Maggie Daley "Doing Very Well" Despite Cancer Setback

Radiation treatment being done to cancerous lesion on First Lady's right leg

By BJ Lutz and Mary Ann Ahern
|  Thursday, Dec 3, 2009  |  Updated 6:30 PM CDT
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Daley on Wife's Cancer Setback

Maggie Daley leaves Northwestern Memorial Hospital following an outpatient procedure in April.

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Daley on Wife's Cancer Setback

Mayor Richard Daley says his wife is a "very tough person" who will get through this "setback," and calls for an increase in medical research funding.
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Despite a new tumor found in her right lower leg, Chicago First Lady Maggie Daley is "doing very well," her husband said Thursday.

"Like anything else, there are setbacks in life. Anytime you have a health issue, you have setbacks, especially in cancer. Maggie has been a fighter on this issue and Dr. Steve Rosen and all the other doctors and nurses have done a tremendous job," Mayor Richard Daley said.

Radiation treatment to a cancerous lesion on Maggie Daley's right leg will keep her confined to a wheelchair for an indeterminate amount of time.

The chair is intended to keep weight off the leg and minimize the risk of a fracture, Dr. Rosen explained in a telephone interview.  He stressed the chair was "definitely temporary."

The First Lady alerted doctors just before the Thanksgiving holiday of some pain in her leg. That, coinciding with blood work and imaging studies, warranted the radiation treatment.

Maggie Daley was first diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and in July of 2006 had surgery to remove a tumor in her right breast.  A biopsy on a bone lesion in her spine was done at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in April of this year.

"This is not a disease which we can cure at the present time, but fortunately we have many different approaches that can continue to control it, and she's a wonderful example of the benefits of disease therapy. She's got great strength, and just her overall optimism has also had a profound effect," Dr. Rosen said.

He said that while the development is a setback, there wasn't anything happening now that makes him more concerned than he ever has been about Daley's health.

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