BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco says there's "no escape" from the incurable cancer that has spread throughout her body.

News outlets report Blanco was honored Wednesday by the Council for a Better Louisiana and gave what felt like a farewell speech. Blanco is the state's first elected woman governor and served from 2004 to 2008. She was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2011, and the disease reappeared during a checkup in 2017.

Blanco is a devout Catholic and says she's made peace with the disease.

She spoke while being honored by the organization for her work in improving education in Louisiana. She says education is the best way to raise people out of the poverty plaguing Louisiana, which has ranked low in health, income and quality of life surveys.