This sad news appeared on social media:
I have some news to share.
On January 26th, I went for a 36 km skate on our beloved Rideau Canal. The following days I experienced some discomfort in my left arm, which I attributed to my skating. As the week progressed my arm was feeling heavy and not getting any better. As an active person, I naturally thought it would go away.
But it didn’t.
On Monday February 5, I went to the Ottawa Civic Hospital to have my arm examined. X-rays, and then a CT scan, revealed a cyst on the right side of brain.
A follow up MRI revealed it was a tumour.
After consulting an amazing team of neurologists, neurological surgeons and vascular surgeons, we decided that I would have the tumour removed.
On Wednesday February 14 I had brain surgery.
While this cancer is devastating news, I am going to pursue the next phase of my treatment with determination, passion and an appreciation for life.
Since I received this diagnosis I have had incredible treatment from smart and caring medical professionals who are completely dedicated to their patients.
I have also received phenomenal support from my family and friends.
It turns out that I am the most blessed person in town, as I am married to the most beautiful, sincerest, smartest and caring woman, Julia. She and my sons Nathaniel and Jordan have been my greatest source of strength.
Same with my brother Bob, and my sisters Elizabeth and Cathy, who have all been by my side. My in-laws Bob and Marion and sister-in-law Alison, and so many close friends, have formed a team supporting me through this journey.
I am perched by the side of a strong flowing river of love that gives me the courage and inspiration to take on this challenge.
Everyone of us knows someone who has had cancer and each journey is personal. People ask what they can do. If you can, please consider getting involved in something that will help your neighbourhood. Look for the beauty that exists all around us and share it with each other.
Knock on your neighbour’s door and say hi.
I sincerely thank you for all of your good wishes and ask for privacy for me and my family over the next few months as I work to get back to my usual level of physical and community activity.
My response was: “All the best to you Paul in this battle. Even though we were (doubtless still are) on opposite side of the political fence, I admired you as a parliamentarian and was glad to have you as “my” MP. As someone who has dealt with a different form of cancer, successfully so far, I have a bit of understanding of the real fear the word itself imparts, but we have excellent medical treatment here in Canada, especially in Ottawa and I am sure you’re in good hands. Once again, sir, all my, personal, best to you and your family … many, many people are hoping for a good outcome. Ted Campbell“
Paul Dewar represented Ottawa Centre, and, therefore, me, in the House of Commons for nine years. Even though he and i were on opposite sides of almost every issue I was proud to tell friends that he was “my” MP.
Support, we are told, is pouring in ~ that’s as it should be. He is one of the best “public servants” in Canada, in the best and broadest sense of that word.
I’ll tell you something: it does matter when people hear that you’re up against a hard place and wish you “all the best.” We, humans, are social animals, perhaps the most social of all, and when we have to face troubles it helps to know that others, even those we don’t know, are wishing us well.