By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
RUSHVILLE, Ill. — State Sen. John Sullivan returned home Wednesday after surgery to remove a rare but highly treatable type of cancer.
"It's going to take a while to get my strength back after three weeks in the hospital," Sullivan said.
Sullivan, 53, had surgery Aug. 22 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Doctors identified the cancer as a form of liposarcoma. It is considered a slow-growing cancer comprised mostly of fat cells. It rarely invades organs, but can displace them. He said doctors called the surgery successful and no further treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, will be required at this time.
Sullivan said he is grateful and humbled by the well wishes he has received during his hospital stay.
Sullivan, a Democrat from Rushville, has been in the Illinois Senate for 10 years. He is seeking re-election in November. He is facing Republican Randy Frese of Paloma.
Frese charged Wednesday that Sullivan "is lying" by "omitting the truth" in a TV campaign advertisement that tells about Sullivan's vote against the income tax hike passed in 2011 and four votes against pay hikes for legislators.
Frese said Sullivan voted for a similar tax increase that failed in 2009 and had voted for appropriation bills that allowed for higher legislative pay.
Sullivan said Thursday that everything in his commercial is truthful.
"I believe for him to resort to name-calling is an act of desperation. Last week he said he would not resort to a campaign of mudslinging," Sullivan said.
Frese said he will stand by his comments and denied he is mudslinging.
"I'm saying the ad is untruthful," Frese said.
Editor's note: This story has been updated since its original posting.