Three years ago I read an article about how women are being freaked out by a false scare from mammograms. I was freaked out just reading the article. It spoke of the non-necessity of yearly exams by radiation. I bought into it, frankly because I loathe getting the exam just like every other woman on God’s green earth. I started my silent protest against the booby trap. Last month I was visiting my womanly doctor and she stared at my chart with confusion wrinkling her brow. “There must be a mistake…. this says your last mammogram was in 2007.” “Nope, not a mistake.” What else was I supposed to say???? I pinky-swore that I would have the exam this time and not just throw away her referral.
I’m not at super high risk of breast cancer… my closest maternal relative who had it was my grandmother’s sister. Not close enough for great worry or concern. But I pinky-swore… so I had to go. It’s kind of like triple-dog-dare-you. You have to….or…. stick a needle in your eye…. or something else equally horrible.
Last Friday the mammogram went down. There is a new Phoenix Breast Health clinic near my home… that looks like a day at the spa… or at least what I imagine a day at a spa would look like. The whole office was gorgeously decorated in dark browns and hot pink with chandeliers. CHANDELIERS. They offered fluffy white robes to dress in…. cookies, tea and coffee served on trays while you wait. Other than the glaring fact of why you are there… it’s quite casual and tranquil. And simply being there…… I ALWAYS think of Anita Renfroe talking about how a mammogram is like putting too much batter in the waffle iron. Makes me grin.
Much to my surprise, since my five-year hiatus, the machine that they use has been improved. There is now a large clear plastic shield that you rub your face make-up on… which also keeps your head out of the radiation. And the machine tilts at a 45 degree angle for better smashing-photographic results. The only problem was the way she had me turn, raise my arm up to grab a handle, hold my breath and try to keep my make-up off the plastic… it caused one of my ribs to move slightly out of place. It only hurt when I took a breath. I was on the phone to the chiropractor before I left the parking garage.
Good grief. Three days later my rib is still tender… but I’m good on my pinky-swear. If it ain’t one thing… it’s another. And now I can say to my friends…. “Go get it done!”