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There just didn't seem to be any other way to explain why I'm not going to be present for the first two weeks of the Libby trial so I decided to resort to the truth. 

As someone who has devoted years to building this blog around coverage of the CIA leak investigation, it's going to be really rough to sit on the sidelines for the first two weeks while Marcy, Christy, Pach and others cover the trial in person.  I've been working for months now to obtain a press pass and set up the "Plame House" in Washington DC as a central place for bloggers to stay and share information amongst ourselves as we cover the trial.  When I received (with the help of Arianna Huffington and Rachel Sklar of the Huffington Post) the only press pass awarded to a blogger to be in the actual courtroom, I was blown away.   And as you might well imagine, it would have to be something pretty serious to keep me away for even a moment.

In mid-December I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time. It's a bit more serious this time and treatment is going to have to be more extensive.  I owe a huge debt of thanks to all the folks on the blog who have stepped in and allowed me time to investigate treatment options with many physicians and make an informed decision on that front.  In addition to regulars like Christy, Pach and TRex who have taken over many of my duties, I also need to express my thanks to commenters like Scarecrow, Looseheadprop, Peterr, Hugh and Oilfieldguy who have done incredible work posting so that I could take this time off.  Guest posters like Taylor Marsh, Swopa, Steve Gilliard, Watertiger, Howie Klein and others have also pitched in, and no amount of words can thank the incredible RBG, our site administrator, who has taken it upon himself to coordinate all these disparate elements on the fly.  It's been a daunting task and he has managed it spectacularly.

On Thursday I go in for surgery at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica.  My surgeons are Dr. Armando Giuliano, with whom I've been down this road before, and Dr. Jay Orringer, who comes highly recommended by both friends and his own superb work.  Thanks to the time that all of those who contribute to this blog have afforded me to investigate all my options, I feel really confident in my choice of treatments.  Right now I'm writing from John Amato's house, the Crooks & Liars bat cave, where I'll be recouping.  The emotional support that bloggers like John, Digby, Arianna, and of course Pach, TRex and the amazing Christy have given to me during this time — well, there just are no words to express.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the effort that allowed us to set up the Plame house.  As Pach begins blogging from the trial today, one of only two reporters at a time allowed into the courtroom, I am just bursting with pride.  Christy will be in the courtroom for opening statements, and Marcy will be live blogging the trial on FDL from the WiFi room within the courthouse.  Fortunately there is no shortage of talent to be able to handle the coverage probably better than I ever could during the period of my absence.  For this and many other things I am very grateful.

I'll be in Washington DC starting on Monday, Feburary 4. Before we settled on a surgery option I wrestled Drs. Orringer  and Giluliano to the floor, got them in a hammerlock and made them promise me that I would be able to fly in two weeks.  And so I will.

Covering the CIA leak investigation on this blog and participating in the community that has come together to do so has been one of the great joys of my life.  There is nothing that is going to keep me away from that trial, and I just want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who is giving me the support to make that possible.