It's business as usual - and thanks for all the support, says Councillor Jon, 37
DOWNEND councillor Jon Hunt has been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel and liver cancer.
The 37-year-old posted the news on Twitter on July 5 alongside a photo of the entrance to the Bristol Oncology Centre saying “So I've arrived at the building no one wants to visit.”
The cancer was diagnosed following a series of tests and scans which revealed a tumour in his bowel and seven tumours across his liver.
Cllr Hunt, who is married with a four-year-old daughter, said: “Normally they can chop off parts of the liver and it will regrow but sadly I'm not in that position because of the number of tumours I have. I'm now on some quite aggressive chemotherapy in the hope it will shrink the tumours on the liver enough to operate.”
Cllr Hunt, who has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the past 20 years through triathlons, half marathons and bike rides, has just started his second round of chemotherapy and will undergo another six sessions before Christmas. If the tumours reduce in size he will need further chemo before consultants consider operating.
“If all goes to plan it will be about 18 months back to full health. I feel strangely fine in myself. I went out running at the weekend and I'm trying to carry on as normal as there's lots of research to say exercising and staying fit and healthy helps improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy.”
Cllr Hunt, a cabinet member, is continuing with his duties and has missed just one council meeting since his diagnosis.
“At the moment I'm not letting it change anything. It's completely business as usual and I'll be doing everything I can to maintain that,” Cllr Hunt said.
“Colleagues, friends and family have been amazing and have given me a huge amount of support. I'm trying to have the mindset that this is just a blip in the road to get over. I'm certainly going to fight.”
Cllr Hunt told Downend Voice he was keen to highlight his story because he was concerned that media adverts linking obesity and smoking to cancer could stop some people going to their GP.
“It was almost pot luck I ended up getting diagnosed. I had a particularly bad episode back in April where I passed a lot of blood and went to A and E where I was referred for a test. Prior to that I just had a few stomach cramps which would go the following day. The consultant said I was very lucky because if I have come to him with my original symptoms he wouldn't have sent me for tests because I'm not overweight, I don't smoke, I'm under 50, I exercise regularly and have no family history of cancer.
“If people think something isn't right, they need to nag their GP or ask for a second opinion.”