Sen. Ted Kennedy left a Boston hospital this morning, four days after he was hospitalized for a seizure that doctors said was caused by a malignant brain tumor.
Kennedy walked out of the hospital accompanied by family members and was greeted enthusiastically by several of the family dogs.
Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital said in statement that Kennedy is doing well after the seizure and the procedures he underwent Monday that led to the diagnosis.
"Sen. Kennedy has recovered remarkably quickly from his Monday procedure," the statement read, "and therefore will be released from the hospital today ahead of schedule."
Kennedy will return to his home on Cape Cod to await further test results and treatment plans. "He's feeling well and eager to get started," according to the statement.
The news about Kennedy's brain tumor has thrown his family a "real curveball," said his wife, Vicki, in an e-mail to friends that was released Tuesday evening.
In her first comment since the diagnosis was announced, Vicki said the family is stunned by the news but heartened by her husband's demeanor.
"Teddy is leading us all, as usual, with his calm approach to getting the best information possible," the e-mail said.
But she joked that Ted was "making me crazy," by insisting he wanted to take part in an annual sailing race this weekend off Cape Cod.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D- Conn., told "Good Morning America" today that he spoke to Kennedy late Tuesday and that he was in good spirits. Dodd said they joked about Kennedy stealing the spotlight from him on Tuesday. "He had a good belly laugh" over that, Dodd said.
From Boston to Washington and beyond, the grim news that Kennedy has cancer triggered a massive outpouring of sadness and concern.
America is all too familiar with Kennedy family heartache, from the assassinations of Ted's brothers President Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy, to the plane crash that killed President Kennedy's son, John Jr. Now the Kennedys -- and especially their patriarch for 40 years -- face even more misfortune.
"It is unbelievable to go through life, dealing with everything he had to deal with, and then to have something like this happen," said Frank Pezzanno, owner of Boston's Ristorante Saraceno, where Kennedy and his wife, Vicki, are frequent customers.
"I am praying for him, praying for him to come home soon," he said.
Saraceno sent a huge order of food from his restaurant, "pasta and chicken picatta," he said, to Kennedy's hospital room Tuesday, part of a huge show of support for the ailing 76-year-old senator.
Kennedy's office was receiving about 1,000 e-mails an hour Tuesday from well-wishers who logged onto its Web site. Hundreds more called.
Among those who sent regards: Chief Justice John Roberts, the prime ministers of Great Britain and Ireland and King Abdullah of Jordan, who sent an orchid, a Kennedy staffer said.
Many thousands of people have been posting messages of support on political blogs.
"No matter what happens, he has earned his place alongside his brothers as heroes of the American pantheon of great leaders. Come on, big guy. Fight for us one more time," said one posting on democraticunderground.com
As Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., put it Tuesday, "Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy family have faced adversity more times in more instances … than most families have to."