason in your age or risk factors why you should have a routine exam for any of these cancers, set this column aside and make the call. A day or two’s worth of discomfort, yes, and embarrassment, is a small price to pay for a couple decades of not being dead.
I’ve written about my situation as if it was, or had become, a day at the beach. It isn’t and it hasn’t. Chemotherapy and radiation both tear up your systems. When my father died of cancer, forty years ago, both of those treatments were crude, in their infancy, and nearly as harmful as the cancer itself. Today, the reverse is true. Both treatments have been refined, and are used together to shrink the cancer in advance of surgery. That’s exactly what happened in my case.
With the good news I got yesterday, I ought to be in a good mood. Well, there is this gastric tube down my nose that is continuously draining my stomach. That is to compensate for the fact that my colon has not fully awakened from its slumber. And, did I mention that I’ve given up all pain killers to aid in that process?
Try being stitched up down your front like a baseball. Add to that your must cough to clear your lungs, to avoid pneumonia. Then add that I have refused any pain shots. Since 11 August I have eaten nothing but ice, and two cups of apple juice. Life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue.
I am not, however, complaining. As Maurice Chevalier said of old age. “It is fine, considering the alternative.” The alternative is what I came to talk with you about, today. There are people reading this right now, whose lives can be saved, if you get an exam right now.
I expect and hope that about five people will have their lives saved by my relating my experiences in this column. And, yes, the title of this column was a deliberate pun. If this works for you, please let me know.
Note that I haven’t mentioned my doctors or nurses. There were nine doctors, and many more nurses. I am grateful for the excellence of their medical care.
Changing subjects abruptly, part of the goal of my surgery was to be ready on 12 September to March down Constitution Avenue with 38 of my fellow citizens, dressed as the signers of the Constitution. I get to be Ben Franklin. There should be about a million Americans there. I hope the American press might even notice and cover that event.

About the Author: John Armor practiced before the Supreme Court for 33 years. John_Armor@aya, His latest book, now in print, is on Thomas Paine.


Free Republic thread on his death. 

His Earthlink Homepage

Publius' Forums notes his passing


Ben Franklin Speaks About the US Constitution

Flat Rock Debate Videos

WWNC Radio Debate Videos for NC-11 GOP Primary

John Armor, Fred Smith Win Macon County Straw Poll

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