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Carly Fiorina in Hospital -- Infections Not Unusual After Breast Surgery, Doctor Says

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Infections like the one California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina was hospitalized for Tuesday are not uncommon among breast cancer survivors who have had reconstructive surgery, according to the director of the Brandman Breast Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The infections can develop even months after the surgery, said Dr. Edward Phillips, director of the Brandman center.

Fiorina, a breast cancer survivor who had reconstructive surgery this past July, was admitted to an undisclosed Los Angeles-area hospital Tuesday to receive antibiotics, Fiorina's chief of staff, Deborah Bowker, wrote in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

Bowker said the former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive would take a temporary break from campaigning, just a week before Election Day, but that she "is upbeat and her doctors expect her to make a quick and full recovery."

Fiorina, 56, announced she had cancer in February 2009. She underwent a double mastectomy, along with a months-long regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. This summer, she had reconstructive surgery. Since her recovery, Fiorina has been an advocate for mammograms and breast self-exams.

"Carly is looking forward to getting back to her full campaign schedule and to defeating Barbara Boxer on November 2," Bowker said in the statement.

A new Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday found Fiorina trailing Boxer, the Democratic incumbent, by nine points, 52 to 43 percent. Previous polls have shown Boxer leading by fewer percentage points, often within the margin of error.

Carly FiorinaHer rival in the race wished Fiorina well.

"We wish Carly Fiorina a speedy recovery and hope she is able to return to her normal schedule soon," Boxer's campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski said Tuesday in e-mailed statement.

Infections even months after breast-reconstruction surgery are not uncommon because radiation treatment affects the blood supply, specifically the body's ability to send white blood cells to fight infecting agents, Dr. Phillips said.

"Bacteria can be pretty stubborn. They can slowly duplicate and come back. And the body has trouble fighting that infection on its own because the tissue has has been impacted by radiation," Phillips said. "The answer is usually antibiotics, administered intravenously."

Depending on the severity of the infection, Phillips said a patient like Fiorina could be back on her feet within a few days, though antibiotic treatments are likely to continue for a week or more.

Fiorina canceled two campaign stops in Southern California Tuesday. Her campaign didn't immediately say whether she would make appearances scheduled in the area Wednesday.

Even with the candidate sidelined, Fiorina's campaign kept on the offensive, launching a new Web ad that attacks Boxer for accepting contributions from companies like Cisco that have laid off workers and sent jobs overseas. The 30-second spot accuses the senator of hypocrisy for taking money from those firms, while simultaneously criticizing the practice of outsourcing.

What impact Fiorina's sudden, if temporary, departure from the tight race will have on next Tuesday's vote remains to be seen.

Because most voters appear to have already made up their minds this election cycle, the political impact of Fiorina's hospitalization could be minimal, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst at the University of Southern California, told the San Jose Mercury News.

But, Bebitch Jeffe conceded, "It is not good news for any candidate to have to refocus their energy and resources on an issue that is not going to move them toward their ultimate goal, which is winning, particularly this close to the election."

Boxer made a brief campaign stop Tuesday in San Jose and was scheduled to appear alongside First Lady Michelle Obama at an event in Los Angeles. Last week President Barack Obama drew a crowd of thousands at a campaign rally for the senator at the University of Southern California.
Filed Under: 2010 Elections

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As any business owner knows, during tough times, you need to lay people off. It doesn't matter if you have 10 employees or 100,000 employess, letting people go is a harsh reality at times. It's funny how Boxer only mentions the 30,000 people who were let go when Carly was CEO (which HP board members approved of), but Boxer doesn't mention the 85,000 jobs that were created during her tenure. The people in that nasty ad who were laid off are all liberals who got paid for their appearance. Go to Carly's website and you'll find out the real truth about her work at HP and listenb to all of the wonderful testimonials that former employees say about her. Under Boxer, millions of Californinas have been laid off, and that is why our unemployment rate is second highest in the country. Why aren't people complaining about Boxer, who drove all of the small businesses and jobs out of state? Under Boxer, we have record debt, record unemployment, record taxes, record government regulation, record foreclosures, and record spending. Is this what Californians want? Then vote for Boxer. If you want a fresh perspective, a person who ran a large, international company and created jobs, who will lower taxes, cut spending, limit government regulation, and promote small business growth (and thus jobs), vote for Carly. Boxer has been toxic for California and it will just get worse if she's re-elected.

October 27 2010 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Carly Fiorina is truly an inspiration. She bravely fought and beat breast cancer and now she's waging a tremendous campaign to unseat a woman who is mean-spirited and divisive. Fortunately I live in California and have already voted early for Carly. Barbara Boxer has been toxic for California and has helped to drive out small business owners from the state. Boxer is only an advocate for the unions and the illegal immigrants. Carly is for every Californian. GO CARLY!!

October 27 2010 at 12:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

As a kid I always looked to Califiornia as the promised land. As a 17 year old I did my basic training at Parks Air Force Base At Oakland, Durings the 1970's I attended many company schools in LA. Back then Califorina had so much promise. The last decade, what have they done to themselves, and yet they would vote in Boxer, who belittled a general for calling her madam. They would vote for Brown who won't have the backbone to stand up aginst government spending that is ruining your state. You have a chance to improve your state like New Jersey is doing. If you keep on this liberal path we won't be able to bail you out anymore. Carp

October 27 2010 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Vilvens

I wish Fiorino the best with her illness. She would make a good senator but ca. is not going to vote her in. She has many conservative ideas which would be good for the country. But ca. is a liberal state and will never vote a conservative in.

October 27 2010 at 8:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

May God speed your recovery Carly, California and the nation needs your honesty and integrity to help us out of the mess Boxer has put us in.

October 26 2010 at 8:29 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
Don and Reggie

I wish Ms. Fiorina a speedy recovery but I must take exception to her having chosen to run for public office. Why on earth would one take on the rigors of politics when one has been stricken with that devastating disease? I don't want to misjudge her but I think her action displays an ego trip. At any rate, Ms. Fiorina hurry and get well and do be more sensible and take of yourself.

October 26 2010 at 8:17 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Don and Reggie's comment

Ego trip is definitely what she is on. She is very used to getting her way, regardless of what is right or best, but it's usually other people who suffer.

October 26 2010 at 8:22 PM Report abuse -13 rate up rate down Reply

I hope she recovers quickly and completely. I wish I could say I have never worried over this exact situation in my own immediate family.

October 26 2010 at 8:10 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

Anyone claiming that unions, and unions alone, improved the work place for workers doesn't remember their history correctly. There have been plenty of union businesses that have failed miserably. As a matter of fact, the only business that seems to make money and keep people employed on a regular basis is the movie industry. Which of course, doesn't always use union labor. There are plenty of non-union businesses that are completely successful with employees that are well paid and happy. Granted, the inception of unions brought work place abuses into the light of day, but after that, they became more of a handicap than a help. It's like carrying a sword around after battle. It just gets in the way of everyday life.

October 26 2010 at 8:04 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to peapers's comment

It was a long and hard battle for unions to get any concessions for workers. Companies today would still not care about workers if it were not for OSHA and other organizations to monitor them. Industry does not police itself because the goal is a better bottom line - period.

October 27 2010 at 12:22 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I agree with you peapers-------------we need to get rid of organized labor and then repeal all that BS they spawned. I need people like you - real americans- who can roll up their shirtsleeves and work for 1.75 a day. it doesn't have all those elitist benefits like vacation pay and days off, but you can sleep in the hay loft and keep all our old clothes that we give you.

October 27 2010 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope she gets better but wish, after she sees the bill from the hospital and what insurance dosen't cover, she'll think about what an incident like this would do some of those former HP employees she canned to make her numbers when she was CEO there. She can afford it, but does she think they, the former employees whos lives she crushed to make her bonuses can?

October 26 2010 at 8:02 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mikersales's comment

Wonderful comment!

October 26 2010 at 8:05 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

Boxer and her cronies need to go. They have done nothing to help the situation this Country is in except made it worse.

October 26 2010 at 7:43 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to davandsher's comment


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