Thomas Menino, former mayor of Boston, is battling an advanced form of cancer. The 71-year-old just retired from office in January. The cancer was discovered in early February.
The doctor, Menino’s primary doctor, found the cancer while examining Menino’s back. Menino was being seen by his doctor because he was experiencing chronic weakness in his legs. His doctor asked him to do a scan, and when the results were back the doctor called Menino into his office to discuss the results.
The cancer has spread and is now in Menino’s lymph nodes and also in his liver. Menino started an intravenous chemotherapy regimen early this month. Surgery is not currently an option, and he will continue with three more sessions of chemotherapy. Doctors have been unable to pinpoint where the cancer originated. His oncologist said that puts him in a category of 3 to 4 percent of cancer patients whose disease is unable to be pinpointed. Doctors say it is probable that the disease will never be pinpointed.
Thomas Menino’s oncologist said that the goal for the therapy Menino is currently undergoing in his battle against cancer is to be effective. He could not comment on the expectations because he said he realizes each patient is different. Menino said he is confident about the treatment, and that he “feels great.” He added that he would be okay, and that he wants to watch his grandchildren grow up.
Menino experienced health problems in 2012 while on vacation in Italy. Menino spent eight weeks in hospitals in Boston; during this time he had multiple scans. Doctors are confident that the cancer was not present at that time.
Menino’s schedule has not slowed. He is planning on being to work on Monday morning. He now works at Boston University, helping to launch an Institute on Cities. Though he enjoys working at the university, he does admit he misses being the mayor. Menino was the mayor of Boston for 20 years and he took joy in his position.
Menino has taken his diagnosis in stride and has not missed a beat. After receiving his diagnosis, Menino traveled to New York to deliver a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, he also gave a speech in New Hampshire at Saint Anselm after his diagnosis. He plans on traveling to Rochester, New York next week and going to New Orleans in April.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who is Menino’s predecessor as Boston mayor, stated, “I’ve never known Tom Menino to back down from a fight, and I don’t expect him to start now.” Other friends of Menino’s offered their love and support through Twitter last night.
Thomas Menino states that during this battle with cancer he does not want to be treated differently, and that it is important that people do not feel sorry for him. He also added that there are people who are in worse conditions than he is. Dot Joyce, who has been Menino’s long-time spokesperson, said that he is his usual self, making people laugh, and doing great. She continued that “he will continue to fight as he always does.”
By Ashley Campbell