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Jack Layton to take leave after new cancer found


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Just saw this on TV. Terrible news. Politics aside, as a cancer survivor, I can say, no matter how minor things may seem, or even be, this is a terrible strain on ones mental, physical and emotional health. I wish him a speedy and successful recovery. Get well Jack and keep up that positive attitude, it goes a long way in the process.

NDP Leader Jack Layton stunned Canada's political world on Monday, announcing he is taking a temporary leave of absence to receive treatment after doctors discovered he has a new cancer.

The surprise announcement comes just over two months after Layton led his party to record gains in the federal election and become the Official Opposition in the House of Commons.

Layton, speaking at times with a strained voice alongside his wife, NDP MP Olivia Chow, vowed to return to his position when Parliament resumes on Sept. 19.

"I will beat this new cancer and I will be back in the House of Commons to defend the values and priorities of Canadian families," he told reporters at a news conference in Toronto.

Layton said the party executive would begin consulting with the NDP caucus to choose an interim leader until he returns to his duties. Layton recommended Nycole Turmel, the NDP MP for the Quebec riding of Hull-Aylmer, for the post.

Layton, 61, who represents the Toronto-Danforth riding and led the New Democrats since 2003, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2009 and went public with it in February 2010.

He said Monday the new cancer was found last week after he suffered some stiffness and pain in the closing days of the most recent session of the House of Commons.

"My battle against prostate cancer is going very well. My PSA levels remain virtually undetectable," he said.

"However, these tests … also indicate that I have a new, non-prostate cancer that will require further treatment. So, on the advice of my doctors, I am going to focus on treatment and recovery."

Layton did not take questions from reporters, instead leaving NDP president Brian Topp to field queries over what this meant for the party as it prepared for its first full session in the House of Commons as the Official Opposition.

Topp said the party would select an interim leader as soon as possible.

Layton also underwent hip surgery ahead of the last federal election campaign, which saw the New Democrats become the Official Opposition for the first time in the party's history.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/07/25/layton-ndp.html?ref=rss

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Nobody looks good when fighting cancer.

what a stunningly ignorant thing to say.

I flesh out the abridged comment a bit more for you then:

Every time Jack's name came up on the news or in newspapers, or when he was on TV during the time he announced that he had a new form of cancer to battle, people everywhere commented on his appearance, and how frail and sick he looked. It bugged me. The toll cancer takes and in fighting the disease through radiation and chemo generally doesn't look good, but folks, generally well-meaning ones, seem to forget this fact sometimes.

I buried many relatives and family friends because of cancer, including two of my grandparents, one very close school friend (she was 23) and my good friend's father.

My own father died 15 years ago, losing his battle to bowel, liver and eventually lung cancer (he wasn't a smoker or big drinker). He wasted away before my eyes, and he was the healthiest toughest motherfucker I've ever known or will ever know. I've volunteered for colorectal cancer fundraisers and my mother is a cancer coach (helps people with cancer, those in remission and widowers dealing with their grief) and I just found out two days ago she has skin cancer. Ignorant? Go fuck yourself.

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yeah, it's a contest of who has lost more family members to cancer. well guess what asshole, two can play that morbid game and I would rather not share my own personal horror stories with you.

my point was that it is stupid to say what you did, whether it is true or not. of course fighting cancer takes a physical toll. duh. but why do you need to focus on that? do you have any sensitivity to those fighting cancer that you do not understand what a mean comment it is to say "you dont look good fighting cancer". asshole.

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Why did I focus on the physical toll? I already told you. I originally looked at it in a broader sense and this is a pretty big board of mostly strangers. I don't like that Jack's appearance became a national focus, hence I made a positive comment that he'd be swinging for the fences ASAP, and I sincerely believe it. I'm a bit surprised more than anything that he made a public announcement. Cancer doesn't look good, but Jacks's courageous, like everyone else that fights the disease.

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FWIW Jaimoe, I thought your comment in question was incredibly honest and nothing more or less. I saw no malice in it whatsoever. It was quite sobering actually.

Very sorry to hear about your mom. I remember our meeting fondly. Please give her our best.

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Thanks Ollie. I look at cancer as a battle, but folks have way more of a chance of beating it, or at least living fruitful lives, than they did even 5 years ago. I don't know what stage Jack's cancer is at, but he'll battle and I have only positive thoughts.

My mom drives me crazy sometimes. She slipped that she had skin cancer into the end of our conversation the other day. She always does that: "By the way, Uncle Milton died" or "Did I tell you our neighbour Lou died of cancer" etc...

Drives me to drink.

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i need to clarify my post here ... i objected to the originally uncontextualized statement that "nobody looks good fighting cancer". first off, that's simply not true. many people fight cancer with no outward signs whatsoever.

but more importantly, the last thing that anyone fighting cancer needs is to be told that they look like shit or have people just assume that they do. of course chemo, radiation and surgery can have a major impact on appearance but so what?

that is why i thought it was an incredibly ignorant and insensitive thing to say, regardless of whatever subsequently provided justification for it.

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