Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans was all smiles Tuesday morning as she officially returned to work at Ottawa City Hall.
Deans has been on medical leave after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer nearly one year ago.
"My health is very good," Deans said on CTV Morning Live on Tuesday. "I have to say, I've come through a very tough year but I feel good and all indications are that everything is good now. I feel strong and ready to get back to work."
Deans began treatment in September 2019, finishing her chemotherapy in March. She announced last month that she would offically return to her duties on Sept. 8.
In addition to resuming her duties as a councillor, Deans will be taking back her position as chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board and Crime Prevention Ottawa.
The 25-year veteran councillor says she kept a positive outlook throughout her treatment.
"I have to tell you that the love and support from the community has just been overwhelming for me and I really think it kept me strong," she said. "I didn't go negative at all. I managed to stay strong and believed I was going to beat this thing and every day I just kept that attitude."
Deans says her first order of business is to catch up on Police Services Board work.
"I'm spending the entire day with the Police Services Board in a professional development session. I'm happy to do that and happy to see my colleagues on the police board," she said. "I have to thank Sandy Smallwood who kept the seat warm—I think it was a bit of a hot seat for him—over the last year, while I was absent."
City Council sits on Wednesday.
"It's a busy first week for me," Deans said. "I spent some of last week preparing and getting up to speed on the issues so that I could hit the ground running on day one."
Deans also praised the medical teams that helped her through her treatment.
"They are so strong and supportive and dedicated and knowledgeable," she said of the workers from the Shirley E. Greenberg Women's Health Centre and the Regional Cancer Centre. "Anyone that is facing a cancer battle, you just have to know that the men and women in this region that work in the cancer field are incredible and dedicated to their profession and they make a huge difference."