EXCLUSIVE: Former President Jimmy Carter Says He's Not Cancer-Free: 'I'm Still Taking Treatments'

by Zach Seemayer 11:13 PM PST, January 24, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Former President Jimmy Carter Says He's Not Cancer-Free: 'I'm Still Taking Treatments'

Jimmy Carter says his body is responding well to treatments, but the former U.S. president says he's not entirely free from cancer.

Speaking exclusively with ET's Brooke Anderson in Plains, Georgia, during the Painting, Paula [Deen] and a President fundraiser, Carter opened up about the struggle he still faces.

"They haven't detected any cancer, but sometimes the cancer spots [return]," Carter said, "including in my brain."

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So while Carter is doing well in his fight against the illness, he's still "taking treatments regularly."

"I'll continue that until the doctors tell me I don't have to anymore," said the 91-year retired politician, adding, "My immune system seems to be responding positively."

Carter, who has been a huge inspiration for others battling cancer, opened up about the inspiration he's gotten from his wife, Rosalynn Carter.

"Her support has helped me the last 69 years that we've been married, in everything I've tried," Carter shared. "Of course when I was ill, they thought I might die any time, and she was there for me. She grieved with me and was excited with me when I found out that my metabolism responded well to the treatment."

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In December, Carter announced that his brain cancer was gone, and that an MRI showed no signs of cancer at all. It seems that the announcement may have been premature, but the former president shows no signs of backing down in his battle against the illness and still enjoys spending time with friends like Deen. The two share a passion for painting, and the proceeds from Painting, Paula and a President will benefit local charities.

At the event, Deen said she has been friends with Carter for 14 years and has cooked for him multiple times. "I have one of his favorite recipes in my very first cookbook," she said. "It's a cheese ring with strawberry preserves in the center and it's so good."

And, in true Southern style, Deen has prepared grits for Carter. "She has been to Plains four times and the first two times I cooked with her," Carter said. "The second time was in my own kitchen."

Carter is the only president Deen has cooked for, but she said she would "love to cook for every one of them." "You know, when you're a cook you get such great pleasure from bringing a smile to somebody's face," she said. "That's immediate gratification, honey."

For more on Carter's continuing battle against brain cancer, watch the video below.