Jan 12, 2016 | | Los Angeles, CA
Client's rating: 5 of 5

For fifteen years, Jacklin Eghbalieh navigated the courts as a county social worker. While others worked in the field, Ms. Eghbalieh consulted with attorneys, addressed judges, took care of administrative matters, and numerous other tasks for the Department of Children and Family Services. Representing the social-services agency in court on critical issues was high-stress work. Then, Ms. Eghbalieh was diagnosed with colon cancer. The cancer was detected during a colonoscopy in October 2012, and she met with Dr. Yosef Nasseri the same night. Her doctor called Dr. Nasseri in to the emergency room so that they could consult. Ms. Eghbalieh said that there was an internal injury during the colonoscopy by another physician, but otherwise they would have done a colectomy immediately. Instead, they set a surgery date a month in the future so that she could heal and get ready for the operation. While she was in the hospital following the colonoscopy, Ms. Eghbalieh said, Dr. Nasseri visited her once or twice every day. “He was fantastic,” she said. After about a week, she went home, and Dr. Nasseri followed up on the phone and in preparatory office visits. “After I talked with him, I knew, he knew what he was doing,” Ms. Eghbalieh said. “I was sure that I would want my surgeon to be this kind of guy. He is an excellent, caring doctor.” Ms. Eghbalieh said Dr. Nasseri explained everything in a thorough and understandable way, using images where they were helpful. “Because of my ordeal, I saw a lot of doctors,” she said. Two oncologists, a gastroenterologist (who is also her cousin), and her primary-care physician — and Dr. Nasseri was the most informative of all, she said. The surgery took place on Nov. 19, 2012. Dr. Nasseri removed a third of Ms. Eghbalieh’s colon using a purely laparoscopic approach, which has many benefits over a traditional open procedure. Laparoscopic procedures use tiny incisions that leave less of a chance for infection or hernia at the incision site. The approach is associated with quick recovery, discharge from the hospital, minimal pain and a speedy return to normal activity. He sent nineteen segments of lymph nodes to the pathology lab, she said, and one of them turned up cancerous cells — small enough that the cancer would have been missed if that sample hadn’t been included, but significant enough that Ms. Eghbaliehunderwent a course of chemotherapy. The chemotherapy ended May 22, 2013, and nowadays — almost ten months later — Ms. Eghbalieh feels good. “Thank God, yes, the chemotherapy was successful,” she said. What that means: six months after the treatment ended, she had CT and blood exams and a colonoscopy. All the exams were negative for cancer, meaning she is in remission. Remission, she made sure to point out, only means the cancer is not there right now. In the meantime, she said, you can live healthy and treat every day like a gift. To that end, she has not gone back to work; she suspects the pressure was damaging to her health. She spends time with her husband and family; she’s also taken up yoga, and she has become partial to the Iyengar style. Its emphasis on breath control is very conducive, she said, to an overall feeling of well-being. And that’s what she needs right now. “Many years, I took care of other people,” she said. “Now, it’s time to take care of myself.”

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