Hargis returns to councilEven before he underwent surgery last month to remove his cancerous prostate, Bill Hargis had already marked Sept. 10 as his return to the mayor’s chair.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
Even before he underwent surgery last month to remove his cancerous prostate, Bill Hargis had already marked Sept. 10 as his return to the mayor’s chair. That’s exactly when Hargis, who has served on the Woodbury City Council since 1992, returned to action.
Needless to say, he was glad to be back.
“It will be at least two to four more weeks before I’m back to full speed,” Hargis said. “Right now (city administrator) Clint Gridley and (city council member) Paul (Rebholz) are updating me on the issues I’ve missed out on over the last month. I’m definitely back to work, but I’m easing into things. I’m still getting plenty of rest, and a good nine to ten hours of sleep at night.”
The mayor said he’s needed his rest following a surgery that kept him at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood from Aug. 7 to Aug. 11.
The surgery went well, he added, although the length of the procedure and the time spent in the hospital were somewhat longer than originally expected.
“Once I got home, I didn’t feel like moving much for awhile,” he said. “But I started walking around the house and gradually have built up to walking a few miles a day. I’ll start at the gym pretty soon.”
He said the surgery to remove the prostate went well and he will now, along with his doctors, monitor his situation for the next several months.
“With any type of cancer you’re on a monitoring program for the next three to five years,” he said. “There’s some standard follow-up and then they are going to advise me whether they recommend radiation. There are pros and cons of the that, but we’ll take it as it comes.”
A humbling testimony
Hargis hasn’t been shy about his situation as he announced in June he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The mayor made the announcement to the public at the annual Woodbury Relay for Life, a rally to raise funds to fight cancer.
Often, participants at the Relay for Life to share their personal testimony in their fight against cancer.
Hargis had planned to recite the city’s annual official proclamation of the event, but upon news of his diagnosis, he chose to use the moment to make his own personal testimony.
“It was humbling for sure,” Hargis said. “And sharing something like that just points out your fragile nature of the human being. But the Relay for Life, the whole concept of that is to be supportive. The people that are undergoing that sort of thing know that.
“And its scary. Cancer is scary; when you hear that word you don’t know all it means.”
Since that day, Hargis said he has relied quite a bit on his big three: faith, family and friends. He said he had some good doctors working in his favor too.
“You really learn to appreciate those people who have the gift and have chosen that profession,” he said.
The mayor said his doctors told him his prognosis is encouraging, and he said he plans to serve out his full term as mayor and continue work at his personal office on Currell Boulevard.
As he returns to his regular duties, Hargis said he isn’t putting his battle with cancer out of his mind, but he isn’t letting it get the best of him either.
“You try to have a positive attitude and focus on what you can do and have control over,” he said. “What’s worked for me is to interact with as many positive people that I can; that will encourage you and give you positive support.”