It’s my story. Not yours. Mine. All mine.

There are things that I won’t reveal publicly – ever. I won’t admit to my actual jean size. I won’t admit to my exact weight. It will be a cold day in hell when I publicly admit to my real age in newsprint. This breast cancer story is strictly my own. No animals were harmed in the making of this film.

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React Here: How are you finding support?

I feel like I’m miss the experience of a Betty Handelman putting her hand on mine over a cup of tea and sharing a quote from one of her scrapbooks. Sure, Betty could easily post it onto my Facebook wall, but is that enough when you’re fighting breast cancer?

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Is this what I have to look forward to?

Are a breast cancer patient’s tissue expanders a viable threat to national security? How far is too far?

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Fighting Breast Cancer in a Down Economy: A Safety Net Exists in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam

A note from Liz Johnson, Journal News editor:

Our first story in our October series on breast cancer awareness was written by Linda Lombroso and publishes today, Oct. 2, 2011. Rica Mendes, our Battling Breast Cancer blogger, will be leading conversations about different aspects of this story — and using it for other blog posts throughout the week. But after the jump, you’ll find the story in its entirety, should you like to see how it was presented our Sunday Life section in The Journal News.

When Clara Castillo learned she needed a double mastectomy last year, she worried that reconstructive surgery was out of the question. For Silvia Flores, there were always new excuses to delay going to the doctor after she found a lump in her breast.

The reason for both women’s anxiety? Neither had health insurance.

The good news, for both Castillo, right, and Flores — and families across the area facing similar dilemmas — is that there are free and low-cost services available locally for breast-cancer screening, treatment and support, including mammograms, rides to medical appointments and care from specialists affiliated with top hospitals in the Lower Hudson Valley.

After the jump, their stories.

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React Here: Facing the music – How do we handle breast cancer’s costs?

The reality is, that financial anxiety can throw a terrible wrench into recovery. After all, we fight and fight and fight to survive, but survive and, then, face what? Terrible financial sacrifices our families have made? Not being able to afford health or life insurance again? It’s bad enough that we have cancer, face losing our breasts, what we identify as our femininity, etc. How would you handle it?

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Fearing Breast Cancer’s Costs

Today in The Journal News, features writer Linda Lombroso begins our coverage of breast cancer awareness month with a look at battling breast cancer in today’s economy: Fearing Breast Cancer’s Costs. She’ll also have another in-depth look at this subject in tomorrow’s Life & Style section. You can read today’s story by following the link above, or clicking the “more” button, just below.

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