Musings —07.06.2010 03:40 PM—
This CP story is a nice one, and shows the power of fighting back against this damned disease. If you want to send Jack your best wishes, you can email him at: LaytoJ@parl.gc.ca
Well wishers like ‘wind under your wings,’ says cancer stricken NDP leader (Layton-Health)
OTTAWA _ NDP Leader Jack Layton says he’s getting a big lift from public support for his battle against prostate cancer.
“I’m getting well-wishes from all over the place,” said Layton, who’s remained in the public eye since announcing last February he had contracted the same cancer his late father defeated 17 years ago.
“I have no doubt they have an impact. It’s like you’ve got this wind under your wings.”
He told a news conference Tuesday _ just hours after his latest medical checkup _ he feels good and doctors are “really happy” with his progress.
Layton, who turns 60 later this month, said he feels better all the time, despite losing 10 to 15 pounds and adhering to a strict diet that includes broccoli, cooked tomatoes and a southeast Asian berry called goji, known for its medicinal qualities and health benefits.
“I’ve cut out a lot of things I used to love to eat,” he said. “So I’m down to the weight I was when I was 25, and they say that’s good for your health in general, anyway. I’m feeling very good.”
The New Democrat leader said it appears his progress is following the same path as that of his father, Robert, who made a full recovery.
“I’m very, very optimistic,” he said. “So far, so good.”
The elder Layton, a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney’s government, died in 2002 at age 76 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.
Virtually every member of Parliament wore a teal-and-blue-striped tie or scarf inside the House of Commons one day in March in support of Layton’s fight. They’re the colours of Prostate Cancer Canada.
“His public gesture of courage showed Canadian men and their families that they are not alone in their daily fight to combat this illness, but more needs to be done,” Conservative MP Jim Abbott said at the time.
Layton said he’ll be taking a little time with his granddaughter Beatrice this summer, but it’ll more likely be in the confines of his Toronto riding than on the northern whitewater rapids he and wife Olivia Chow like to navigate.