By Rick Ritter

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Governor Larry Hogan announces he has an aggressive form of cancer. Now he is preparing for an intense first round of chemotherapy.

Rick Ritter takes a look at the treatment the governor will endure and how it will impact his work.

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The disease is certainly curable and Governor Hogan is certainly a fighter, but doctors say willpower can only go so far.

From an underdog win to an even tougher battle months later–Governor Larry Hogan’s stunning announcement left Maryland in awe.

“It’s an aggressive, B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” the governor said.

For John Stierhoff, it’s all too familiar. Nearly the same age as the governor, Stierhoff was diagnosed with the exact form of cancer in 2012.

“I was taken back–particularly because the parallels were so identical to my own,” he said.

Now he’s giving insight on what lies ahead for Hogan.

“He’ll go through 18 weeks, every three weeks a course of chemotherapy–fairly intense. It will make him tired,” said Stierhoff.

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Ritter: “How is this cancer and treatment going to affect his immune system?”

Stierhoff: “I think during the course of treatment, they give you so many antibiotics, I probably never got sick.”

Doctor Robert Brookland with Greater Baltimore Medical Center says medicine is far more advanced than years ago.

“There’s been great improvements, not only our treatments, but in our medications available to help with side effects,” he said.

So effective, Dr. Brookland believes the governor can still work while undergoing treatment.

“His immune system will hopefully be strong enough for him to be out doing all the things he wants or needs to do,” he said.

But a positive mindset for Hogan is key.

“I think that’s the thing that can ultimately impact you more negatively than anything else,” said Stierhoff.

A positive note–doctors say after treatment, if the cancer doesn’t come back within a short time, they’re fairly confident it won’t come back at all.

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Stay with WJZ for complete coverage of Governor Hogan’s cancer diagnosis, his treatment, his prognosis and how he plans to continue leading the state of Maryland.

Rick Ritter