Post-surgery recovery 'rough' for Chavez

2012-03-07 14:03
Caracas - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his first week after undergoing cancer surgery was a bit difficult but that he is recovering smoothly.

Chavez offered the update on his health in a phone call on Tuesday from Cuba that was broadcast live on Venezuelan state television.

Chavez said his "innards" were "a little hurt" in the February 26 operation but that he is feeling better.

The 57-year-old president has said the surgery removed a new tumour that appeared in the same spot in the pelvic region where a tumour was surgically removed eight months ago.

"This week that passed... was a little difficult. Well, you know that fortunately I'm continuing to recover," Chavez said. "I'm recovering with the grace of Holy God and the Virgin... the love of all of you, medical science, to continue fighting this battle."

Chavez has said he next plans to undergo radiation therapy treatment, though it's unclear how soon that could begin.

Four rounds of chemo

He offered few details about his health but said that after his latest surgery, "I'm more dedicated to thinking."

Chavez revealed on Sunday in a pre-recorded TV appearance that the new tumour removed from his pelvic region was of the same type of cancer as the baseball-sized growth extracted from that part of his body in June.

He underwent four rounds of chemotherapy in Cuba and Venezuela following last year's surgery.

Chavez has credited his ally and mentor Fidel Castro with suggesting the medical tests that originally detected cancer. Chavez said he was expecting visits by Castro as well as his brother President Raul Castro.

Chavez also said he would meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Havana on Wednesday.

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