THUNDER BAY – Leaders Ledger – Early in October, I had an appointment with my family doctor for a complete physical examination. As a result of concerns raised during that appointment I was sent for a series of other medical procedures and tests. Last week, I was presented with the results of those tests, which confirmed a diagnosis of a form of aggressive lymphoma.
While this is, of course, very serious, I am heartened by the assessment of my oncologist that this is a treatable form of lymphoma and the prognosis for a full recovery is good.
Having said that, I will require a number of chemotherapy treatments over the next several months, with the first one taking place tomorrow. Certainly, I am more than conscious that these treatments will have an impact on my well-being and may, in fact, affect my ability to function in my usual all-out manner; particularly around the time of the actual chemotherapy sessions. However, I also know that many people receiving these treatments continue on with their regular lives, including work and, while I will be following the advice of my physicians’ ‘to the letter’ as to how I can protect myself throughout this process, I am hoping that I will be able to carry on with my life as normally as possible.
Therefore, it is my intention to continue on in my role as MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North as well as Minister of Natural Resources.
I may be relying on my staff a little more than usual during this period of time but I am looking forward to remaining an actively involved MPP and Minister. I had the opportunity to speak with Premier McGuinty recently about my health circumstances and he was, not surprisingly, strongly supportive, and he encouraged me to carry on with my duties.
I am very grateful for his kindness and support. I want to also express deep thanks to my family and close friends, which includes my office staff here in the constituency office and my Minister’s office staff here and at Queen’s Park for their love and fierce determination to see me fully recover from this new challenge. I am also grateful to my Deputy Minister who has offered to spend more time here in Thunder Bay, while I am receiving treatment, so that we can carry on the business of the Ministry here rather than at Queen’s Park.
Finally, I want to thank my constituents for their support over the 17 plus years I have had the honour of serving them. My job as MPP means a great deal to me and I truly feel that I have developed a personal relationship with my constituents. Today, I thought it was very important for them to know about my health situation. I also felt it was important for them to know that I am genuinely optimistic that I will fully recover from this battle with cancer. But, most of all, I am incredibly grateful for the support I know I will receive from them as I take on this new challenge.
MPP Thunder Bay Superior North