House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, planned to be on a 6 p.m. flight Thursday.
Rep. Rusche said he plans to take Fridays off through early March to be with his wife during treatments at St. Josephs Regional Medical Center in Lewiston for a recurrence of ovarian cancer.
Both John and Kay Rusche are physicians. Kay Rusche, 63, blogged frequently in 2010 about her first bout with cancer at Kays Adventure My experience as a patient.
She resumed blogging in November with a post headlined Here we go again, describing a colonoscopy that detected a tumor and surgery to remove the cancer and parts of her small and large intestines.
Now I am home, recovering well, eating and without significant pain, she wrote. And ready to fight the Bear again.
Rep. Rusche said Assistant Democratic Leader Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, will fill in as floor leader on Fridays, which are typically the slowest day of the Legislative week.
Rusche said he discussed his absences with House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, whose wife, Sarah, was treated for breast cancer last year, and House Health & Welfare Committee Chairman Fred Wood.
Wood, R-Burley, said he will schedule noncontroversial matters for the committees Friday meetings.
John is a good friend and Im going to do whatever I can to help him, Wood said.
The committee meets five days a week and Rusche is trusted on both sides of the aisle for his expertise on health policy.
Rep. Rusche said he doesnt anticipate naming a replacement to fill in for him. However, he said he would likely choose a substitute if his wifes treatment requires more frequent absences.
Dan Popkey: 377-6438