A month ago, I wrote to tell you that I was going to the hospital for open-heart surgery. I lined up guest bloggers who filled in for me in my absence, and I thank them all for keeping the conversation going.

I checked into the hospital in NYC on April 7. Surgery was early the next morning. I had an ascending aortic aneurysm and a leaky heart valve that had to be replaced. The surgeon explained that he would cut upon my breast bone to gain access to my heart.

Needless to say, I have no recollection of the surgery or its aftermath. I was sedated for five days. One member of my family was allowed to visit each day. When I was finally allowed to regain consciousness, I had no voice (due to intubation), a bad cough, and could not walk. I spent two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit, two days in regular care, then moved to the Rehabilitation Unit, where I am relearning how to walk.

I’m going home on May 7 and bringing a walker with me until I have fully regained the use of my legs and can walk without fear of falling.

I want to express gratitude to the many friends who sent good wishes my way.

I want to thank the great doctors and nurses who made sure I pulled through an arduous procedure.

I thank Medicare, an incredible federal program that assures that everyone enrolled gets the same quality care. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could enroll in Medicare?

And of course I thank my sons Joe and Michael and my partner Mary, who were always there for visiting hours and always brought a CARE package of a favorite food.