Two weeks ago I finally went in for my very first mammogram. I've had a script in the drawer for over a year and since my 41st birthday is right around the corner I thought I had waited long enough, especially after receiving a little less than friendly persuasion from one of my besties.
I wasn't very nervous, I just chalked it up as one of those things that needed to be done, like my yearly jaws of life exam where I "may feel a little pressure". So when my name was called I walked right into the room with a woman I had never seen before, at least I had anonymity on my side. This very nice lady, I'll call her Joan, gentle set my boob onto a clear piece of plastic, leaned me into the machine and adjusted the height to hold the weight of my not so perky ta-ta, my rapidly drying eyes appreciated this! I was thinking that this is gonna be a piece of cake. Then she proceeded to stretch my boob out as far as it would go and hold it there. I wanted to remind her that she was pulling on my boob not a Stretch Armstrong doll but I really wanted to remain on Joan's good side so I kept quiet. She then stepped on the button that lowered the other piece of plastic on top of my boob all while smoothing my boob out and keeping it at it's longest possible length.
At this point I was mildly uncomfortable but was still thinking 'I got this'. Then she did the unthinkable, she hand cranked that clear plastic vice down onto my boob until I was certain the inner contents of my boob were going to come out of the milk ducts of my nipple. I wanted nothing more than to call Joan a mean and heartless bitch but at the risk of making her turn that knob one more crank I stood in silence. Upon looking down at my nipple I was taken back to my childhood when I would play with my Play-Doh hair shop. I couldn't look, I didn't think I would be able to watch Lords knows what squirm out of my blood red nipple.
As Joan walked to the safety of her mini wall made of kryptonite she asked how my vacation was. Vacation? I had only been back from North Captiva a few days but how did Joan know this? In the 3 minutes we had been together I hadn't mentioned it. I replied with am 'I'm sorry do I know you?'. As it turns out her ex-husband is dating a friend of mine who also happens to be the ex-wife of the newly single man that joined us with his girls. She said how nice it was to finally meet me, that she had heard so much about me, yadda, yadd, yadda, all while prepping my already angry boob and blood red nipple for view number two!
At this point I'm dealing with the fact that my anonymity had been shot to hell and the knowledge that I do in fact have two boobs. Shit, I had to do it all over again on the other side. Joan was really starting to piss me off!
I was in and out within 10 minutes and left with two very sore boobies and a new friend, I'm still waiting for that friendship request on Face Book, I'm fairly confident I'll be clicking on "not now".
The real pain didn't set in until day 2 and 3, even the water from the shower was almost more than I could handle. Babe was given strict orders that my girls where to go untouched until further notice and that breaking that rule would result in my knee saying a hard and quick hello to his boys!
Someone called while I was in Disney, I assumed they were just following up, making sure Joan had done a great job so I never returned the calls. When I arrived home and started going through the mail I found a letter from the diagnostic center, apparently the mammogram had shown some areas of concern. Imagine my delight when they told me I needed to repeat the mammogram and do a sonogram of my left boob. Damn, my nipples had just gotten back to normal. The second tests were done last week and the doctors feel there is nothing to worry about which is great news but the fact that I need to go through all of this again in 6 months is already making my nipples tingle, and not in a good way!
I think I'm going to buy my new friend Joan a gift for our next visit. Do you think she'll find the humor in a Stretch Armstrong doll and a Play-Doh Barber Shop set?
Seriously, if you have not gotten your baseline mammogram and you're 39 or have a family history of breast cancer please make your appointment today. Your nipples may hate you but it's worth it, I promise. Early detection can make a huge difference!