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UPBEAT GIAMBRA HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

County Executive-elect Joel A. Giambra returned to his Buffalo home Thursday for the Christmas holidays following an 11-day stay in Manhattan for throat cancer surgery.

Bruce L. Fisher, Giambra's chief of staff, said the county executive-elect flew to Buffalo via a private aircraft to begin recuperation at home and to aim for a short swearing-in ceremony on either Dec. 31 or Jan. 1.

"He's delighted to be home and is looking forward to a quiet Christmas with his family," Fisher said. "He's feeling good and upbeat."

He added that Giambra and his family are "deeply touched" by all the gifts that have arrived at their home. Most of the gifts -- which include a great number of fruit baskets -- are being taken today to Children's Hospital. Fisher said Giambra hopes that well-wishers will direct any gifts to the hospital, where the young patients and their families will be the beneficiaries.

Fisher said that he and Giambra already discussed transition issues following his arrival in Buffalo and that he expects him to fully address those issues in the days ahead.

Giambra disclosed on Nov. 23 that he had been diagnosed with cancer in the right tonsil and in an upper-neck lymph node. He underwent surgery Dec. 13 in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan to remove the tumors.

Fisher said earlier this week that doctors have pronounced Giambra "cancer-free."

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