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Cardinal George says he's ready for chemotherapy

CHICAGO – Cardinal Francis George, the Chicago-area religious leader who announced last month that cancer had been found in his right kidney and liver, said he feels anxious but ready to begin chemotherapy this week.

"Well, I'm anticipating it a little bit, but otherwise, right now, I'm feeling good," he said according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

He made the comments Saturday before Mass at St. Joseph Parish, a Catholic church on Chicago's South Side that was celebrating its 125th anniversary. George said he hoped to keep as many commitments as possible.

It is George's second bout with cancer. Six years ago, surgeons removed his bladder, prostate and part of his right ureter following the discovery that he had bladder cancer.

His chemotherapy treatment is slated to begin Wednesday and last four months.

"I haven't been through it before. I didn't have chemo when I had bladder cancer the first time, so I don't know what to expect," George said. "It's different for everybody, and so with the help of God, and a lot of prayers of an awful lot of people, I'm sure it'll be all right."

George, 75, is the spiritual leader of the Chicago archdiocese, which serves more than 2 million Roman Catholics.  He has said he'll scale back his public schedule during the third week of each three-week treatment session.

Doctors removed a growth on George's liver and surrounding tissue on Aug. 15. Tests confirmed the growth and that his kidney contained cancerous cells. Archdiocese officials said cancer wasn't found anywhere elsewhere but noted is impossible to detect cancer cells in the bloodstream.

George is being treated by doctors at Loyola University Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn.


Information from: Chicago Sun-Times,

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