Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stennett eyes return to Senate

Tests show Stennett’s cancer is inactive

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum’s Clint and Michelle Stennett enjoy a sunny day in their west Ketchum home on Monday afternoon. Recent medical tests that show Stennett’s brain cancer is no longer spreading. Photo by Willy Cook

Idaho Sen. Clint Stennett, a longtime representative of the Wood River Valley, is confident he'll be heading back to the Capitol next winter.

Speaking from his west Ketchum log home on Monday afternoon, Stennett happily reported that recent tests have revealed his brain cancer is no longer spreading. Even better, the brain scan indicated the tumor is currently inactive, he said.

"It looks like it's on the run," he said.

Stennett was diagnosed with brain cancer nearly a year and a half ago. Intense rounds of radiation and chemotherapy treatments left him feeling fatigued and unable to complete his duties as District 25 senator.

Last January, Stennett announced that he would take time off as leader of the Senate Democrats to rest up from the treatment. Former Sun Valley Mayor Jon Thorson stood in for Stennett during the recent legislative session, the second longest in Idaho history.

Stennett clearly doesn't intend to miss the next session.

"I'm anxious to go back, he said. "I missed it a lot."

Stennett said it's still too early to say whether his cancer is actually in remission.

Stennett's wife of 13 years, Michelle, said the outpouring of support they've seen from within the valley and around the state has meant a lot throughout the ordeal.

"It has never wavered," she said.

For several more months at least, Sen. Stennett will continue his chemotherapy treatments. In the near term, the Stennetts are looking forward to serving as grand marshals for Hailey's upcoming Fourth of July Parade.

Jason Kauffman:

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