State Sen. Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst), who represents the Hampshire-Franklin District, is currently working from his home in Amherst while recovering from surgery.
The 62-year-old senator was first hospitalized in September, according to an article published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, for squamous cell carcinoma, a type of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and has undergone mandatory surgery to allay the side effects of his recent treatment.
After enduring five weeks of 30 radiation sessions which Rosenberg said “wreaked havoc” on his body, he said he is still seeking reelection and plans to start campaigning again in approximately six weeks.
“My strength is coming back and I am sleeping better,” Rosenberg said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
During the first four and a half weeks of treatment, the senator said his energy waned, but added that he “didn’t feel compromised.” He had originally planned to return to work full-time no later than January.
Rosenberg said that during treatment, he woke up every morning at 6 a.m. for radiation at 8 a.m., and then proceeded to Boston for work. In the first and fourth weeks of treatment, he underwent continuous infusions of chemotherapy 24 hours a day.
One night in December, Rosenberg said he “completely fell apart” and landed in the hospital. He was instructed to wait until mid-April to return to work full-time.
Rosenberg’s stay at the hospital suspended his participation in the redistricting debate on congress and the final debate on casinos, issues that he had been working on for years.
“At the last inning of the game, I was not able to be there,” Rosenberg said.
Working part time from home, he said he is excited to continue his efforts on the state budget, prioritizing funding for public higher education, regional transportation, social services and local aid.
At home, Rosenberg said he spends three to four hours on conference calls, four to six hours reading reports and legislation and one to two hours emailing each day. Before the cancer, however, Rosenberg said his average work-day lasted from 12 to 16 hours.
“I am very anxious to get back to Boston,” said Rosenberg, who then added that at home, he feels like he is “in slow motion.”
Mary Reines can be reached at [email protected]