Terry George is the bailiff for Medina County Judge Christopher Collier. It's a busy job, and like many busy women, Terry had trouble finding time to fit in her yearly mammogram.
She made a point of it this year and the screening discovered breast cancer.
Terry's cancer is triple-positive, meaning it's a little more aggressive. That's when she knew her health was in her hands first. And she got three opinions on treatment options.
"I don't just take it for granted that every doctor knows what to do for me," she explains. "And if i can get a second opinion that matches, that's fine. If I get different information, then I do more research."
She settled on Dr. Megan Kruse at Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer because she liked her approach and targeted therapy.
"The future of breast cancer is bright because we have a lot more targeted treatments for women," Dr. Kruse says. "We know much more about the biology of breast cancer now than we ever did before and this has allowed us to come up with lots of new drugs that target different ways breast cancer happens."
Terry underwent a double mastectomy first. This is her second round of chemo. She'll undergo four more, 3 weeks apart, and most likely radiation after that.
"You have to have confidence that the outcome is going to be good, or you can't go through it," Terry says bravely.
A cancer diagnosis is devastating, but there are things you can do to take control of your care.
- First, if possible, it's always smart to get more than one opinion on your treatment options.
- Second, research reputable cancer information sites about your specific diagnosis.
- And finally prepare your questions ahead of time so you're not wasting yours or your doctor's time.
Record those answers with your phone or bring a friend to your appointment to help you remember. If the doctor has a problem with any of this, find another doctor.