Today is October 1st which marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. About 10 years ago I wrote a blog about my first mammogram. I am sharing it here again because it’s important.
Ok so I go to my OB/GYN for my annual visit. No biggie everything goes as normal…well that was until he dropped the bomb on me.
“Well let’s see you’re over 40…hhmm I think it’s time for your mammogram.”
As I’m leaving the doctors office the nurse is very pleasant –
Nurse – Ok, lets see he wants you to have a mammogram. Ok..well where would you like that done?
Me – How about my feet?
Nurse – *confused look on her face* (obviously not a big sense of humor).
Me – *nodding* Well you asked where..
Nurse – No I meant Lab X or Lab Y.
Me – I’ve never had one done…how would I know which one to choose?
Nurse – Oh it’s your first one?
Me – Yes..as the chart you have in your hand indicates.
Needless to say we get it scheduled. The doctor comes out from another room and walks up to the nurses station. I decide to lay it out there. I’m not a busty woman….lets say Victoria Secrets is my friend. I calmly explain to the doctor that while I realize things should be checked…I really don’t see how this test is going to help me. Hell Doc…lets go to Home Depot..get one those big Mag flashlights…why I just know if you turn that thing on and hold it up to the side of my breast you could see clean through it…
He didn’t buy it..laughed a lot but didn’t buy it.
The day of the exam arrives. Now I must say this was one of the more interesting appointments I’ve ever had. You walk in and pass several chairs in a waiting room. But before you get to the nurses desk where one would think you sign in; there is a mat on the floor that says STOP and WAIT HERE. It actually has 2 foot prints on it so in case you didn’t know exactly where to stop they’ll help and give you proper foot placement. Next is a little stop sign. I mean a full on replica of a standard stop sign.
Not being intimidated I stop and await the call up to the desk. “Next”. Yay it’s my turn…so up to the desk I go and meet Ben. This does not bode well for the exam. Ben is wearing some really cute scrubs…with bugs on them. I am really hoping that in his spare time he isn’t trying out for Fear Factor. He asks for a picture ID. Being nervous I of course pop off with “I hope my drivers license will do because I don’t have a photo ID of my breasts on me…” All he does is blink and then tells me he also needs a copy of my insurance card. Well ok ‘Ben’ here you go. He gives me this form to fill out….let’s see age? Ever have children? Did you nurse? Seems pretty standard. The only thing that really draws your eyes to the form, and everyone else in the waiting room, are the drawings of very large breasts on the bottom. Nice that everyone in this room knows why I am here.
They call out my name and then ‘Window 5’. I’m like wth? Ok…so I get up and see that indeed there are other windows so off to #5 I go. She takes my form and looks it over. I of course feel the need to tell her those drawings are not of me…but I did add jewelry to them. She has me sign and initial some other forms..all pretty standard. I asked her for a valium and she said “a what?” Then she sends me back to the waiting room. Wow they weren’t kidding when they said get there at least 30 minutes before you appointment. Ding! It’s my turn to go in…
So into a white sterile room I go with Helga. Very nice woman I might add. Considering I almost threw up on her blouse the minute I saw the ‘beast’. Helga informs me that all is well with the world and tells me to imagine myself in a “dance” in which I am Ginger Rogers and she is Fred Astaire, because she has to lead. Position 1 – Right breast in – Holy Mother of God her hands are COLD! Turn my head to the left, chin slightly up…some more molding of my breast, I actually think she should of bought me dinner first…and here comes some pressure…ok not so bad….and some more pressure….ok..bad but not dying…and yet more pressure…god almighty it’s got to be paper thin by now! Now she tells me “hold your breath”, like I could breathe right now if I had to, and walks back to snap the shot and then blessed relief. That’s 1 shot….only 3 more to go!
All in all it wasn’t that bad. As I left the room and went back to the waiting room a small child, I’d say he was all of 6 looks up as I’m walking by and asks me if my boobies are ok. All I could do was smile and say I sure hope so.
I guess the alternative is a lot worse. So the Moral of this story is….get your exams…find a way to laugh through it and you’ll be fine. It is not near as bad as you think!