Ailing Kennedy plans to return to Senate in January

Monday, September 8, 2008

WASHINGTON — Sen. Edward Kennedy, who has brain cancer, will not be on Capitol Hill this week when Congress returns from its summer break. He intends to work from his Massachusetts home this fall and return to the Senate in January.

A Kennedy aide said Sunday that the Democratic lawmaker's doctors are pleased with his progress, but want him to keep working from home through the fall.

The 76-year-old Kennedy made a dramatic speech last month at the Democratic National Convention in Denver that drew a rousing response from delegates. Kennedy has been one of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's strongest supporters.

Kennedy's appearance at the convention was a surprise. He was only supposed to be honored with a video tribute. His doctors had been wary of the Denver appearance, especially his exposure to crowds, given the weakness of his immune system after weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor after he had a seizure in May. He has had surgery and a six-week course of chemotherapy and radiation. He has been working from his home in Hyannis Port, Mass.

The senator has largely kept a low profile this summer. But he made a surprise visit to the Senate in July to cast an important Medicare vote.

The House and Senate were to reconvene today for a session before the November elections.

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