Martin Kidston/Missoula Current

City officials on Friday said Missoula Mayor John Engen continues to monitor the workings of Missoula city government while continuing chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer.

Communications director Ginny Merriam said that while the regiment has been difficult at times, Engen continues to look forward.

“Mayor Engen is doing as well as he possibly can in his course of treatment for pancreatic cancer,” Merriam said. “He is continuing on an aggressive series of chemotherapy infusions, which he receives once a week.”

Back in March, the city said Engen had been tired and suffering from abdominal pain for several months. An MRI and biopsy confirmed that he had carcinoma on his pancreas and a cancerous tumor on his liver.

In late June, Engen said he remains in touch with members of the City Council and had his finger on the workings of the city. He presented his FY '23 budget proposal to the City Council via a live stream in early July but has been working remotely ever since.

Merriam said doctors have estimated that his chemotherapy protocol will be at least several months long.

“His oncology specialists observe that the treatment is decreasing his levels of cancer cells. But the treatment is very hard,” Merriam said. “He continues to be in relatively good spirits and to keep his guiding hand in the workings of the city.”

Merriam said that while Engen plans to return to the office once his treatment has run its course, leading members of the City Council have asked city officials to post information for the public on how a succession would play out under city charter if necessary.