Richardson says treatment impacts speech, but he's 'still thinking clearly'


    Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson said treatments for a brain tumor are making him tired but don’t impact his thinking or his fitness to serve.

    Richardson, a Republican from Central Point, issued a health update Thursday in an online video. In the video, Richardson disclosed ways the cancer and treatment affect his energy levels and speech patterns.

    In his first update since he disclosed the small tumor six months ago, Richardson said his three most recent MRIs showed no growth for the tumor, adding that, “I expect similar results from the next MRI.”

    Richardson did not say when his last MRI was, nor when the next one will be. A call to Richardson’s chief of staff was not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.

    Richardson has previously stated that doctors caught the tumor early.

    Richardson did not go into detail about the treatments for the tumor.

    “I do feel tired from the treatments, but I assure you that my team and I are not slowing down,” Richardson said.

    Richardson’s announcement followed his office’s release of a high-profile audit highlighting constraints on the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, one of 42 formal reports the audit division has performed on state agencies in 2018.

    The greatest health challenge he faces from the cancer diagnosis is his ability to speak clearly, Richardson said.

    Speech-pattern issues come and go, he said, but “other days I feel difficult to articulate the words, even though I’m still thinking clearly.

    “It’s frustrating for me when my speech doesn’t keep up with my mind, but I’m sure glad it’s not the other way around,” Richardson said.

    A news report from the Oregon Capital Bureau said Richardson privately disclosed to top Oregon officials that he was diagnosed with glioblastioma. The report described it as among the most aggressive forms of cancer.

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