HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia NDP member Denise Peterson-Rafuse says she will return to the opposition benches after taking a leave of absence to deal with health issues.

Peterson-Rafuse temporarily stepped aside in April after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The member for the South Shore riding of Chester-St. Margaret's says she's looking forward to resuming her duties in the provincial legislature when the fall sitting begins on Thursday.

Peterson-Rafuse says she kept a light work schedule in her constituency through the summer.

She says returning to work will "help my mind," although she concedes she still faces a long journey with the disease.

Peterson-Rafuse says she has a new perspective on how valuable life is and how quickly circumstances can change.