Miss. US Rep. Nunnelee says he suffered stroke during surgery to remove brain tumor in June

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JACKSON, Mississippi — Republican U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee of Mississippi says he had a stroke two months ago while undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Nunnelee, 55, revealed the information about the stroke in an online newsletter (http://bit.ly/1vy5AvI ) and a Facebook post Sunday.

"I knew recovery from surgery was going to be challenging, but nothing could have prepared me for what has been difficult stroke rehabilitation," he wrote. "On June 9, during the surgery to remove the tumor, I suffered a stroke that left me with impaired speech and weakness on my left side. In spite of the stroke and its consequences, the surgery was successful.

Nunnelee spokeswoman Elizabeth Parks said Monday that this was the first time the congressman has publicly discussed the stroke. His office has said for weeks that he has been undergoing therapy for difficulties with speech and left-side mobility.

Nunnelee, a former state senator from Tupelo, was first elected to Congress in 2010 in north Mississippi's 1st District and is seeking re-election this year.

Surgeons at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston removed a small mass from Nunnelee's brain June 9. He is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

In his message Sunday, Nunnelee quoted a Bible verse about being thankful in all circumstances.

"I am glad the scripture in Thessalonians does not say to give thanks for all circumstances because I would have a difficult time being thankful for a tumor or a stroke, much less both," he wrote. "I have learned the way to approach the difficulty of stroke rehabilitation is to give thanks in all circumstances."

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Follow Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus .

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