“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.