Former Qualicum Beach Coun. Scott Tanner is doing well in hospital in Victoria, where he is staying for now to do physiotherapy.
“I’m just finishing up the chemo and radiation treatment,” he told The NEWS from a new hospital room, joking that he already misses his eighth floor, ocean-view room.
“I decided to stay in hospital to keep working to get to a point where I’m as independent as possible… within reason,” he said of his long battle back from a seizure in late September, days before he was expected to submit papers to run again for Qualicum Beach town council.
The seizure — not a stroke as rumoured — turned out to be caused by brain cancer.
“The long term prognosis… remains to be seen. I’m thinking positive right now and I believe that’s the answer,” he said by phone sounding like himself, if a bit subdued.
“It’s tough…” he said before trailing off. “It’s not tough, the days go by quickly,” he said, adding he’s focusing on the moment to moment, day-to-day work of getting better, often while lying awake watching cable news all night long.
“I could let it bother me, but I just accept it,” he said, pointing to a lot of support and family in the area with his mom, dad, sister and one of his daughters living in the south Island and his other daughter coming over from Vancouver every weekend.
Tanner had experienced a similar incident August 29 while at work with his house painting business.
He said he’d just climbed down a ladder, turned to some of his crew to speak, but all they heard was “gobbledygook.”
He was taken to the hospital, and the first stroke rumours started.
He said it didn’t feel like much but confusion, which scared him when it happened again a month later.
“I’d just come into the bedroom, I told my wife ‘it’s happening again,’ said goodbye and passed out. The next thing I remember I woke in the ambulance with Daryl Khose comforting me,” he said, expressing his deepest thanks for the Qualicum Beach fire chief and ambulance crew’s work and support.
While Tanner could go home, he would have a lot of work to make his house easily accessible and would have to make complicated daily trips to Nanaimo for treatment and physio, so he decided to stay in hospital for now.
While he was initially paralyzed on his right side, he now has mobility in his hand and can lift his leg.
“It’s a lot of small steps that you do notice over time. I can lift my leg higher today than I could yesterday,” he said.
His wife Annette travels back and forth to Victoria regularly and is busy taking care of their various business commitments at home.
Qualicum Beach mayor Teunis Westbroek, who is in regular contact, presented the other outgoing councillors with gifts at the inaugural meeting of the new town council last week and promised to make a big deal of Tanner’s eventual return to town.