MP and former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis today thanked all those who sent messages of support and sympathy after she announced that she has been diagnosed as being in the earliest stage of multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer that with current therapies is essentially a chronic disease.

Among those who expressed their sympathy and their conviction that she is a fighter who will emerge victorious from her battle with cancer were her brother, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, her son, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, and main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras.

In a moving Facebook post, Bakoyannis, who is known for her straight talk and realpolitik approach to foreign policy, described her emotions when informed of her diagnosis and her determination to beat cancer.

“Five hundred people in Greece each year are diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. I am now one of them. Multiple Myeloma in the earliest stage and with the best possible prognosis regarding the course of the disease,” she wrote.

“It is never easy to hear that you have cancer. What you cannot control and comes out of the blue is what scares you most. It scares you not only for yourself but also for those whom you love and who love you. However, this disease can be fought and defeated.”

“The one thing that is certain is that I have never backed off from any battle in my life. I will continue to work normally and to fight for this country, which I so love, parallel to my therapy.

.“To the other 499 [people diagnosed annually] I can say that this is a disease with which you learn to live. Parallel, simultaneously [with one’s activities]. It is yet another condition and issue of everyday life. It is not something more. We will not resign ourselves to it. We will not change. I believe that I owed you the truth. I am not after all the type of person who hides. I am in the hands of excellent doctors that our country has and I feel determined to achieve this victory and I am very optimistic about the future.”

MEGA television reported that Bakoyannis learned by chance that she has cancer after laboratory tests concerning a problem with her knee after a relapse of a condition that she had after prior surgery. Moreover, she wanted to follow a specific nutrition plan and wanted to review all her medical data.

The battery of laboratory tests led to the multiple myeloma diagnosis.

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