After enduring several days of severe flu-like symptoms at the end of November, Archbishop Murphy is rushed to Providence Seattle Medical Center. A team of medical professionals conducts a series of tests. His doctors in short order inform him that he has an acute form of leukemia and kidney failure. The archbishop learns his condition is grave and that there is a good chance he will not survive for more than a few days.
This was not the first time that Archbishop Murphy was forced to battle cancer. The archbishop faced a health scare in the late 1970s. He was admitted to the hospital to have several cysts removed from his back. During the procedure, the surgeon discovered some additional growths of tissue. A biopsy was performed. It was determined that the tumors were malignant. Another surgery was necessary to remove them. Thankfully and with the prayers of many, he successfully emerged from the procedure. Approximately one year later, Archbishop Murphy drafted a personal and moving essay entitled “Reflections on an Illness.”