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It’s been a long time.

March 28, 2009

This week I had a mammogram. (doesn’t that sounds like some weird song to your breasts?) Okay, back to the mammogram. It’s been 8 years since my last one. I got a lot of flack about that too. Lots of people have been telling me to “get it done”. For many reasons, including the birth of 2 children in-between I have not had the exam. One other reason, no health insurance. Yup, and boy did I make the fellow on the phone REALLY happy when I told him not only was I FIFTY but un-insured. Apparently, that is the jack-pot when it comes to funding free services for breast cancer screening of women.

I entered the customized RV with a little trepidation. It seems a little strange to go into a RV to get a mammogram. I’m accustomed to private doctor visits and fancy waiting rooms. I pushed my snooty-ness aside and walked up the ramp to the waiting room. I was greeted by a friendly receptionist (who was sitting in the passengers seat) and filled out some forms. Filling out forms made me feel right at home.

So, the dreaded smoosh. Or squosh. Whatever. It is uncomfortable. Really, why sugar coat it? It hurts. Think about it, you have your breast placed on a plastic shelf, then another plastic shelf is lowered onto it so that it is smooshed out as far as it can go. Yeah.  Who came up with this procedure anyway?  

The images seemed okay. But no telling until the report comes back. There was something very unsettling looking at a part of your body like that on screen. I saw an image of my brain once, it bothered me a lot. Well, the fact that the radiologist thought I had early stage MS didn’t help (which turned out to be a false read) its just that I don’t think of my brain or the internal parts of my body. I think of myself as Lori. A person, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend. It just feels strange to strip it all down to an image with flecks and bits and pieces to it.

Many years ago a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was very serious, stage 4 and had gone into the lymph nodes. We were all pretty scared for her. She took some dramatic measures and we’re happy that so far she has been cancer-free. It has been over 5 years. It was with her in mind that I made that trip to the dreaded mammogram site.

I can’t promise that I will be doing that every year though. The jury is out for me on some things, what I will promise is to keep up the self-exams.

I’d like to hear from other women about their experience and thoughts on mammograms.

In the meantime ~ here’s to you Sam ~ I did it!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. felicepd permalink
    March 30, 2009 11:45 pm

    Glad you got it done. I’ve still never had one, even though my doctor suggested that I get a baseline at 35 because my insurance would cover it. It’s on my list to do this year! Hope your report comes back all clean 🙂

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