First-term Lunenburg town councillor Joseph Carnevale is back attending civic government meetings in person as he continues to undergo treatment to eradicate the cancer that's attacking his lymphatic system.
After the public portion of the town's October 23 council meeting, Carnevale told LighthouseNOW he's "doing really well" and thanked people for their support. He's experienced hair loss, dropped 20 pounds and walks with a cane - all related to his battle against lymphoma - but he remains positive as more medical treatment lies ahead.
"Anybody else that's going through the same situation, you've got to focus on what you want to do: See the target and aim for it. I've always been that way."
Carnevale's participated in a couple of meetings since May when he was granted a temporary leave of absence. He'd been keeping up with town affairs via his electronic tablet, reading up on committee work and council minutes in order to stay informed. He was paid his council remuneration during the leave.
Carnevale told LighthouseNOW that he has more cycles of chemotherapy ahead but said a tumour in his lower belly has shrunk. He's also awaiting more test results.
"My hunger is improving a little bit," he explained with a smile, crediting his wife for taking care of him "to feed me all the right foods."
Later in the interview, the councillor first elected in 2016 added, "Thank God, everything's going well."
Mayor Rachel Bailey said she was delighted to see the return of her council colleague, saying she was grateful to have him present at meetings when he can be there.
"We've kept him the loop, so when he's been well enough he's always been responsive and participating in every facet of council that's he's able, so we're very pleased to have him back."