Menino Plans To Keep Busy While Receiving Cancer Treatment

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Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said he plans to be at work at Boston University Monday and keep up an active schedule while he continues cancer treatment.

Menino went public this weekend with word of his diagnosis, which he says he received three weeks ago. Doctors have told him they don't know where the cancer started, but that it's spread to his liver and lymph nodes.

Menino made a Sunday afternoon stop at a farmers market in Dorchester to autograph copies of a new children’s book, written in his honor.

"I’ll be here, I’m not leaving, I’m staying in the city," he said. "I’ve got some things I want to do on education still, and this is a bump I didn’t expect, only found it by accident, and we’ll get through it."

"Cancer picked the wrong guy to pick a fight with," said Jay Walsh, Menino’s — and now Mayor Marty Walsh's — director of neighborhood services.

"There’s not a more resilient, tougher guy that I’ve ever seen in my life than Mayor Menino," Jay Walsh said. "I’ve seen him overcome adversity on countless occasions and this is just another battle that he’s going to face head on."

And he’ll be getting great care, says Barbara Ferrer, who served 16 years under Menino, including eight as his public health commissioner. Ferrer says she’s devastated, but hopeful.

"He is surrounded by both a family and a city that loves and adores him and we’ll all be there to do whatever we can to make this journey as easy as possible," she said.

Menino looked down for a minute when asked about the calls, cards and other heartfelt responses to word that he has advanced cancer.

"I’m humbled by it," he said. "I don’t deserve it. I mean, this is a big city, but it’s a small city. When something happens to somebody else, we all rally. Who am I, I’m just a guy from Hyde Park."

The guy from Hyde Park says he began chemotherapy two weeks ago and expects to continue treatment for another six weeks, then reassess plans with his doctors.

This article was originally published on March 17, 2014.

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Martha Bebinger Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.



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