Commissioner Nick Fish
Commissioner Nick Fish

Portland Commissioner Nick Fish has been diagnosed with abdominal cancer, he announced in a statement this morning.

"Over the past few months, I experienced weight loss, poor appetite, indigestion, and abdominal pain," Fish said in a statement. "A recent CT scan rang a number of alarm bells. A follow-up laparoscopy this week confirmed our worst fears: adenocarcinoma of the abdomen."

It's disheartening news, obviously, for the active city commissioner, who each week puts out a list of accomplishments and notable happenings on Facebook, and who's deft at brokering policy compromises with fellow commissioners (most recently, Fish was a key figure in forcing the continuation of a policy in which cops are interviewed by internal investigators shortly after shootings).

That activity is expected to continue largely unabated. While little is known about next steps, Fish's chief of staff, Sonia Schmanski, says the commissioner will keep a full schedule, except for necessary treatments.

"I am in good hands at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute," Fish said in this morning's statement. "My doctors have prescribed regular outpatient chemotherapy treatments. The medicine will weaken my immune system, but should not prevent me from continuing to serve on the City Council."

One question that has yet to be answered: Whether Fish will press on with re-election plans next year. The news is too new for any of that to be worked out, Schmanski says, though Fish will reach a decision in coming days.

"This is the biggest challenge I have ever faced," Fish's statement says. "I intend to fight this disease with every fiber of my body."