Dole, a longtime senator and the 1996 Republican presidential nominee, announced his diagnosis in February

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Bob Dole, Elizabeth Dole
From left: Bob and Elizabeth Dole on CBS
| Credit: CBS NEWS

Former Sen. Bob Dole says he's doing "very well" while being treated for stage 4 lung cancer. The 97-year-old former Republican lawmaker announced his diagnosis in February, receiving an outpouring of well-wishes and support.

"I have some hurdles ahead," Dole, who turns 98 in July, said then.

Now, the 1996 Republican presidential nominee has given CBS Sunday Morning an encouraging update on his health during an interview that will air this weekend.

"I'm doing very well," Dole tells the network in a preview. "But, I have to keep in mind, I'm also going to be 98 in July. So, I'm getting to be a senior citizen."  

CBS announced Friday that Dole and his wife, former Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole, will sit down with correspondent Rita Braver for the interview on Sunday.

Bob and Elizabeth, 84, will "talk about their relationship, his storied career in the military and public service, and their life today," according to the network.

CBS says that the couple will also share their thoughts on the Republican Party today, which has experienced a growing, internal rift in recent months following Donald Trump's failed push to overturn the 2020 election and the deadly Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

Bob Dole
Bob Dole in 2019
| Credit: Tom Brenner/Getty

Dole says in the interview that he decided to enter politics after he was badly injured during World War II.

In 1945, a 22-year-old Dole was severely wounded by machine gunfire. The New York Times reported during the 1996 campaign that Dole's wartime injuries left his right shoulder permanently disabled, unable to tie his own shoes or cut his own food with a knife.

"I figured out that lying in bed the rest of my life was not an option," he tells CBS in the upcoming interview.

The veteran-turned-Kansas politician was elected to the House of Representatives in 1961, where he remained for eight years. 

Dole then served in the Senate for 27 years, from 1969 until 1996 when he stepped down to unsuccessfully run for president against Bill Clinton. For 11 of those years, Dole was the Senate Majority Leader.

In another preview of their sit-down, Elizabeth tells CBS a revealing story about a conversation between her mother and her future husband early on in their relationship.

"Bob left his bedroom and he had a towel over his shoulder that had been crushed," she recalls during the interview. "He walked up to my mother and he said, 'Mrs. Hanford, I think you should see my problem.' Mother looked at Bob and she said, 'Bob, that is not a problem. It' a badge of honor.' "

Since announcing he was sick, Dole has received support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Dole's longtime congressional colleague and now-President Joe Biden visited him in the hospital in February, calling the Republican "a close friend."

Despite his diagnosis, Dole tells CBS that he doesn't "intend to go quietly. But that's up to a higher level."

"I want to try to make 100," he says.