Represent!

Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Bill Rosendahl returns to City Hall two months after cancer diagnosis

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Two months after he was diagnosed with cancer, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl returned to City Hall Tuesday with a pledge to run for a third term of office.

Rosendahl, 67, entered the chamber with the aid of a walker. After 13 radiation treatments and two chemotherapy sessions, the councilman has lost 45 pounds. It was only in recent days that his strength returned, he told reporters. He will go through another round of chemo next week. 

“I feel strong enough not only to serve a third term, but my goal is to live until 96 and when I’m getting all this love...you know, God is love,” Rosendahl said.

Up until now, the councilman has not disclosed what type of cancer he is battling. The cancer is of the ureter, which is a tube that connects the kidney and bladder. The councilman has a tumor between his fourth and fifth vertebrae and another tumor between the third and the fourth vertebrae, he said.

Before announcing his cancer diagnosis, Rosendahl disclosed that he is a medical marijuana patient. He was first prescribed the drug 10 years by a doctor who was treating the councilman for diabetes.

“It’s fantastic. In fact in this moment now ... it works dramatically and keeps me clear, too. It doesn’t get me crazy like some other drugs,” Rosendahl said.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and actor Warren Beatty, along with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the top mayoral candidates, have all reached out to Rosendahl during his treatment, he said in remarks at the start of Tuesday's council meeting. Though he has been absent from City Hall, Rosendahl said he remained connected to his office through texting and social media.

He was in the chamber today, but Rosendahl indicated he might only be at meetings when the council president says he's needed to reach a 12-vote threshold.

“If Herb [Wesson] says they need 12 votes, I’m going to be there,” he said. 

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