Second Opinion Program: Woman's gut feeling about cancer brings her to Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE -- A cancer diagnosis can change a life forever and when one woman had a gut feeling her initial diagnosis wasn’t correct, she wanted to get a second opinion. She traveled across the country to do it.

Terri Alleman rang the chimes at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, signifying the end of her radiation treatment.

The road to get here was long in the literal sense. That’s because home isn’t anywhere near southeast Wisconsin. It’s Casper, Wyoming.

After an initial diagnosis of stage two breast cancer from her oncologist in Wyoming, Alleman wanted to get a second opinion. She came to Milwaukee with the intention of not staying long, but doctors here diagnosed her with a very rare and aggressive form of stage four breast cancer.

“I went from a ‘two’ to a ‘four’ within 1,000 miles,” said Alleman.

Alleman left her home in Wyoming and teaching job of more than 20 years to get treatment in Milwaukee. Her husband and son followed her to Wisconsin.

“Here at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, we make it easy to get a second opinion for breast cancer or any type of cancer,” said Dr. Carmen Bergom, Radiation Oncologist with Froedtert & MCW.

That Second Opinion Program can help patients get peace of mind when it comes to their diagnosis.

“Whatever treatment course they chooses and is right for them – they can feel good about having chosen a good treatment option,” said Bergom.

“There’s no doubt in my mind, my husband’s mind, or my son’s mind that coming here saved my life,” said Alleman. “It saved my life and I’ve been given another chance.”