“He instantly put my mind at ease and described every detail of the surgery he would perform, which was very reassuring. I felt very confident in his abilities.”
As an ultrasound sonographer Linda Alvarez is well aware that imaging technology can uncover a variety of hidden maladies. Little did she know that it would be she, herself who would discover an abnormality on her own scan – a nodule on her thyroid gland. Thyroid nodules are relatively common and while most do not produce any symptoms whatsoever. However, as time passed, Linda began to see growth in the abnormality and her throat was sensitive to the touch.
“It felt like an Adam’s Apple,” describes Linda. “At first the doctor thought it might be an infection, but since I hadn’t been sick that didn’t make sense to me. I wanted an ultrasound and my doctor finally agreed.”
The scan results indicated possible thyroid cancer, and Linda also had several lymph nodes in her throat that also looked suspicious. Linda was referred to an endocrinologist for a biopsy, which revealed papillary carcinoma, a form of thyroid cancer. She was going to need surgery.
“I was devastated,” recalled Linda. But my colleagues couldn’t say enough good things about Dr. Friedman. They trusted him; my doctor even said she would put her own life in his hands.”
When Linda met Dr. Friedman, her fears were allayed. “He had the most calming, soothing voice,” she said. “He instantly put my mind at ease and described every detail of the surgery he would perform, which was very reassuring. I felt very confident in his abilities.”
During surgery, Dr. Friedman discovered that Linda’s cancer was more extensive than was previously thought. He analyzed and removed her entire thyroid thirteen additional cancerous nodules on her
“My six-month checkup scans revealed that I was cancer free,” said Linda. “A lot of people don’t understand that there is a mental component to healing, too. Everyone at Chicago ENT was so helpful and compassionate throughout the entire process. I felt like I was being listened to and understood and that helped tremendously in keeping me positive and hopeful.”
Linda says she can’t thank Dr. Friedman enough. “He would keep telling me, ‘you’re okay; you’re cancer free – you’re going to be fine,’” she said. “He would take my hand and let me know that everything was going to be all right. I’m a mom with two girls in college and I need to be there for them. Dr. Friedman made that happen.”
She doesn’t give Dr. Friedman all the credit, however. Linda works in the same medical office center as Chicago ENT, just two floors away.
“I believe that God puts you in different places with different people where you need to be,’ she said. “If I hadn’t switched jobs a year ago, I wouldn’t have met these colleagues who all spoke so highly of Dr. Friedman. It’s truly a blessing.”