Councillor Fred Francis staying positive after cancer diagnosis
Published Friday, January 18, 2019 11:10AM EST
Windsor city councillor Fred Francis is speaking out about his cancer diagnosis.
Francis, 38, first shared the news in a Facebook post on Jan. 9, that he had been diagnosed with Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
In an exclusive interview with CTV Windsor, Francis said he went to see his doctor on Dec. 5 after experiencing chest pains. He received the cancer diagnosis on Dec. 31.
"I passed out," admits Francis as he laughed when the doctor first said his pain could be cancer. "I did, and I am not ashamed to say that. It was a little overwhelming and I've never obviously received that information before."
The Ward 1 city councillor received the news a little over a month after his sister-in-law, Michelle Prince, passed away from cancer.
"One of the things I learned from Michelle's cancer journey is that cancer doesn't discriminate," said Francis. "It doesn't care if you just turned 38, it doesn't care if you just had a death in the family, it doesn't care about anything. It could hit anybody at any time."
Prince was the wife of Fred's brother Eddie, the former mayor of Windsor.
Fred Francis however remains upbeat because he has been given a positive prognosis.
"It is very treatable and I also hear curable, you're talking about over 90 per cent, 95 per cent success rates with treatment being chemotherapy," said Francis.
Francis tells CTV Windsor he began his chemotherapy last week and he will try to keep a normal work schedule while still attending regular city council meetings.
“This is a non-chemo week for me so I can continue to work today and this week," said Francis. "I did schedule my chemo on off council weeks and towards the end of the week so I could take advantage of the Saturday and Sunday."
Francis added he is grateful for the support he has received from his brother Eddie, his girlfriend Caroline, all of his family and the community.
Francis hopes his story will encourage others, no matter what pain they have, to see a doctor.
"If you're having a pain in the chest, arm, or leg don't ignore it. Go see the doctor. Don't put it off. Don't say it might go away in a month or not. Get it checked out. It might make all the difference to you in the long run," said Francis.