Ah. I enjoyed another milestone recently. I got my second mammogram and it was just as exhilarating as my first.
For those of you who have not yet endured this particular brand of torture, allow me to paint a picture. You will arrive for your appointment at the hospital. Someone will hand you a snazzy bracelet. Feel free to show it off like a war wound. This bracelet means you fear nothing. See how unafraid I look? Let’s see if #BadassBreasts starts trending.
Okay, this is where things get weird and painful. You will be escorted into a warren-like series of rooms at the hospital. No one will tell you that you need to find your own way back out again. That’s another story. I suggest you drop breadcrumbs.
You will be handed one of those lovely blue hospital gowns, the ones that close in back, and will be told to disrobe from the waist up.
And, of course, there’s no sense even trying to tie the gown. Who the hell can tie knots behind their back anyway? You will then be told to wait in a waiting room. No one will warn you there might be men about. I assumed it would all be women, but there are men in there, too. In order not to resemble an aging, bra-less hippie left over from Woodstock, I clutched my purse in front of me, Sophia Petrillo style. If you’re too young to know who she is, look her up.
Your name will be called and you will be escorted into a small room. Inside there dwells a creature I can only describe as God’s panini press. It is large and merciless. It has two flat panels, and it is meant to squish your girls into oblivion. My technician (a kind lady who said she’s been squishing girls for 25 years) was gentle, but by the time she took four pictures, my chest was red. You might not think your breasts could flatten to such a degree. I am here to tell you they can. The technician will prod and squeeze them between the panini press plates, telling you to relax your shoulders. As if anyone can relax in this situation. She will then tighten the plates. Just when you think your girls are flat enough, she will turn the crank a little more, like a torturer determined to impress a bloodthirsty crowd. This is the point where you start cursing.
After taking a few images, the technician will release you back into the maze of hallways and you will attempt to find your way back to the change room. The temptation to pat and fluff your poor girls will be strong, but try not to do it in public. People frown on that sort of thing. However, if you’re like me, you will fluff them a little once you get back to the relative privacy of your car. You will then drive home, and probably curse some more.
Sounds like hell, right?
But was I happy to do it? You bet. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian women. http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/breast/statistics/?region=bc I am certain that if you explore statistics for your area, you will find similar information. We don’t have a cure for cancer yet, so doesn’t it make sense to do everything we can to prevent it?
Every time I visit the hospital for a mammogram, a silly part of me worries my girls won’t be quite so perky afterward. However, if I have to choose between perky and life, I will pick life every single time.
I can always buy a push-up bra.