Life is full of unexpected challenges – and I am suddenly facing a big one. I need to share it with you — my friends, my constituents, and my colleagues.
For the past few months, I have been suffering from nagging back pain. That pain grew much worse in early July when I tried to lift something heavy at my home. After the City Council’s July recess, when I recognized the problem was not going away, I sought medical treatment. This week, after a series of tests, my doctors told me what no one ever wants to hear: “You have cancer.”
I am beginning treatment today. The cancer is in my pelvic area and is pinching some of my nerves, causing a lot of pain and discomfort, which has kept me away from City Hall for the past week. The doctors are confident they can get the pain under control so I can return to work while I undergo treatment.
My doctors feel there is abundant reason for optimism. The cancer is slow-moving, has not spread to any vital organs, and does not affect my digestive system. To keep up my strength, the doctors have given me permission to eat anything I want (to which, as a longtime diabetic, I say: “Great! Great! Great! Great! Great!”).
While I am undergoing treatment, I will be in touch regularly with colleagues and with Team Rosendahl – my amazing all-star staff. They will step up and make sure that the work gets done. They will ensure potholes get filled, graffiti gets painted out, and motions get introduced on my behalf to make sure our key projects keep moving. You’ll get to see what I have always known: my staff is the best in City government.
I am going to beat this cancer and return to work soon. I am going to seek, win and complete a third term. And I am going to spend the next five years making sure we provide top-notch constituent service to residents of the 11th District. Together, we will keep the City safe and fiscally sound, build mass transit and promote alternative transportation, and modernize LAX without expanding into neighboring communities. Most especially, we are going to build affordable housing and provide services and housing to the homeless.
I frequently remind people that “all we have is the moment.” In this particular moment, I am grateful that I have the love and support of family and friends, the inspiration and example of countless cancer survivors, one of the best jobs in the world, and a spirit of faith and confidence that the best is yet to come. Thank you for your support. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.