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'It's good to be home,' Kennedy says

Within hours of being discharged from the hospital after brain surgery, the senator, 76, is out sailing.

June 10, 2008|From the Associated Press

BOSTON — Fresh from his hospitalization for surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor, Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy announced it was "good to be home" in Cape Cod on Monday and headed out for a sail.

Kennedy left Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., in the morning and arrived at his family's compound in Hyannis Port, Mass., just before noon.

Within hours, he went sailing with his wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy. He followed the same homecoming routine last month when he was released from a Boston hospital after being diagnosed with a malignant glioma. One of the most lethal types of brain cancer, malignant gliomas are diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year.

"His doctors are pleased with his progress since surgery a week ago, and he will continue to recuperate at home before starting the next phase of his treatment," Kennedy's office said in a statement. "He is thankful for the extraordinary care of the doctors and nurses at Duke, and also for the continued prayers and well wishes from the people of Massachusetts and all over the country."

Kennedy, 76, underwent the risky 3 1/2 -hour surgery June 2 to remove as much of the tumor as possible and improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation.

His surgeon at Duke, Dr. Allan Friedman, said Monday that Kennedy "is making an excellent recovery."

"He will continue his recuperation at home in Massachusetts under the supervision of the very capable doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital," Friedman said in a statement.

Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) said he planned to have dinner with his father Monday night.

"My dad's doing great," he said Monday after an appearance at Brown University. "He's benefited enormously from the surgery he received and he's on his way home, and we're so fortunate that, you know, he's going back to the place that he loves. . . . Always makes him feel great being near the ocean."

Patrick Kennedy told the Providence Journal on Sunday that his father was looking forward to returning to the Senate and working with Barack Obama on universal healthcare legislation should the Illinois Democratic senator win the White House.

"That is what he is talking and thinking about," Patrick Kennedy said. "It adds a great deal of poignancy to his recovery. But that's how he sees it: He has to recover so he can get healthcare for the millions of people who don't have access to the care that we do."

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