Kelly Cochrane

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR

 

Kelly's Story

Kelly’s battle with cancer started in July 2007 with a burst of pain and a lump in her left breast.  With a cancer diagnosis confirmed, she wanted it taken care of fast and had a lumpectomy.  As a mom and president and CEO of a Minnesota-based consulting group, she knew she had to be back to both jobs quickly for her son and company. But another hitch was ahead; a follow up exam revealed they had not gotten it all.  Kelly again wasted no time and decided to have a radical double mastectomy, drug therapy and reconstruction.  

Round three surfaced in January 2009 at her final visit with the plastic surgeon who performed the reconstructive surgery.  He found a new lump, did a biopsy and delivered devastating news.  It was back.  

The next step was to do a wide excision removing more cancerous tissue as well as some of the surrounding muscle.  After that, chemotherapy, radiation and reconstruction were needed.


Next Steps

Call us to find out more about our multidisciplinary post-cancer rehabilitation program.



Goals

Kelly survived surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and reconstruction. The side-effects of treatment left her weak and drained. She needed to:

  • Manage her ongoing migraines
  • Regain muscle strength
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Improve cognitive function

Challenges

Kelly shared that her battle with cancer was incredibly daunting. She also suffered from extreme allergic reactions to virtually every medicine that was prescribed to address the after effects of her years of treatments. Kelly suffered from:

  • constant nausea, fatigue, and hives
  • migraines, muscle tightness and cognitive issues

 

"I am back to living my life the way I want to live it."

 

How ReVital Helped Me

Kelly’s early post-surgery oncology visits resulted in many doctors telling her “no”, they couldn’t help resolve her multiple cancer treatment issues. She flipped over every rock until she found a doctor who was able to track and eliminate her allergic reactions and identify “rescue medicines.”

Kelly also discovered Dr. Michael Stubblefield of Select Medical’s Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation who also serves as National Medical Director of the ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation Program. Her hope was that he could address her biggest pain point -- the migraines that were now lasting up to 15-plus days. Kelly immediately recognized that Dr. Stubblefield’s approach was different than others, “He’s great because he believes in a multifaceted way of looking at things. He’ll try different options to see if they help.”

 

The options included Botox treatments and physical therapy to control the migraines and loosen muscles tightened by radiation and scar tissue. She recounted Dr. Stubblefield’s explanation, “Those knots in the upper body send signals to your head that cause migraines.” Her treatment also includes cognitive testing and exercises which she said are helping “train my brain back.”

 

The outcome

 Dr. Stubblefield’s multifaceted approach is working for Kelly. She credits him with knitting all the elements together to put her on a better road to recovery.

“Dr. Stubblefield is the only doctor who figured out a way to help me,” Kelly said. “I am back to living my life the way I want to live it. Yes, I still get an occasional excruciating headache, but now I can go for months without pain instead of just a day or hour and there is a plan to manage [the headaches] when they occur.” 


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Next Steps

Call us to find out more about our multidisciplinary
post-cancer rehabilitation program.