Yes, I’m back

It’s good to be back. Two weeks ago, week six of my eight weeks away from NCPR, I wouldn’t have thought I would write that today… without lying through my keyboard. But it’s the truth. Somehow I’m ready to leave the warm cocoon of home.

Here’s the poop: I took medical leave for surgery after a diagnosis of non-invasive but logistically complicated breast cancer. Surgery went great, healing is proceeding nicely, full recovery estimated at six months or so. Many thanks to all at Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Burlington; my experience there was and continues to be nothing but great.

Many of you know this already: major surgery is heck on a person. But I’m lucky. The evidence of healing and health is undeniably wonderful. As has been the love and care of my husband Everett, and of family, neighbors and friends.

And what can I say about the crew here at the station? The news department was already one fulltime person short (the All Before 5 host job, to be filled later this month). My absence put the workload squarely on to three people: Todd, David and Brian…for eight long weeks. That’s a lot of extra work, for a long time, but as I listened to the 8 O’clock Hour every morning and checked the website, it seemed to me that they missed very few beats, if any.  They did an amazing job. A thousand thanks to them, and to the web guys, Dale and Bill, and the freelancers and stringers who helped fill the gaps.

I’m still sorting through my inner thoughts about all this; they’ll probably stay “inner” in any case. But to loop back to my lede paragraph – eight weeks not working was a good thing. Even as a post-op convalescent, it was fine. I stayed up late if I wanted! I read, daydreamed, watched the crows and chickadees, made mental lists, wrote letters, welcomed visitors, watched old movies and TV shows, and otherwise vegged out. I took care of myself.

We need more of that. (Preferably without a dread disease!) People asked me if I weren’t getting ansty. Are you KIDDING? Most of us get our working papers at age 14, and that’s pretty much that. Jobs after school, during summer, then out into the real world…of work and “vacations.”  A week? Two weeks? Maaaaybe a month? Not even close to enough.

And then there’s this: my leave was quickly granted and fully paid, my job was secure, my health insurance is good, and I had easy access to care I chose and have confidence in. My heart aches for the millions of people in this most prosperous of nations who find themselves outside that safe circle.

So here’s to good health…and universal health care. Not to mention more down-time for grown-ups. Seriously.

3 Comments on “Yes, I’m back”

  1. Ellen Rocco says:

    Let me be the first to–joyously–welcome you back, Martha. And thank you for your wonderful blog entry about your absence.

  2. Anita says:

    Welcome back, Martha! How kind of you to the rest of us to be so forthright about your illness. Good for you, taking full advantage of your convalescence to take a few deep breaths.

  3. Paul says:

    Welcome back, indeed, Martha. You were missed, but your full recovery is much more important!

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