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Cardinal George Fearful, But Hopeful, About Latest Cancer Diagnosis

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Cardinal George addressed the media on Aug. 24, 2012, to discuss his latest cancer diagnosis. (CBS)

Cardinal George addressed the media on Aug. 24, 2012, to discuss his latest cancer diagnosis. (CBS)

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OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. (CBS) — Cardinal Francis George said Friday he is still formulating a plan with his physicians to treat his latest cancer diagnosis and, as a man of faith, has mixed feelings about what the future may hold.

“We all live with the Lord as much as possible. If this is a call to be with Him for eternity, then that’s a welcome call in that sense. But it’s also a fearful call, because there’s so much that’s unknown,” George told reporters in west suburban Oakbrook Terrace, where he was appearing at a church event.

The cardinal’s remarks to reporters were his first public statements since the Archdiocese of Chicago disclosed last week that George, a bladder cancer survivor, has a new health crisis.

The diocese said doctors had discovered cancer cells in George’s kidney and in a nodule from his liver. The cardinal’s bladder was removed in 2006 and he had appeared cancer-free since then. It’s not clear if the latest cancer is related, he said.

“I felt I’d licked something, and I didn’t,” George said, smiling. “That isn’t a good feeling.”

The cardinal said he’s waiting on additional tests — expected next week — to determine a treatment regimen. He said he plans to maintain an active public schedule.

George, 75, had already tendered his resignation to the Vatican but wasn’t expected to retire for a couple of years.

“I was kind of looking forward to being able to do that,” he said.

The cardinal thanked people who have prayed for him since the news of his illness was made public.

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