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Drs. Andrew Ashikari, C. Andrew Salzberg, R Michael Koch and Pond Kelemen

 

“Before coming to the Cancer Center at Hudson Valley I spoke to a surgical oncologist at another hospital. All the right words were said but it didn’t make me feel better. I decided to go for a second opinion. When I walked in and met Dr. Pond Kelemen for the first time he looked at my charts, looked at me with such warmth, smiled and took my hand and said you’re going to be ok. From that moment on I truly believed that I would be. That’s patientology.”

- Kimberly Gerosa Ashikari Breast Center patient.

 

As a lifelong resident of Cortlandt Manor, Kimberly Gerosa had witnessed Hudson Valley Hospital Center evolve from a nice little hospital to the amazing facility it is today. Kim says she had always had a positive impression of the hospital. Her internist and gynecologist are affiliated with it, but now she knows and appreciates the hospital on a much deeper level.

 

Kim’s journey with breast cancer began after her routine mammogram in December of 2011 indicated a problem. The radiologists at Hudson Valley recommended an ultra- sound, which confirmed Kim needed a biopsy. Everyone in this imaging department was extremely nice, and very compassionate in helping Kim deal with this news – from the technicians to the radiologists. At this point in time, the Cancer Center at Hudson Valley was brand new. Not knowing much about it Kim went at first to another hospital to speak to a surgical oncologist. 

 

Kim was told she had the early stages of breast cancer. All the right words were said but Kim did not feel at ease with this doctor. Her internist recommended she go and speak to the doctors at the Ashikari Breast Center at Hudson Valley Hospital Center. From the moment Kim met Dr. Kelemen she knew this was the right decision for her. She had a lumpectomy in January of this year. Unfortunately she learned soon after, on her birthday actually, that her birthday surprise was that the cancer had moved to her lymph nodes taking  her cancer from stage 1 to stage 2 .Consultations were arranged with Drs. Azim Ajaz, director of oncology services, and Chika Madu, Medical Director for Radiation Oncology, and Dr. R Michael Koch, plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction. They designed a treatment plan that was right for her, which began with a 5-month course of chemotherapy. Kim said that Dr. Aijaz’ compassion and intelligence helped her get through the treatments.

 

While going through chemotherapy was a tough time in her life, she said the Hudson Valley Hospital Center team did everything they could to make it easier for her.  In June, after finishing her chemotherapy treatment Kim came back to Hudson Valley to have a bi-lateral mastectomy. She was in the hospital for 3 days and everything was done to make her feel as comfortable as possible. The night of her surgery the nurses were wonderful, checking constantly to make sure she had everything she needed. And even though she was not a candidate for the one-step mastectomy, the doctors were able to perform skin and nipple sparing . Nancy, Dr Koch’s Surgical Physician Assistant, has been there for all Kim’s post op questions and concerns.

 

Kim’s breast cancer journey is not over, but all indicators point to a full recovery and a healthy future for her. She said going to a comprehensive cancer center like the Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center made her journey a lot easier, because every doctor and course of treatment Kim needed was available at the Center. And it’s all right here for her in her own backyard.

 

  

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Neal Castaldo - Treated like family at the Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center

 

When Neal Castaldo was turning 63 years old he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was scared and confused. But from the day he entered the new Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center his fears were soothed. He was comforted, assured smiled at. Neal, a teacher for more than 30 years, says those are things you take with you… Neal’s prescription was for 44 radiation treatments, five days a week for nine weeks.  The first treatment on the first week was a mock treatment so Neal could feel what it felt like to be in the tunnel.

 

Neal describes meeting his radiation oncologist, Dr. Chika Madu for the first time. He was amazed she knew so much about him from the minute he walked into the room. She had obviously studied his folder thoroughly. She knew his past. She knew who his urologist was. She knew when he was first diagnosed. Neal said it was as if she knew him before they met. Dr. Madu also carefully outlined everything that would happen, which he found very comforting.

 

Neal says he was amazed at how easy the treatments actually were. He would arrive at the hospital at 8:30, be greeted with smiles, asked what kind of music he would like to hear (Neal likes pop music.)  and at 8:45 a.m. he would  be in his car driving away. During his treatments Neal had to meet with Dr. Madu every Tuesday, which he called “an absolute joy”. She would check on his progress, ask about symptoms, because there are reactions that you can have to radiation. And answer any other concerns he might have, even including questions like how to tell his two grandchildren about his condition, or when he could take a vacation again. Neal said throughout his treatment Dr. Madu was always there for him.

 

Neal was astounded that for 44 visits he could be greeted with smiles and real concern, by every member of the staff he encountered. Whatever the weather, whatever other problems might be on their minds. Neal is now finished with his treatments, his prognosis is good, and he states glowingly:

 

“If I had a friend in need of any kind of medical care, I would explain to them that there is no other place they should go,'' said Neal. "In fact, I’ve already done it. At Hudson Valley every word they say, every question they answer, the thoroughness, the comforting tone in their voices, the feeling you get as a human being is all part of patientology.”

 

 

Shine the Light on Lung Cancer, November 14

The Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center will host a vigil locally as part of a global campaign to raise awareness about lung cancer and reduce the stigma associated with the disease. On November 14th, Hudson Valley Hospital Center will join 125 communities across the country in hosting a Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Vigil in partnership with Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA). For more information, call 293-8400

Support Connection Support Group

Third Monday of the Month 7 p.m.

Women with Breast Cancer are invited to attend a monthly support group at the Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center. Run by Support Connection, the group's meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month. For more information on Support Connection groups call 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. or click here. Groups are held in the Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center at HVHC, 1978 Crompond Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY. Pre-registration is required.

 

Gilda's Club Support Groups

Living with Cancer

First and Third Thursdays of the month,  6-7:30 p.m.

Gilda's Club Westchester at HVHC offers a support group for people who have been recently diagnosed with cancer on the first and third Thursdays of the month from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Cheryl R. Lindenbaum Cancer Center at 1978 Crompond Road, Cortlandt Manor. Pre-registration is required. For more information, call 914-644-8844.

American Cancer Society

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Third Tuesday of the month, 4-6 p.m. Registration required!

The Ashikari Breast Center, HVHC Medical Office Building, first floor
Open to women undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, this program offers professional wig fittings and makeup applications. Call the Ashikari Breast Center 914-734-3940 for more information. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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The Infusion Center in the Lindenbaum Comprehensive Cancer Center provides  chemotherapy, blood transfusions, intravenous antibiotics and other infusions.  These services are provided in a spacious, 18-bed infusion suite with natural light, private television and access to the internet.  The physical layout supports complete privacy as well as a feeling of community.  Nursing staff are highly experienced and many are certified in their specialty.  Our Medical Director is on-site during hours of operation.  The Center hours are: Monday through Thursday 8:30 am to 6:00 pm and Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm .  We will also coordinate your care over the weekend if necessary. 

Please call 914-293-8402 with any questions

 

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