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Episcopal bishop talks about recovery from cancer

July 7, 2012 |  2:37 pm

Episcopal Bishop J. Jon Bruno, the head of the six-county Los Angeles diocese, generated applause, laughter and whistles this week when a telephone call was broadcast during a bishop's convention in Indianapolis.

In early May, Bruno announced in an open letter that he had been diagnosed with leukemia and was undergoing aggressive treatment, but on Thursday, he told the bishops that he was “doing fabulous,” according to the Episcopal News.

“We’ve gone from what one doctor said was a hopeless case to a complete remission,” he told the bishops.  “I’ve been cleared of leukemia.”

He was hospitalized in May but put out a letter upon his release detailing his recovery and subsequent hospital visits. 

“As I write this letter, my physician is telling me I am in complete remission and the treatment plan described above is being done to ensure there will not be a recurrence of my cancer,” he wrote.

In the phone call this week, he encouraged other bishops to take care of themselves, and “not to ignore anything that comes creeping up on you.”

But along with many thanks for prayers and phone calls, Bruno was also lighthearted.

“The truth is, you haven’t gotten rid of me. I’m coming back with vigor, and I got to tell you how much I appreciate every individual,” he said.

Bruno, 65, had initially thought he was suffering from a months-long bout of pneumonia, but after testing it was revealed that he had acute monocytic leukemia, a form of blood cancer.

This is not the first medical issue for Bruno. In 2005, he had his left foot and ankle amputated to halt a persistent staph infection.

Bruno has been known for pushing the church in a more liberal direction. In May 2010, he ordained the region’s first two female bishops, one of whom was the first lesbian bishop ordained in the history of the Episcopal Church.

He also opposed Proposition 8, which bars same-sex marriages.

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--Nicole Santa Cruz

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