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Cardinal George To Undergo Chemotherapy For Latest Cancer Bout

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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CHICAGO (CBS) – Cardinal Francis George will undergo a series of chemotherapy treatments starting next week, to treat his latest bout with cancer.

Earlier this month, doctors discovered cancer cells in the cardinal’s kidney and a cancerous nodule on his liver. The nodule and surrounding tissue were removed on Aug. 15, and there does not appear to be any cancer in his liver, according to a statement from the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.

George’s doctors have also recommended a course of chemotherapy and, beginning on Sept. 5, he will undergo six three-week chemotherapy sessions. Each session will consist of two weeks of chemotherapy treatments, and a third week of recovery to allow his immune system to recuperate.

While undergoing chemotherapy, George plans to maintain a regular work schedule, although he will have a reduced public schedule during the weeks he is recovering from chemotherapy, as his immune system will be weakened by the treatments, according to the archdiocese.

“With a grateful heart, Cardinal George would like to acknowledge all the people who have sent cards and email notes expressing their concern and promising their prayers. Please continue to keep the Cardinal in your thoughts and prayers,” the archdiocese said.

Last week, the cardinal said he has mixed feelings about what the future might hold for him.

“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 said last week.

This is the cardinal’s second bout with cancer. His bladder was removed in 2006, and he had appeared cancer-free since then.

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

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 archdiocese plans to provide another update on the cardinal’s condition after his chemotherapy treatments have concluded.