My Story Part II: Like sands through the hourglass, those are the grains of our lives

It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.

– Robert W. Service

My Rock and I had just enough time to eat our sandwiches in the waiting area when we were introduced to Michele Speer, the Breast Center Nurse Navigator at Stamford Hospsital and brought to her office. The room was bedecked with pink ribbons, pink teddy bears, and all things pink. We sat on her sofa and she brought up a screen with what looked like the outline of a breast and then a bunch of little white spots forming a crescent. Each dot looked like a grain of salt. They were somewhat sporadic, but clearly there. Michelle explained that they were likely just calcifications, is where calcium salts form and build into hardened grains, and nothing. However, because they are they and the hospital wanted to rule them out, they wanted to have me come in for a biopsy.

I was told to stop taking any and all supplements I’d been taking as part of the D’Adamo Shift plan, as some herbal remedies prevent blood from clotting, and since this is an invasive procedure, it would be best to refrain. The biopsy was scheduled for the following week. And timing stunk. It was just a day or two before a day-long drive up to Maine for a mountain-bike race weekend.

Being the control freak that I am, I asked Michelle to describe the procedure in explicit detail. When she got to the part that my breast would be dropped through a hole in the table with me facing down, and I’d have absolutely no visibility to what was going on, I slammed on the brakes.

“No way, Michelle. No way. That’s not going to happen.”

“What do you mean? You don’t want to see this.”

“The hell I don’t.”

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Low-Cost Options for Fighting Breast Cancer: Live Chat Archive Here

There are free and low-cost services available locally for breast-cancer screening, treatment and support, and we discussed them today on Facebook with these experts:

Lauren Moore and Pei-Fang Fang, both with the American Cancer Society’s Patient Service Center in White Plains

Pamela Ferrari, of Open Door Family Medical Centers

Katie Shields, a nurse with Cancer Support Team in Mamaroneck, which offers free services to residents of lower Westchester.

After the jump, we’ll post the Q&As, with the helpful information these experts provided over on our facebook page:

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Free Mammograms in October in Rockland

Good Samaritan Hospital and Nyack Hospital will offer clinical breast exams, mammograms and Pap tests at no cost for uninsured women 40 and over who are New York state residents.

Walk-ins are welcome; to make an appointment at either site, call the Cancer Services Program of the Hudson Valley at 855-277-4482.

Oct. 19, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Good Samaritan Hospital, 255 Lafayette Ave. (Route 59), Suffern. 845-368-5000.

Oct. 22, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nyack Hospital, 160 N. Midland Ave., Nyack. 845-348-2000.