When SNP councillor Ronnie Cairns was told he was clear of the cancer which he had been fighting for more than a year, his first stop was the City Chambers where he celebrated with friends and colleagues by bellowing “Yes” at the top of his voice from the central staircase.
The 70-year-old grandfather-of-four, who represents Drumbrae/Gyle, had promised earlier this year that if his treatment was successful he would shout the result from the staircase of the Chambers with a glass of champagne in his hand.
And after visiting the city’s Western General Hospital for his three-month check-up, he kept his promise. “It was just fantastic news,” said the former ScotRail engineer.
He said the medic who told him had shared his delight. “She kept a straight face as she was reading out the results and then burst out laughing and said I was clear,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it – it could easily have gone the other way.” Councillor Cairns was diagnosed with cancer the day a close colleague who died of the disease was buried.
He was told he had prostate cancer just hours after attending the funeral of former SNP colleague and city economy convener Tom Buchanan, who died from a brain tumour, aged 55, last April.
Cllr Cairns had to take time off from his council duties. “Every time I sat down in a warm place, I fell asleep,” he said. “I have never actually felt ill – I always felt I was a bit of a fraud because I was with other people who were obviously having a difficult time.”
And he is full of praise for all those involved in his treatment. He said: “The hospital has been absolutely fantastic and the staff are great.”
He said in addition to his glass of champagne with colleagues from across the political spectrum, he was planning to celebrate by going for a long walk with his dogs – Oleg the poodle and Ellie the West Highland terrier.
The city’s SNP group leader, Steve Cardownie, said everyone was delighted at Cllr Cairns’ all-clear. He said: “It’s a reminder that cancer is becoming more and more curable and there is always hope.
“Ronnie has always maintained an optimistic attitude. And hopefully this will be an example to people that all is not lost, that treatments are available.”