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Oct 23, 2017 09:12PM
Julie, Crystal Lake is pretty far N and W of the best-known Chicago-area cancer centers. I use NorthShore Health System. Closest to me (but probably furthest from you) is Evanston Hospital (where I had my lumpectomy & radiation) and adjacent Kellogg Cancer Center (where I see my oncologist and get my Prolia shots). My support group meets at Evanston's prof. bldg. too. Closer to you are Glenbrook and Highland Park Hospitals--both of which have Kellogg Cancer Centers. They're about 26 miles or so from Crystal Lake.
Advocate is a very good hospital system (disclosure: my husband is a cardiologist at its SW suburban Christ Medical Center). Its closest hospitals to you are Good Shepherd in Barrington, Sherman in Elgin, and Condell (perhaps their best outside Cook or DuPage County) in Libertyville. Christ, Good Samaritan, Lutheran General, IL Masonic and Condell have the best cancer centers in the system; but except for Condell they're either in Chicago, Oak Lawn or Downers Grove--all too far, IMHO, from you.
CTCA is in Zion, about 20 mi. east--but though it may offer cutting-edge care it's very picky about what forms of payment it accepts--no Medicare. Cash or top-drawer private insurance only. And they usually don't take advanced stages either unless the patient is quite young (they want to burnish their success record so they can boast).
Northwestern has both breast health and cancer centers at Lake Forest Hospital, as well as cancer care at its Grayslake Outpatient center. U of C, Rush and Loyola have nothing anywhere near you.
How far are you willing to drive for your surgery, radiation & infusions? Once you've had your surgery (if that's the route your team wants to take), you can get radiation & chemo at any branch in your chosen system that offers them; you need to go to a cancer center to see the specialists on your team.
There is also the Cancer Wellness Center (open to patients using a variety of hospital systems) in Northbrook--it offers classes, support groups, nutrition counseling & complementary therapies such as yoga, meditation, Tai Chi & Qi Gong, acupuncture, aromatherapy, art & music therapy, and massage (which is wildly popular, so be prepared to wait weeks-to-months for an appt.).
Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters....
9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
9/22/2015 Lumpectomy: Right
11/1/2015 3DCRT: Breast
12/30/2015 Femara (letrozole)