Former Texas governor expects full recovery from cancer

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AUSTIN (AP) – Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards said Tuesday she feels “terrific” and expects to recover fully from cancer of the esophagus.

“There is no doubt in my mind I will recover from this,” she said. “If I had known people would be so nice to me, I might have done this sooner.”

Richards, governor from 1991 to 1995 and known for her silver hair and sharp wit, discussed her health at a news conference announcing that Austin school officials were naming a new all-girls academy after her.

The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders is scheduled to open in fall 2007. “I hope to be at the front door greeting the girls as they come in,” she said.

Richards, 72, is halfway through chemotherapy treatments. After three more sessions, doctors will determine whether she needs further treatment, which could include more chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. She is being treated on an outpatient basis.

Richards said she doesn’t know how advanced the cancer was when it was diagnosed last month, but said she has “no fear, no concern or worry about this cancer.”

Richards left the governor’s office after losing a re-election bid to the younger George Bush in 1994.

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