Sen. Jim Metzen, who is undergoing treatment for a recurrence of lung cancer, on Thursday chaired a legislative committee, the first public meeting he’s participated in since announcing late last month that his cancer was back.

“I’m doing pretty well,” he said in a brief interview with reporters after the meeting. “It’s a tough situation. These pills that you take, chemo pills, are pretty rough on you. They were very rough on me the first month, and now hopefully it’s getting a little better.”

Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul, is one of the Legislature’s longest-serving members. He was elected to the House in 1974 and elected to the Senate in 1986. This is his ninth term. He serves as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and is a former Senate president.

“I feel good enough to get up in the morning and come to work, and as long that goes on, I’m going to hang around here, so you’re not rid of me yet!” he joked.