After the election I said that I would continue to observe and comment on Calgary municipal issues. For the last 5-6 months, I've been rather silent. Heaven knows it's not for a lack of topics that could be discussed. Unfortunately however, sometimes things happen that are unforeseen and out of one's control. I feel like I've not lived up to my word so it's time for the explanation. To put things in context will require a little back story so here it goes. Please excuse the length of this story, I'll be as brief as I can while still providing some detail and transparency.
As many of my friends and family know, but until now the general public did not, about 9 years ago I had a rather significant health scare. A large tumor had developed in my head to the point where the situation was almost critical. I was given a choice, which was good, as who doesn't like choices? Option one; I could undergo neurosurgery which certainly has its risks. The risks were on the lower probability end of the scale but rather substantial in their outcome, ie. blindness, stroke, or worse. "OK". I said. "What is the other choice?" To quote one of my specialists directly, "You go blind and die." Pretty easy choice. The surgery happened less than 48 hours later.
Years passed and all was well after. The lingering effects from the removal of the offensive tumor were addressed and well treated with medications and life returned to normal. Regular imaging for years indicated no signs of difficulty or regrowth. The scare still motivated me many times to take action in the moment as you just never know when the moment might come around again. Overall, it was probably a good thing. It was easily turned into a positive. But things can happen, and happen they did.
Late last fall and into early winter I was noticing the recurrence of regular headaches. Almost everyone gets headaches and there can be a lot of different causes so I really didn't give it much thought. Heck, most of the news out of city hall is enough to cause pain for a lot of people. But just before Christmas I had one of my regular follow-up MRIs and the surgeon called about 2 days later. The tumor was back and it was pretty big again.
The news hit my wife and I like a ton of bricks. We did not see this coming at all. While the situation was not as critical as when I underwent the surgery 9 years ago, we needed to get more information about what the upcoming days/weeks/months would bring. In discussion with the surgeon it was learned that the tumor as it is cannot completely be removed due to the sensitive nature of its location. The good news is that it is slow growing. The bad news it that it will continue to grow even if I underwent another surgery to remove what they can. As the risks increase with repeated operations, the surgeon wants to limit the number of lifetime surgeries in order to limit the risks. Makes sense to me. The problem is that other treatment options are very limited. The aforementioned good news about its slow growing nature is also bad news as treatments and therapies designed to address these type of things work by targeting fast growing cells. This makes them ineffective in my case. The only other option was to try some radiation therapy in the hopes of slowing or stopping the growth. The success rate for the radiation treatment in cases like mine is not very high, and the tumor will not be shrunk or eliminated. The best possible outcome is to slow and potentially stop the growth, which would be considered a big win.
So that brings the story up to the current time. I've had to make a number of changes in my personal and professional life to adjust. I've regrettably had to scale back from a number business projects as it wouldn't be fair to my customers if I can't give them my all. A smaller portfolio means I can give my remaining clients the top quality outcomes they deserve. Unfortunately, I also made the decision to take a step back from my municipal involvement. I apologize for this, but it is just not something I can juggle for the time being while still spending time on my other ventures and with my wife. Admittedly, this decision is rather selfish, and I am sorry. I just felt I was spreading myself too thin.
As of this writing I am nearing the half-way point of a 25 treatment radiation schedule and things are going fairly well. It will be some time, probably months, before the success of the treatments can be ascertained, so we're keeping our fingers crossed. Once the treatments are complete and if I'm capable of ramping up again, I hope to return to keeping a check on our council. Until then, I'll be taking a pause in the hopes that I can be more involved again soon.
Thanks for understanding and be well everyone.