Thursday, August 12, 2010


My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a while back.  Perhaps you remember.  A routine mammogram caught her tumor.  She had a lumpectomy and radiation and is cancer-free with a good prognosis!  Yeah!  However, having a mom with breast cancer ups my own risk of breast cancer.  So my own lovely, pro-active doctor suggested this year that I get on the mammogram bandwagon earlier than I would typically (I'm only 35) because there's now a "family history."  Thanks mom.

Today was my big day, and I'd like to tell you about it.  Because, why not?  I didn't take any pictures to post, or anything.

I wasn't allowed to wear deodorant, lotions or powders as they might interfere with the machine.  It's 90 degrees and humid here.  Seriously, they don't want me to wear deodorant??  Okay.  Next year, I'll schedule the appointment in February.

The tech called me into "the room" and explained the procedure and the machine to me.  I appreciated that.  I like to know all the details.   She showed me how the "plates" (my word) would come together and how she could operate that movement with her foot so she'd have both hands free...I'm sure you can imagine for what.  Then she tilted the "plates" and explained that there would be a picture taken at an angle as well.  Two pictures for each side, basically.  She explained that the machine would release as soon as the picture was taken so I wouldn't have to be held there any longer than necessary.  Whew!  Good to know.  She also told me that it shouldn't hurt at all but might be a bit uncomfortable.  (Yeah, right, I thought)  And she said to let me know right away if it did hurt so she could adjust things.  (No problem!)

I changed into a gown, only for my top half; I was even able to leave my necklace on as it wouldn't get in the way.  Then we got down to business.  The tech said that much of the discomfort people experience comes from the just plain awkwardness of having someone do what she was doing to me.  Nothing painful physically; just extremely socially awkward.  I explained that I've had two babies and several birth-inducing techniques tried on me...offending my modesty is not an issue.

And 1, 2, 3, 4 moderate squeezes later, we were finished!  No pain.  Not even mild discomfort.  I was expecting to gasp or hold my breath.  Nothing.  She said, "That's it!"  I said, "Really?!"  I had walked in at 9:00, and with all the changing into and out of a robe, directions, and squeezes, I walked out at 9:13.

I don't know if it's the technology or the technician, but my mammogram was a breeze, and I'd recommend that everyone give it a try!  In fact, it was a so very not alarming, painful ordeal, that here is a list of things  that I would rather have a mammogram than do.

I would rather have a mammogram than...
1.  eat a box of raisins
2.  get my teeth cleaned at the dentist
3.  have my yearly pelvic exam
4.  clean my laundry room
5.  eat a blueberry or cherrie pie
6.  touch a kid's loose tooth
7.  sing in front of an audience
8.  run a 5k
9.  go to Walmart
10.  have breast cancer!

I did it ladies, and you can too!  Many of you who read this are perhaps to young to think about this yet, but someday you won't be.  And some of you are old enough.  Do it!  I'll even give you the name and number of the clinic where I did mine.  Just get it done.


Denise said...

You go girl! Good for you. They really aren't as bad as people make them out to be. And thanks for my first good laugh of the day! Now I feel guilty and should probably go and have that done.....again. :-) Here's to having healthy "girls"!

Denise said...

You go girl! And thanks for giving me my first good laugh of the day. :-) Mammo's really are not as bad as people make them out to be. I think after vacation, I'll call and make my appointment. It's good to have healthy "girls". :-)

Gordon Magee said...

Thanks for sharing! Made me laugh out loud. I think you must be without sin, that is why it didn't hurt you.HaHa Love ya,Mom

Dan and Tara said...

So funny, Carey. I can hear your voice and humor in every line. Thanks for writing it - I may even go get mine squeezed sooner than I thought!

Wendy said...

My only worry about a Mammo is that I don't really have a whole lot to "Squeeze" so I am a bit concerned. But I'm the one on this side of the family who isn't afraid of doctors, so I will be mentioning it to my Doc in Oct when I go in for my yearly.
Thanks for the story... and I would have to agree with your #9, but don't understand #6. Does it gross you out??

Carey said...

Wendy, it does gross me out. It was one of the worst parts of teaching second graders. I can handle blood, snot and vomit, but not wiggley teeth!

Indiana Family of Four said...

Carey, you're such a great writer! I will be getting my first one done next year. Thanks for taking away the anxiety- I had always heard they were very painful! XOXO!

Lisa Manrodt said...

Thanks Carey! Super funny and helpful. I have to agree with Wendy though, some of us may have less to squeeze. And you should tell your mom I had to reread and think about it before I figured out why your dad was sharing! See ya, Lisa