Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook) got a standing ovation Thursday as he took hold of his gavel to open a Suffolk legislative meeting in Hauppauge for the first time since undergoing cancer surgery to remove a lung in May.
“Thank you for your applause. I appreciate that,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay, who presided for only a short time at the opening of the meeting, told the audience he was “back and kicking,” but admitted “it's not without a lot of pain and strain.”
He disclosed that his doctor on Aug. 11 “gave me the good news that “I’m cancer free .?.?. for now.”
Lindsay called his mesothelioma “a nasty cancer which always seems to come back.”
Lindsay, a former union electrician who once headed IBEW Local 25, said his illness is related to years of working around asbestos in construction.
He said he could not have made it without his team of doctors and nurses, and family and well-wishers. He issued proclamations to his team of doctors and nurses, noting they “literally saved my life.”
And he also singled out his surgeon, who he said agreed to operate after an opinion from another physician indicated he should not be a candidate for surgery.
“The doctors and nurses put me back together so I can keep doing good work for another year,” Lindsay said, referring to the term-limit law that bars him from seeking re-election next year.
Legis. Edward Romaine (R-Center Moriches), often the GOP’s most partisan point man, told Lindsay he was happy to see him back. “I enjoy looking at that chair and seeing you back there,” Romaine said.
Pictured: Presiding Officer William Lindsay speaks during a meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature in Hauppauge Thursday. (Sept. 13, 2012)