Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mammographie/Mammogram--No Biggie

You know how I told you that I had to have my first mammogram? Well, I did it last week.

But not before I got news from Texas Bestie A that made all my fears and anxieties about having it done seem silly.
I don't think she'll mind if I tell you that she has gotten The Bad Result. She's 41 and very healthy, active and fit. Just like you and me. And now she's tackling the problem with signature nerve, determination and energy. She's read all about it, knows her options and has characteristically analyzed every scenario. She has always belied her tiny frame with the power she holds within it and this is no different.

Without a routine mammogram the spot would not have been found. It isn't visible. It couldn't be felt during a monthly going over in the shower. But thanks to the big plastic boob squisher it's on the outs.
I made jokes about feeling old and the insult of it all but they were just that. I am actually thankful for the preventative medicine and procedures we have available to us now. I'm writing this so you'll take advantage of it, not be afraid, encourage someone you love to get it done.

I recently read a great post by MommyPants and her point was to tell women that it's not as bad as all that.
Why have we heard so many negatives regarding the mammogram? That it hurts. It really doesn't. That it's humiliating. It really isn't. That it's scary. It's not.

I'll give you a step-by-step run down of what happens.

All it is is this:
1) You go into the clinic or onto the mobile mammogram truck
2) You take off your shirt and bra--you lucky things over in the US of A get a gown to put over yourself unlike here in France where I was left to stand bare-chested from the waist up, belted shorts and sandals on the bottom, imagine! Or don't.

3) The lady takes your breast into her hands and places it onto a large plastic tray

4) You hold three different positions per breast while another plastic plate flattens your business for less than 30 seconds
5) You're done

Seriously, if you've had a baby you've already aced much more than this.

I also had an ultrasound--like when you are pregnant with the cold goo and the little price checker--done to be extra sure things were good. And thankfully, they were.

We take care of everyone else's health. We get our kids' shots, feed them well, force our husbands to get their yearly checkups. And if you're like me your boobs might have even put in their time on the grocery roster. They've earned it. Get out there and get your mammogram, it's not as bad as all that.


  1. Good on you! May your boob squishing be an inspiration to us all.
    And I may bring my own gown with me, just standing there like you're at a topless beach is a little weird. Why France, why???

  2. Not only do you stand and/or sit topless but 'my' x-ray person is a man and here in France he actually want to shake hands with you before and after! I think it is uncomfortable rather than hurts being squashed but I suppose that it is all for a good reason.

  3. Lesley,
    At least he didn't want to do the kissing. It was a woman who did the machine mammogram but the male doctor did the ultrasound and he asked me all the usual questions about why I'm in France, where I'm from, do I like it, etc all the while rolling the price checker on my boobs. Oh,well. Like I said, having babies is much more revealing than a boob check.


  4. Thanks Aidan, I have been lazy lately but as I get back I will go for the mammogram.

  5. I had my first one three weeks ago and I am still in considerable pain. yes they do hurt, and yes they are humiliating. i am sick to death of women posting comments about ho painless they are so that women like myself who did suffer a lot of pain are then shot down in flames for daring to suggest otherwise. The technician I had was abrupt and cold, didn't introduce herself, didn't explain the procedure just twisted and nipped and pummelled me into painful positions, then dismissed me with a curt 'you can go now'. if it didn't hurt you, consider yourself fortunate, for many of us the entire procedure is painful and for many days afterwards. it would be nice to be told the truth by the people doing this barbaric procedure instead of treating us like children and then berating us for daring to say actually it did hurt


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