Radio host Eleanor Mondale returned to the airwaves today on WCCO (AM 830) after surgery for a brain tumor.

Mondale, 48, underwent surgery in March to remove a tumor that had returned and is now undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

The daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale co-hosts a weekday program with Susie Jones on WCCO from 9 a.m. to noon.

Mondale, who had been away from her show since late February, was greeted with the theme song to the 1970s "Welcome Back, Kotter" sitcom to start the show.

"It's nice to be here, I have to say," Mondale told listeners. "I didn't sleep all night, I was so nervous."

The station says Mondale will co-host the first hour of each show as she returns and add more time as she continues her recovery.

"There are no new cancer cells," said Mondale, adding that she feels about 80 percent recovered. "The [brain] scan looks good."

Her return to work comes on the same morning that U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., undergoes surgery at Duke University Medical Center for his cancerous brain tumor and then faces chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

As word of her return reached her listeners, the show's blog started collected kind words from well-wishers.

"I have just been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will begin my recovery process soon," wrote a man from Coon Rapids. "I will always think of you during my recovery."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482