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It’s October and two big things are happening: The NY Mets are in the World Series for the first time in 15 years and it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. BOTH are super exciting!

I know this might seem like a “female” topic, but men should get checked out too so keep reading!

Getting a mammography can be a scary thought, so I wanted to share my experience to help.

I made an appointment at Maimonides Breast Center in Brooklyn; after arriving and filling out the necessary paper work, I was escorted to a room called…..”The Dressing Room.” More appropriately—it should have been called “The Undressing Room.” I was told to get undressed from the waist up which was very good news because if they asked me to get undressed from the waist down for a mammography, I would have questioned their medical practice!

I was given a lovely (not really) white robe and once undressed (from the waist up), I was told to have a seat in the waiting area with the other ladies wearing the same lovely (not really) white robe, also half naked. I’m not going to lie—sitting there thinking about my boobs having their photo taken was a bit nerve-racking.

Once called in, a lovely technician asks……”any CHANCE of you being pregnant?”

“NO,” I reply.

“Are you sure?”

“I would know.” Just saying!

She now says, “Let me see your breasts honey.”

I think to myself….okay….please don’t call honey while you’re eyeballing my woman-hood! She now takes these two little stickers with metal beads and sticks them to my nipples! Apparently this is to let the person reviewing my film know that these are my nipples and nothing more. Great….because I want someone who can’t tell where my nipples are reading my film.

So, as I now stand topless with pretty little silver beaded stickers on my nipples I’m asked to place my breast on this cold plate. As I place my pretty little silver tipped boob down, there was obviously some confusion—she mistook my girls for pizza dough!! She handled them as if she worked at Mama Leone’s. Finally, after much kneading, they were ready for their selfie! Slowly the machine comes down……a little more……….a little more…….technician says, “Hold your breath,”….then ……PANCAKE and release!! YEP, it’s that quick!!

This was my fun experience on mammography day! All kidding aside, cancer is a serious and scary diagnosis and I know fear keeps us from getting this test done, but early detection really is so important. I make light of it, not to minimize breast cancer or those who are and have battled. My hope is to inspire others to get checked through some light and laughter.

If you want more information on where to get a mammography or just need information, you can call the Maimonides Medical Center Breast Center at 718-765-2550 or visit their website.

SO, make October count….schedule an appointment for your mammography and make your boobs winners too!! Go METS!!!

Until next time……

Dianne

Dianne Galasso is a Brooklyn native since birth! In 1991, she received her AAS in Journalism from Kingsborough Community College. She studied at St. John’s University from 1993-1999. Dianne has had photographic and written work published, as well as has edited for other published authors. Since 1991, Dianne has worked at a medical center in Brooklyn in various job functions, currently as a Manager in the Nursing Education Department. She has coached girls’ softball, volunteered in the women’s and children’s ministry in her local church and is an active resource in the lives of children. After a 15 year hiatus from school, Dianne is currently a student at CUNY SPS where she is pursuing her BA in Psychology.

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The following message is posted on behalf of David Mordkofsky, SPS student in the Project Management (PROM 210) course.


Hello SPS Community!

We wanted to let you know that a group of SPS students will be taking part in a worthy event on Oct 21st, and we invite you to join us!

Team Busibodies, David Mordkofsky

As part of a class assignment for Project Management (PROM 210) CUNY School of Professional Studies, our team of 6 students (Ayanna Cassanova, Tenaya Randolph, Jennifer Pagaduan, Marco Vasquez, Debra Daniel-Sealey, and David Mordkofsky), have decided to participate in the 2012 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk/Run, in association with the American Cancer Society. The event will take place on Sunday, October 21st 2012 at 8:30AM in Central Park, NYC.

As part of the course curriculum, we needed to choose a project to manage. Our team decided to take part in a “real” fundraising project where we could help to make a difference in our community, and felt that Making Strides was the perfect choice. We call ourselves Team Busibodies!

Team Busibodies would like to invite you, (CUNY students and facility members) to join us on Oct 21stand walk with us! Friends and family members are also welcome! This is a great opportunity to help support a worthy cause, showing support for CUNY SPS and the American Cancer Society.

Team Busibodies, Ayanna Cassanova

I welcome everyone to visit our team’s home page on the Making Strides website. From here, anyone can view our mission, track our progress, read our personal stories, and make a donation.

There is no cost to walk with us, although we welcome donations, and encourage you to ask your friends and family members to help support you.

We will even provide free Busibodies t-shirts and water (while supplies last).

The Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk/Run starts at 8:30am on Sunday, October 21, 2012.

Here is the detailed information:

1. Meet at 72nd Street and 5th Avenue at 7:30am (on the corner)

2. We will give out T-Shirts (while supplies last).

3. We will walk in together to the start (72nd Street Bandshell)

Directions – 6 train to 77th Street & Lexington Avenue. From there you would need to walk to 72nd & 5th Avenue. This is the closest train to the park entrance.

If you would like more information, please email David Mordkofsky.

Thank you!
Team Busibodies

Team Busibodies, Tenaya Randolph

Why We are Making Strides:

We are participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event because we, along with most people, have been touched or have been affected by breast cancer in some way. As a team, we know that we can, and will make a difference in the fight to end breast cancer.

This cause is personal to us. Some of us have lost loved ones–friends and/or family members–some having not even reached the age we are today.

We look forward to days of better treatments and lasting cures. As a team, we believe we can help get there. We aim to inspire hope, and to help raise awareness. The awareness we hope to bring about deals not only with how important fundraising efforts are in reaching a cure, but also relates to the importance of preventative measures, helping to stop this deadly disease in its tracks.

We are also walking to honor breast cancer survivors, and let them know we stand with them in their fight.

We thank you, and invite you to join us!

Who are We Making Strides For:

We walk for our sons and daughters, parents, grandparents, friends, and all loved ones we know who have been or might be affected by this deadly disease.

Team Busibodies, Jennifer Pagaduan

Why We Support the American Cancer Society:

Today 1 of every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reaches out to the American Cancer Society for help and support. The donations our team raises will enable investment in groundbreaking breast cancer research, free information and services for women diagnosed with the disease, and access to mammograms for women who need them. Our donations will help more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors celebrate another birthday this year!

Saving lives from breast cancer starts one team, one walker, and one dollar at a time. We know that the American Cancer Society is the leader in the fight to end breast cancer. We know that supporting them will ensure that if you need someone to talk to anytime of the day or night, they’ll be there. If your friend is losing her hair from chemo, your mother needs a ride to treatment or a loved one needs a place to stay when treatment is far from home, they will be there to help.

Please join us and together we will walk for a world without breast cancer.

Although we are at the end of October, it is still National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and you have a few more days to become or stay aware. I would like to celebrate the survivors, pay tribute to those who have lost their struggle, and remind everyone to know the warning signs, get screened and stay in charge of your health. Although it is very rare, men can get breast cancer too. Everyone needs to be aware, both for themselves and for their loved ones.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has a great website full of important information and links – http://www.nbcam.org. This is an excellent place to begin awareness. Many people do not like to think about illness or death, but pretending that nothing bad is going to happen or ignoring warning signs or the “feeling that something is wrong” will hurt you. Even if you feel fine and have no warning signs, make sure you do self exams, have regular breast exams performed by a health professional and get diagnostic tests such as a mammogram and MRI. The website provides links to free or low-cost mammograms if you do not have health insurance or are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Become informed and remember that you are your best advocate! Do not be afraid to speak to your doctor, ask questions, ask more questions and push for as much information as possible. Yes, you need to rely on the health professionals, but you are a vital member of the team.

As discussed on nbcam.org, many women have risk factors that are associated with a greater chance to develop breast cancer. If you fall into this category, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center offers programs, screenings, early interventions, support and other resources. This is a link to the Women at Risk website. It is conducting a symposium entitled, “Empower Yourself: Lifestyle and Wellness Choices of Women at High Risk for or with Breast Cancer” on Monday, 11/14/11 from 5:30 to 8 in midtown. Please call 212-305-5917 or email info@womenatrisknyc.org for more information.

If you are a breast cancer patient, keep on taking care of and empowering yourself. Learn as much as you can about your illness and take advantage of all the support groups out there. If you are a survivor, congratulations and please share your experiences and knowledge. We all have to take care of each other. Whether you are a patient or a survivor, I hope you have many years of health and happiness.

A very dear friend was buried last week. She learned she had inflammatory breast cancer almost 10 years ago. Inflammatory breast cancer is rare and unlike traditional breast cancers. There is no lump. Her breast was red and inflamed and she thought she had an infection. Her regular doctor put her on antibiotics. She finally went to a specialist who sent her for tests and to see more specialists, and she was diagnosed a few months later with inflammatory breast cancer. By the time the cancer appears as a red inflamed breast, it is already advanced. An oncologist at a famous Eastside cancer center coldly gave her three months, but she refused to accept it. She was fortunate to find a not so famous oncologist in Orange County with a wonderful staff whose care, combined with her determination, gave her almost 10 years.

Rest in peace Dawn, and all other strong and brave women who lost their battles. We will keep fighting in your memory.

Mary Casey is a student in the MS in Business Leadership and Management program at CUNY School of Professional Studies and is an alumna of Lehman College. She is an administrator for a university in NYC. She loves to travel and wants to see as much of the world as possible. Mary almost has more comments on the SPS blog than she received on the community/political blog that she created and maintained from 2002 to 2004.