Sao Paulo – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff visited her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is in treatment for cancer of the larynx, and said that the former head of state "is doing very well."
The president, accompanied by Health Minister Alexandre Padilha, spent close to 1 1/2 hours Thursday at Lula's apartment in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a city in Sao Paulo's industrial belt.
"He's doing very well" was Rousseff's only statement to reporters waiting at the entrance to the building where Lula has been confined since Nov. 1 while being treated for the throat cancer detected late last month.
Lula was photographed in good humor and wearing a white guayabera with his wife Marisa Leticia, Rousseff and Padilha in a picture disseminated by the Citizens Institute, the foundation directed by the ex-president.
Before Rousseff came to see him, Lula had another visit Thursday from Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobão and the head of the Audit Tribunal, Jose Mucio Monteiro Filho.
The ex-president also received Friday a message from Singer Bono of the Irish rock group U2 wishing him a prompt recovery and promising to pray for him.
The handwritten letter from Dublin was sent by e-mail and in signing it, Bono said he was a "fan" of Lula's, according to an image released by the ex-president's press office to local media.
Oncologists diagnosed Lula with a malignant throat tumor on Oct. 29, and two days later he underwent his first session of chemotherapy at a Sao Paulo Hospital.
Since then Lula has remained at home taking his prescribed medication through a catheter and receiving the best wishes of countless foreign dignitaries, Brazilian politicians and ordinary citizens.
Lula is expected to return to hospital in about two weeks to continue with his chemotherapy.
The medical team has ruled out surgery because the tumor is still in an intermediate stage and a cure is considered highly likely since the cancer is localized and shows no sign of metastasis.