‘My work is what saved me’ during cancer treatment
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talked about her recent bouts with cancer during a Tuesday speech in North Little Rock, Ark., telling an audience, “I think my work is what saved me” during her cancer treatments.
“I think my work is what saved me because instead of dwelling on my physical discomforts if I have an opinion to write or a brief to read, I know I’ve just got to get it done so I have to get over it,” the 86-year-old Supreme Court justice said to NPR reporter Nina Totenberg.
Ginsburg was giving remarks at the Verizon Arena as part of a lecture series hosted by the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton School of Public Service. She recently completed three weeks of radiation treatment for a localized cancerous tumor on her pancreas.
Her latest treatment comes less than a year after she underwent an operation to remove cancerous growths from her lungs in December, and after previous battles with colorectal and pancreatic cancer.
According to the Associated Press, about 13,000 people attended the event with Ginsburg, with a waiting list as well.
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Ginsburg also recalled a period when she was in the “lonely position” of being the only woman on the court after Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement in 2006 and before Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s appointment in 2009.
“It was a lonely position. Viewing the court, there was something wrong with the picture,” she said. “The public was seeing these eight, rather well-fed men coming on the bench, and then there was this rather small woman. The concept of ‘we the people’ has become ever more inclusive.”
Former President Bill Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the court in 1993, delivered the introductory remarks for the justice.
“One thing I did not see coming when I nominated her is her ascendance to pop culture icon,” Clinton said, cracking a joke about the justice’s famed workout routine.
“All of us hope that she will stay on the court forever,” Clinton quipped.
Contributing: Savannah Behrmann