Cardinal Francis George was released Tuesday from the hospital where he underwent surgery nearly three weeks ago to remove his cancerous bladder, and he thanked those who prayed for him.
"I'm ready to go back home," Chicago's Roman Catholic archbishop said outside Loyola University Medical Center before using crutches to walk to his car.
In addition to his cancerous bladder, surgeons removed the 69-year-old George's prostate, some lymph nodes and a section of his right ureter.
Dr. Myles Sheehan, George's personal physician and a fellow priest, said George has been a good patient who has kept his spirits up. Sheehan said George was expected to continue his recuperation at the cardinal's mansion in Chicago until Labor Day.
After that, he can proceed with a limited schedule of diocese business from inside the residence, Sheehan said. In October, doctors will probably permit him to work outside the home, Sheehan said.
Doctors have said they succeeded in removing all the cancer and George — one of the most prominent U.S. cardinals and the spiritual leader of more than 2.3 million Catholics in the Chicago area — will not require chemotherapy or radiation.
"Right now there is no sign of cancer in his body. He is a cancer survivor," Sheehan said. "We cannot promise that he is cured. It is certainly our hope and prayer."