Carolyn McCarthy returns to Washington

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy during an interview in Westbury Rep. Carolyn McCarthy during an interview in Westbury on Jan. 29, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Carolyn McCarthy returned to Washington Monday for the first time since she began a seven-month leave to undergo treatment for lung cancer.

McCarthy, 70, a nine-term Democrat from Mineola, will ease her way back into work on Capitol Hill, said her chief of staff, Georgette Sierra.

"I am excited to be back at work in Washington," McCarthy said in a statement.

"It's great to be dealing with my colleagues firsthand with the challenges ahead."

McCarthy, who flew to Washington from LaGuardia Airport, "is getting settled," Sierra said.

"We're taking this day by day. It just depends on how she feels," Sierra said. "She's feeling good coming back, but we recognize she's still recovering."

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McCarthy has not been back to Washington since she disclosed she had what she called "treatable lung cancer" in June.

She announced her decision to retire at her dining room table in her home in Mineola on Jan. 8.

McCarthy has been on leave and at home since June 1 while she underwent treatment, including chemotherapy, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

McCarthy hopes to attend a Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday featuring Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, but will decide based on how she feels, Sierra said.

Sierra said she does not know when McCarthy will return to the floor of the House to see colleagues.

McCarthy said that while she was gone she continued to work for her constituents.

"During my recovery, I have been addressing constituent issues at home and working on legislation by phone and email," she said.

"In my remaining year in Congress," McCarthy added, "helping my constituents recover from superstorm Sandy and addressing my legislative agenda will be among my priorities."

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