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John McCain said he expects to return to the Senate next month

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Wednesday that he expects to return to the Senate next month despite battling brain cancer.

This was McCain's first extended interview since he was diagnosed with brain cancer last month. On KFYI radio's Mike Broomhead show, McCain said he's facing a tough challenge but is staying busy.

"It's a tough challenge, you know, of course," McCain said. "But I'm getting the best care you could possibly have, I'm eating well, I'm feeling fine, getting plenty of exercise. I expect Congress to go out here pretty soon, and I'll be ready to go back to work in September."

McCain began chemotherapy and radiation treatment for glioblastoma on Monday but said he plans on attending meetings and traveling regularly this month.

"Look, I am the luckiest person that you will ever have on your show, ever," McCain said. "And I am very aware of that, and I am very happy. For a guy who stood at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, we've come a hell of a long way."

McCain returned to the Senate last week and joined two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, in voting against the so-called “skinny repeal” health care bill, which failed by a 51-49 margin.

McCain said he campaigned for "repeal and replace" and the Senate plan was repeal and "not replace."

"What we were going to do, and it gets a little arcane, but take a 'skinny bill' as they called it and give it to a conference of House and Senate people," McCain said. "With no input, no amendments, and then have them put out a product that was going to be an up-or-down vote in both House and Senate."

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