My Dream Team at the Rush University Cancer Center

By Angela K. Walker

I’m sure you have seen the television commercials. A group of individuals describing how they came together to help an ailing individual. The commercials are a quick snapshot of the “team approach” that is in place at Rush University Medical Center.

The spots are called Rush Stories, and I have a story of my own. On Feb. 13, 2006, I was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer. I chose to get a second opinion and selected Rush as the place where I would get it.

A close family friend had recently completed successful treatment for lymphoma at Rush so I had a frame of reference. After completing a series of steps to secure an appointment, I arrived, still with a “deer in headlights” demeanor. I waited in an unassuming room with lots of light and windows and in walks in not one, not two, not three, but five individuals.

A medical oncologist, a surgical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a nurse practitioner and a psychiatrist introduced themselves to me. Clearly, still being in a semi-state of shock, this was a bit intimidating. Many thoughts are racing through my head. I didn’t know what to expect or what was going to happen next. Eventually, I would learn that they each would take the lead and answer the questions I had and even the questions I didn’t know I had. Continue reading