My Story Part I: Happy Birthday To Me

“You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.”

– Irene C. Kassorla

As most women in their late 20s, (in my case, really late 20s. I’m 29 and several quarters) turning another 4 quarters older was not very exciting for me. In fact, it was pretty depressing. Especially when I factored in the fact that I was still single, in debt, with 2 kids with an absent father who marginally fulfills his legal financial obligations, and not without a fight, working for a start-up company and still struggling hard to make ends meet. I’ve long said that I refuse to enter into my 30s on the record until I was re-married, out of debt, no longer dependent on the supplemental income from child support to provide for my children and being able to afford a one-week Disney/cruise vacation once a year. To me, that’s the definition of an adult life. I’ll forego the white picket fence and the remaining 1/2 kid.

But, I wasn’t there yet. To boot, the previous year was brutal for me. Yes, there were many victories along the way, including becoming a successful fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LIVESTRONG), a regular and passionate cyclist and a new mountain biker, all attributed to the passion for the sport of cycling inspired by an old friend. In fact, my very enthusiastic involvement with LIVESTRONG was primarily the result of a bet issued by this friend to ride 200 miles in one day. Along the ride, I met a LIVESTRONG Leader who was also a fundraising mentor who convinced me to get more involved with the cause – for the rewards, incentive to perform etc. It had far less to do with cancer survivorship. I rode for people I loved, of course, but it was more about this amazing community of passionate cyclists, at the time.

The previous year was overwhelmed by the sorrow over a devastating fight with that same friend who inspired me to ride in the first place, his perpetual, and at times, cruel, silent treatment and my constant battle against my own metabolism. Friends pointed at depression over this broken friendship, and me being too “emo” for my own good, as the reason I was sleeping abnormally, moody and not myself. Part of me believed this to be the case — this certainly was what kept me up at night  — I was afraid of dreams of reconciliation and waking up to the disappointment of knowing that, apparently, there was a brewing hatred on his end. Something else was wrong.

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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: facebook.com/lohud.

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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.

Live Chat on Facebook Now: Low-Cost Treatments for Breast Cancer

On our the LoHud facebook page: We’re discussing free and low-cost services available locally — including for breast-cancer screening, treatment and support — 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.

Come on over and ask questions: facebook.com/lohud.

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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