Cardinal Francis George said Saturday that he will continue his public schedule as long as he can, despite health concerns following a new round of chemotherapy.
George said he plans to continue with a minimized public schedule but he continues to be out and about among the people, whom he said give him strength.
“I’m the archbishop of Chicago,” he said. “These are my people so I get strength from them and I hope I can give them strength as well.”
George’s latest treatment was recommended by his medical team after recent testing and biopsies. The Archdiocese said the treatment will be more aggressive than the first round but initially will be used for a shorter amount of time.
This Lent finds me once again in poor health," George wrote in his column in Catholic New World. "My cancer, which was dormant for well over a year, is still confined to the area of the right kidney, but it is beginning to show signs of new activity."
At St. Clement Church in Lincoln Park Saturday, George told attendants he needed to stay seated due to dizziness from the treatment. But the cardinal remained light-hearted about the medical issue, even joking with the audience.
“It would very dramatic if I fall over,” he said. “It would take away from your day, so we don’t want that to happen.”
George has survived two bouts with cancer. He underwent surgery for bladder cancer several years ago and in August 2012 learned he had cancerous cells in his kidney and liver. Though the urothelial cancer has been dormant for well over a year, it remains confined to his right kidney.
After Saturday’s service, the crowd gave George a standing ovation as he thanked everyone for their prayers.
He remained optimistic, and said he "expects to get through this."
“The goal of our life is to live with The Lord here and forever so I look to that with some anticipation,” he said. “I don’t look forward to the pain of dying but that’s part of it.”