Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Give 'em the Squeeze
I recently had my annual mammogram. I have "suspicious" breasts. Is that overshare? Anyway, I have had two lumpectomies, and now, because these breasts of mine are up to no good, I check them with all the obsessive/compulsive tendencies I lean towards naturally.
As the technician and I chatted merrily, I thought to myself, "What is it about a mammogram that women fear?" She told me the by the time some women come in, they have obvious cancer, but if they'd been coming in routinely, they could have found it early, and easily rid themselves of the disease. Now, I know this is not always the case, that there are weird, fast-growing, out-of-the-blue cancers, but by and large, most can be detected early.
I asked the tech why women put it off?
"Fear of finding something, and afraid it will hurt to have the mammogram."
There's that word again.
I told her that personally, I found the whole procedure more comical than anything. You are in ridiculous positions, and your breasts are squished like a pancake, literally. However, it is brief, BRIEF, and the techs have all had their own breasts squeezed like pancakes, themselves. I've yet to meet one that isn't super sensitive, gentle, kind, considerate and sympathetic.
She told me that most lumps are found by lovers. That's great for all the women out there getting some lovin', but for those that aren't, please, check yourself! Really! Give 'em the squeeze! Have a laugh! For a real chuckle do it in front of the bathroom mirror! Make a game of it! Do it. Please. For yourself, and those that love you.


jennifer said...

Now, confession time, I am not down with the whole "breast" exam thing. I keep putting it off because I do not want to admit: a. I'm old enough to have one of these things, b. I even have breasts c. I have to have said breast shoved into a machine.

No thanks!

I know, I know breast cancer sucks but I just feel like I have had enough cr$% in my life...there is no way the universe is going to give me breast cancer too!!!!

Call it one of the lucky cards but I am taking it and calling it good. I'll go when I'm 45!

kario said...

I understand the fear, but speaking as a woman who has had one both before and after having children, they're not as scary after breastfeeding. Gravity has taken hold of your breasts anyway, so they're much easier to squash like pancakes ;-).

Plus, I usually consider it enough of a pain in the a*& to treat myself afterward to coffee with a girlfriend and a huge, decadent slice of something chocolate. Worth it!

Michelle O'Neil said...

I had a mammogram after my sister's cancer diagnosis. Didn't hurt. Of course now my breasts are like spatulas, but I can roll them up easily, sleeping bag style and stuff them in my bra. It looks almost normal.

Anonymous said...

Your"suspicious" Breast look perky to me,not pancake like at all.LOL

wholia said...

I'm with Carrie. I have lost people I loved to both breast and colon cancer. It is so worth having these tests even though they are a pain. And a special treat afterwards is definitely in order. Go with a friend if it makes it easier. Do it for the people who love you.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Sorry for my comment above. My sister has used humor to see her through and we are used to that five years out. I'm sure some would not find it funny. Didn't mean to be insensitive!

Get your mammograms, ladies!