First John Stroger, has a minor stoke? Now it's being called a major stroke. Then Todd Stroger was diagnosed with prostrate cancer, during this time. Todd Stroger waits until he is elected, passed the budget, and now he has surgery. What is really going on? Who could believe anything about medical conditions on either Todd Stroger or Daddy John. Will we ever know? How serious is this cancer if he could wait 10 months? Is this what is really going on? Who knows?
Diagnosed 10 months ago with prostrate cancer, and now Todd is getting surgeryCook County Board President Todd Stroger underwent surgery on Monday to remove his prostate, as it was revealed that he's battling cancer.
Stroger, 44, was diagnosed with prostate cancer 10 months ago, according to those close to him who confirmed the illness after the Sun-Times learned of it. With his wife, Jeanine, at his side, he came through surgery well, and there is hope that the cancer, found on a small portion of his prostate, did not spread, Stroger chief of staff Lance Tyson said.
Removing the prostate is standard treatment for prostate cancer, medical experts said. Stroger is expected to spend the next two to three weeks recovering at home, Tyson said.
Because prostate cancer is common among black men -- and because it's the same disease that Stroger's father, former board President John Stroger, battled in his 60s -- the usually quiet Todd Stroger is expected to make this a very public fight.
Stroger plans to embark on a public campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer risks and the chance of successful recovery if it's detected early, Tyson said.
"We want to make people aware of this," he said.
Stroger was diagnosed last year, not long after John Stroger suffered a major stroke in March and ultimately resigned as board president, leading to his son's election to office in November.
During the campaign, Stroger knew that he would need to have surgery. When it was performed Monday, his family released few details and requested that their privacy be respected.
Throughout Monday, Stroger officials repeatedly said he was undergoing a "routine edical procedure" that was "planned" and "not life-threatening" nor "an emergency."
County officials were surprised to learn that Stroger had been hospitalized and would not attend today's county board meeting. Even those in the highest ranks of Stroger's administration were kept in the dark about his condition, at the family's request.
It was only after the Sun-Times learned of it from other sources that Stroger's inner circle discussed the diagnosis and surgery.
When asked why more details weren't forthcoming about his illness, Tyson said Stroger is also "a husband, a father, a son."
Stroger does not plan to transfer his power during recovery. President Pro Tem Joseph Mario Moreno (D-Chicago) will run today's meeting, while Tyson will handle day-to-day county government operations.
The lack of details about Stroger's condition earlier Monday led some critics to recall last year's political soap opera that threw county government into an uproar.
After John Stroger's stroke, other county officials and the media began to repeatedly question who was running county government. John Stroger's chief of staff, Jim Whigham, insisted that Stroger remained in control despite continual reports that he was too ill to do so.
Several county commissioners earlier Monday accepted Stroger's staff's assurances that he was not in any danger, but some were puzzled by what kind of "routine procedure" would require a three-week recovery.
"You're not Todd Stroger, citizen. You're Todd Stroger, president," Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) said. "The administration had an opportunity to show that it's a new day. But instead, in classic form, they repeat the situation with the father."
Stroger's relationship with the media has grown increasingly hostile in the past weeks. Taking questions last month about the state of county government, he said the media was the biggest challenge he has faced since taking office.
Commissioner John Daley (D-Chicago), a friend of the administration, said he believed public officials should be frank about their medical conditions.
Body missing from the Cook County Morgue
The body of a 64-year-old woman who died last week from heat-related causes is missing from the Cook County morgue, the Cook County medical examiner's office said.
Morgue employees couldn't find the body of Rosalie Schultz when a funeral director came to pick it up Monday, said Scott Denton, interim chief medical examiner.