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Dick Cheney
Manuel Balce Ceneta  /  AP
The 71-year-old received a heart transplant in March and said the idea for the book came from his cardiologist after they appeared together at the Cleveland Clinic for a conference on heart treatment.
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updated 12/3/2012 6:43:24 PM ET 2012-12-03T23:43:24

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, one of the world's most prominent heart patients, is working on a book about his many battles with coronary disease and the revolutionary changes in treatment that helped keep him alive.

The 71-year-old Cheney is collaborating with his cardiologist, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, and with his daughter, Liz Cheney. Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced Monday that the book is scheduled for next fall. It is currently untitled.

Video: Cheney gets heart transplant (on this page)

"It explains and talks about all the developments in cardiology by going through my own case," the former vice president said Monday during a brief telephone interview. "I'm alive today because of the tremendous advances that have been made."

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Financial terms were not disclosed, although a "portion of the authors' net proceeds from the book will be donated to charity," according to Scribner. Cheney was represented by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose clients also include President Obama and former President George W. Bush.

Cheney and his daughter also worked together on his memoir "In My Time," published in 2011 by the conservative Simon & Schuster imprint Threshold Editions. Cheney said the new book will be completely "non-political." Authors at Scribner range from Stephen King, a longtime liberal, to former first lady Laura Bush.

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Cheney, who received a heart transplant in March, said that the idea for the book came from Reiner after they appeared together at the Cleveland Clinic for a conference on heart treatment. As Cheney explained, the clinic wanted him to speak because in his case "They've done everything they can to a patient."

As he wrote in "In My Time," Cheney was just 37 and running for Congress when he had his first heart attack, in 1978. Over the next 30 years, he had four more heart attacks, including one soon after Election Day in 2000 that required a stent to be inserted. In 2010, a year after he and President Bush left office, he had a battery-powered device installed to help his heart pump blood.

Story: Cheney: My book will have ‘heads exploding’ in D.C.

Cheney noted Monday that the procedures he had undergone were crucial steps ahead from the days when he was simply advised to quit smoking.

The former Vice President said that his current condition was "nothing short of a miracle." Two years ago, he was in "end-state heart failure." Now, "I'm better than I've been in years," well enough to indulge his beloved pastime of fly fishing.

"I spent a lot of time on the river this summer," he said, "and enjoying the finer things in life."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Did Cheney get special treatment with new heart?

  1. Closed captioning of: Did Cheney get special treatment with new heart?

    >>> vice president dick cheney is recovering at a virginia hospital this morning after receiving a heart transplant over the weekend. a surgery that has some questioning how hospitals determine which patients receive priority. dr. nancy synderman is nbc's chief medical editor. nancy, good morning.

    >> good morning, matt.

    >> dick cheney can cause all kinds of controversy if he orders a cup of tea . but talk to me about this list and how it works.

    >> well, people say it's unlikely that a 71-year-old jumped the line. but nonetheless, this has raised a lot of ethical questions, moral questions , about whether the vice president, in fact, should have received his heart ahead of other people. and, raises the question, how old is too old to receive such a precious transplant. 71-year-old former vice president dick cheney was on a waiting list for 20 months before his successful heart transplant surgery this past weekend. longer than most patients. still, the news was met with controversy.

    >> because if mr. cheney was 55, there wouldn't be any discussion.

    >> reporter: more than 3,000 americans are on the national waiting list for a heart transplant . but every year, hundreds die before they receive a new heart. when a patient cheney 's age receives such a scarce, life-extending organ, some doctors request whether hospitals are depriving younger patients, who typically survive longer after the surgery. bioethicist dr. art kaplan writes on the msnbc.com blog, in a system in which donors hearts are very scarce, shouldn't the young, who are more likely to benefit both in terms of survival and years of life added, take precedence over the old? more than 70% of heart transplant recipients live at least another five years. but long-term survival is slightly lower for those over the age of 65.

    >> that's always a judgment call, knowing that background. is a person who's going to get the transplant who's older more likely to do well than the average?

    >> reporter: mr. cheney has a long history of heart problems . he had his first heart attack at age 37 while irrunning for wyoming's sole house seat. his second came six years later followed by a quadruple bypass in 1988 . he suffered two more heart attacks , including one in 2000 during the florida recount after which he and george w. bush took office. his fifth heart attack came in 2010 . after that, doctors installed a special device known as a left ventricular assist device to aid his ailing heart. a device he later showed nbc's jamie zbangle.

    >> you just -- you deal with it. you take whatever the doctors recommend the latest step, and i've been able to live a full, normal, active life .

    >> cheney and family have released a statement saying that while they don't know the donor, they will be forever grateful for this life-saving gift. matt, you said he's controversial even if he's ordering a cup of tea . it does raise a question whether this were any other 71-year-old, would we be talking about this.

    >> this lating list, when you're on this list is it like the tellty counter, you take a number and it's first come, first serve? or do they take into consideration things like age, other health issues and prognosis?

    >> they take into factor a lot of parameters. how bad your heart is sand if you don't have it, will you die. he had really run out of options. age, how good your kidneys and lungs are. then there's the whole thing about tissue typing. you just can't get anybody else's heart. and if you have the means and the access to a private jet , you can register at various transplant centers around the world --

    >> you can get there quickly.

    >> steve jobs did that with his liver. and he may have done that. but he had this at the hospital where he had some previous surgeries.

    >> is there indication he was given priority?

    >> there is no indication. he did wait for 20 months. which is a long time. but the question is, always, this is what the ethicists will talk about, was there a younger person who didn't get the heart, and he did, and will his prognosis be just as good? the overall stats are that for five years, there's a 70% survival rate .

    >> real quickly he'll be on immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of his life.

    >> which means he's more at risk for infection and some tumors. these are not unconsequential drugs.

    >> thank you very much. appreciate

Photos: The private and public lives of Dick Cheney

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  1. Dick Cheney is seen in this 1964 photo, during his junior year photo at the University of Wyoming. He had previously attended Yale University, but returned home due to failing grades. (University of Wyoming via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. This White House file photograph shows President Gerald Ford as he meets with Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld, center and Dick Cheney, a staff assistant, in the Oval Office, April 22, 1975. (David Hume Kennerly / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Dick Cheney in the White House on Nov. 4, 1975. When Donald Rumsfeld became secretary of defense, Cheney was named chief of staff. At 34, he was the youngest chief of staff in White House history. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. President Gerald R. Ford and Chief Of Staff Dick Cheney look over documents in the living room of the Aspen Lodge during a weekend trip to Camp David, on August 7, 1976 in Thurmont, Md. (David Hume Kennerly / The White House via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Congressman Dick Cheney and wife Lynne pose for a photo with their two children Liz, left, and Mary, right, at their home in Casper, Wy., in 1978. Also seen is their basset hound "Cyrano." (David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. President Ronald Reagan is flanked by House Minority Leader Bob Michel of Illinois, left, and Rep. Dick Cheney of Wyoming during a meeting with House Republicans in the White House Cabinet Room, Monday, March 21, 1983. (Ed Reinke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Rep. Richard Cheney, ranking Republican on the House panel investigating the Iran-Contra affair, and Rep. Lee Hamilton, the panel's chaiman, hold a news conference in Washington on June 19,1987. (Scott Applewhite / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney stands by as General Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, briefs reporters at the Pentagon on Dec. 20,1989 about the operation to remove Panama's General Manuel Antonio Noriega from power. (Bob Pearson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney shakes hands with a tank crew from the 82nd Airborne Division, during his visit to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, Aug. 19, 1990. The "SECDEF," as he is known by military acronym, caught the soldiers off-guard with his impromptu visit. (Scott Applewhite / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell give a press conference in Washington about the military situation in Somalia. (Robert Giroux / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Dick Cheney, CEO of the Halliburton Company, talks former President Gerald Ford during a party for their mutual friend, Richard Growald in San Diego in 1994. Cheney served as Ford's chief of staff and eventually ran his 1976 presidential campaign. (David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Governor Geoge W. Bush announces that Dick Cheney will be his running mate in Austin, Texas, on July 25, 2000. Cheney, who was serving as Halliburton CEO, headed Bush's vice presidential search committee. (Paul Buck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney, center, leaves George Washington University Hospital in Washington, Friday, Nov. 24, 2000, accompanied by unidentified secret service agents. Cheney, who has a history of coronary artery disease, left the hospital two days after he checked himself in with chest pains. He has had five heart attacks since 1978. (Kamenko Pajic / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Dick Cheney, with his daughter Liz holding the Bible, is sworn in as vice president of the United States by Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist Jan. 20, 2001 outside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Vice President Dick Cheney flyfishing on the Snake River in his home state of Wyoming on Sunday, July 8, 2001. (David Bohrer / The White House via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. After returning to the White House from Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Neb., President Bush talks with Vice President Dick Cheney in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center on Sept. 11, 2001 in Washington. (Eric Draper / The White House via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. CIA Director George Tenet, Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice meet with President Bush in the White House Oval Office on Oct. 7, 2001, after the president informed the nation that air strikes were made against Afghanistan. (Eric Draper / The White House via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. President George W. Bush delivers his State of the Union speech on Jan. 29, 2002 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Vice President Dick Cheney is seated behind. During this speech, Bush first used the term "axis of evil." (Paul J .Richards / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. President George W. Bush meets with Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld outside the Oval Office shortly after authorizing Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 19, 2003 in Washington. (Eric Draper / The White House via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Vice President Dick Cheney listens to Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards during a debate at Case Western Reserve University on Oct. 5, 2004 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Stephen Jaffe / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Vice President Dick Cheney listens to his daughter and campaign scheduling director, Mary Cheney, and wife, Lynne Cheney, on a flight the day after the vice presidential debate with Democratic challenger John Edwards on Oct. 6, 2004. As a lesbian, Mary Cheney's sexual orientation has often been in spotlight because of her father's conservative views. (David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr, right, chats with Vice President Dick Cheney as they walk down a street in Gulfport, Miss., touring areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005. (M. Spencer Green / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Left: Harry Whittington talks to reporters outside Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial Friday, Feb. 17, 2006, in Corpus Christi, Texas, in his first public statement since being shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident. Whittington told reporters he was sorry for all the trouble Cheney had faced over the incident. Right: A file photo from Nov. 5, 2002 , provided by the White House, shows Vice President Dick Cheney hunting quail in Gettysburg, S.D. The Whittington accident marked the first time a sitting vice president shot someone since Alexander Hamilton's duel with Aaron Burr in 1804. (Corpus Christi Caller-Times, The White House) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, leaves federal court after a hearing in Washington Friday, Feb. 3, 2006. He was later convicted in connection with the leak of a covert CIA agent's identity and sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. In 2007, President George W. Bush commuted his prison sentence. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. A U.S. soldier shouts as he tries to control the crowd after a suicide attack at the main U.S. air base of Bagram, north of Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007. A suicide bomber killed at least 14 people and wounded about a dozen more outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney, who was not injured, was the target. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Vice President Dick Cheney speaks to the press as Afghan President Hamid Karzai listens at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on March 20, 2008. Vice President Dick Cheney visited Afghanistan for talks with President Hamid Karzai to assess the fight against extremism ahead of a summit of NATO partners in the battle. (Paul J. Richards / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Vice President Dick Cheney, suffering from a back injury he sustained while moving into his new home, is wheeled out of the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Jan. 20, 2009 on the way to the inauguration of Barack Obama. Vice President-elect Joe Biden follows at right. (Larry Downing / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Former Vice President Dick Cheney hugs his daughter, Liz Cheney, after she surprised the Conservative Political Action Conference by bringing him as her guest, on Feb. 18, 2010, in Washington. (Cliff Owen / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura listen to former Vice President Dick Cheney at the ground breaking for Bush's Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, on Nov.16, 2010. Southern Methodist University is the future site of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the George W. Bush Institute that is to be completed in 2013. The appearance was Cheney's first after a summer of recouperating following heart surgery and he looked much thinner than in recent years. (Larry W. Smith / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
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