TORONTO — Rob Ford vowed to fight for his life Thursday, after saying he was almost certain that a tumour doctors discovered on his bladder was cancerous.
The former Toronto mayor said although he is still awaiting biopsy results, he was bracing for the worst.
"We are praying that it is benign but you have to deal with the realistic part of things and I am 99 per cent sure it's malignant," said an emotional Ford, choking back tears.
Ford said he was determined to overcome the latest setback and would undergo two rounds of chemotherapy treatments beginning next week.
"All I can do is fight, and I will," Ford said outside Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital. "I'll fight, and I won't stop fighting until the day I die."
The latest health setback appeared to be a grim repetition of what took place just over a year ago as the controversial Ford, nearing the end of a tumultuous term as Toronto's mayor, sought another four years at City Hall.
Doctors then diagnosed him with a rare kind of cancer, prompting Ford to withdraw from the race and allow his brother Doug to run in his stead. Doug Ford lost to John Tory, Toronto's current mayor.
Ford underwent chemotherapy treatments to shrink that tumour, had surgery in May to have it removed, and just last month declared himself to be cancer-free.
As a result, Ford said he and his family were blindsided by the discovery of the new tumour.
The last time, Ford said, he and his family "saw light at the end of the tunnel."
"I was ready for the fight, I came out swinging and we did very well. This time around, it totally caught me off guard."
Ford said the latest round of symptoms consisted mainly of severe abdominal pain that could leave him trembling for minutes at a time.
Ford, who was re-elected to Toronto city council after dropping out of the mayoralty race, said the pain was severe enough to keep him from fully taking part in some of his political engagements. Nonetheless, he made a recent appearance alongside Stephen Harper in the closing days of the federal election campaign.
Those types of engagements, however, have been significantly scaled back since the scandal-plagued mayoralty that brought him international notoriety.
Ford grabbed global attention when the Toronto Star and a U.S.-based news site, Gawker, reported that he was seen on video smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine and making racist and homophobic comments.
Despite his denials, Ford admitted six months later to smoking crack cocaine in one of his "drunken stupours."
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