Dr. Maithili Rao, Clinical Oncologist

An Exceptional Testimonial

In May of 2013, I was admitted to Overlook Hospital with a collapsed vertebrae from Stage 4 Breast Cancer that was wrapped around my spine. I could not even walk. Of course, I was a little bit scared. The next 2 weeks were filled with scans, radiation, had a power port inserted then started chemo.

Well, when I met Dr. Rao, a big feeling of calm overpowered myself and my husband Carmine. After the necessary testing, she came into my room and spoke to Carmine & I. She held my hand and looked into my eyes and told me I had Stage 4 Breast Cancer and she was going to take good care of me. She also said that I was going to live a long life.

That gave me all the inspiration I needed to fight this disease. I never (even to this day) cried or felt sorry for myself. For the first year… I literally went from a wheelchair to a walker, to a cane & for the past few years can now dance with my husband. And, through the miracle of God, my collapsed vertebrae healed on its own… AMEN!!

Through the years, Dr. Rao and her staff have become my second family. It is a place where everybody knows your name & are very proud of each accomplishment I achieve. I couldn’t have done it without the entire staff.

Of course, there have been a few times when my meds were no longer effective. Each & every time, Dr. Rao has a plan b (c, d, etc.). As she always says, it is just like living with a chronic illness, and that is a good way to look at it.

So, for anyone going through a similar situation, here are my suggestions. First, make sure you are comfortable with your doctor (who will also become your friend very quickly). Also, let your family & friends help you… not only will you feel better; but they will too. And, NEVER EVER GIVE UP!!

From my illness, I have learned that many people need encouragement and inspiration to get through life. And what better person, than myself, to talk to people and show them that although I have Stage 4 Cancer, Life Is Good and I am Very Blessed!!!!!

– From deep within my heart Kathleen M

Unparalleled Concern

Dear Drs. Rao, Strauss, Kaura, and the ACOHA Staff,

Your kind note of sympathy on the death of my husband, Robert (Tom) M., as well as your telephone calls, were very much appreciated by me and my daughter. Your concern for Tom’s welfare during his illness was unparalleled. The care which he received was not only compassionate, but caring. His wishes were followed, and he was able to end his days on his own terms. Although weak, Tom was clear-headed and alert to the end, and he suffered no pain which was a blessing!

Gratefully yours,
Judith M.

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