Rob Ford says he is trying to put on a ‘brave face’ for his young children as he gets ready to begin his fifth round of chemotherapy next week.

Ford, who was diagnosed with a rare form of soft tissue cancer in September, will return to Mount Sinai Hospital on Monday for five days of chemotherapy as doctors continue their attempts to shrink a large tumour in his abdomen.

The former mayor will then undergo a battery of tests sometime in the New Year to determine whether the chemotherapy has made an impact and whether surgery to remove the tumour is a viable option.

“It is a tough job. It wears on you. It is a week and then it takes another week just to recover after that,” Ford said of the treatment during a wide ranging interview with CP24 on Wednesday. “At home you can barely get out of bed but I just try to keep a brave face because my kids are there. I don’t want to get upset in front of my kids because obviously they feed off it.”

Ford said he is trying to put his “head down” and just “keep going” as he battles cancer, though he admitted that some days have been “challenging.”

For inspiration, Ford said he draws upon the support he has received from Toronto residents and reflects on the many political battles he has fought at city hall.

“I have fought a lot of battles, I have won a lot and I am not going to stop fighting,” Ford promised. “I am going to go at it hard and I will beat it.”

Ford says he will fight above ground transit ‘tooth and nail’

Ford pulled out of the mayoral race following his diagnosis and ran for city council in Ward 2 instead, where he coasted to victory despite barely campaigning.

Now back representing the ward he presided over for 10 years, Ford told CP24 that he won’t attack successor John Tory “just for the sake of playing the role of the opposition” but will hold him to account on a number of issues, particularly when it comes to transit.

Tory, of course, campaigned on a plan to build 53 kilometres of rapid transit using primarily GO Transit track while Ford favoured building 32 kilometres in underground subway lines instead.

“A lot of things we will agree on and other things we are not going to agree on. On the transit we are going to disagree and once it comes forward at council your are going to see the old Rob Ford go at it,” Ford said. “The people want underground transit. They want Sheppard (Avenue) underground, they want Finch (Avenue) underground, they want Eglinton (Avenue) underground and if he wants to build it above ground I will fight tooth and nail.”

Ford planning 2018 mayoral run

Ford has previously mused about running for mayor in 2018 provided his health improves and on Wednesday he went one step further, telling CP24 that he is already planning his campaign.

“My health comes first but if my health holds up my name will be on the ballot,” he said. “I am plotting it (the campaign) out as we speak. I am ready to go I just got to make sure my health is OK.”

In the interim, Ford said he is turning his attention to the race for leadership of the provincial PC party which his brother Doug Ford ruled out entering just two weeks ago.

“There is still lots of time. The deadline to sign up is Feb. 28th and I really hope he changes his mind,” he said. “Since he said no the phones haven’t stopped ringing. There so many people calling me and calling him and calling our staff saying ‘Doug, you have got to change your mind.’ Don’t get me wrong Christine (Elliot) and everyone are great candidates but the people want Doug Ford.”

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