Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is recovering from colon cancer surgery and expects to begin chemotherapy next month.
Despite the diagnosis, the Republican who has been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate in 2020 tells the Great Falls Tribune "that option and any other option in my life are still very viable."
Fox, 60, said he had 7 inches of his colon removed at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in late March and has an 80 percent chance of being cured because of early detection and great health care services.
"I feel very fortunate and very blessed the way in which things have transpired," he said Monday. "I am walking up to five miles a day and my appetite is great. Frankly I have not felt better in a long time."
Several months ago, Fox was battling back pain and fatigue when Dr. Nate Buffington with the Montana Health Center for State Employees suggested a colonoscopy. He said Fox was lucky.
"Not everyone who becomes symptomatic from colon cancer has a good outcome," Buffington said.
Fox is using his story to encourage family members, friends and co-workers to undergo recommended cancer screenings.
The diagnosis, he says, has changed him.
"I think too, for most people, the way we grow and become better as persons often is because of the trials and tribulations we go through, and I see this as an opportunity for me to grow as a person and learn and . help others," he said.
Fox declined last June to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester this year, saying he still had a lot of work to do as attorney general.