Prime Minister Scott Morrison has led messages of support after Liberal Senator Jim Molan revealed his diagnosis with an aggressive form of cancer.
The 70-year-old announced on Monday he would take time away from the Senate to confirm his prognosis before commencing treatment.
In a statement, the NSW Senator admitted the diagnosis last week came as a shock but said he had many reasons to remain positive.
“I am receiving the best possible care from my clinicians, and have the love, support and prayers of my family,” Senator Molan said.
A former major general in the Australian army, the senator said he had never been afraid to fight battles that need fighting.
“This is no exception,” he said.
Senator Molan joins fellow government members Christian Porter, Linda Reynolds and Andrew Laming on different forms of leave ahead of federal parliament next sitting in mid-May.
The senator said his NSW electoral office will remain open and fully operational, and that his team will continue to work hard alongside his colleagues in the Morrison government.
Both sides of the political aisle wished him well in his treatment and recovery, with the prime minister paying tribute to Senator Molan’s work.
“We’ve worked together for over a decade now and you’ve always put your service above all else,” Mr Morrison wrote.
“Even now, in sharing this news of your illness, your thoughts still turn to how you can continue to serve.
“You’re an incredible person Jim and we will all be here to support you through this challenging time ahead.”
Labor senators Penny Wong, Kristina Keneally and Katy Gallagher also reached out to show support along with Eden-Monaro MP Kristy McBain.
“Hope to see you back doing what you love, representing people, soon,” the Labor MP wrote.
The NSW Senator opted not to nominate for preselection in last year’s by-election for the bellwether seat, citing health reasons including his second hip replacement surgery.
He has twice failed to secure a safe federal NSW Senate preselection spot.
Fourth on the coalition’s NSW Senate ticket at the 2019 federal election, Mr Molan was not re-elected but returned to the upper house later that year after filling a casual vacancy left by retired senator Arthur Sinodinos.
His term is not due to expire until mid-2022.