Archive for July 19th, 2011

Well here it is … Mammo Day … and it is definitely NOT a ‘holi-day’.

I leave home with a few minutes to spare, so that I will have lots of time to find parking (if you knew where I lived, and how … quaint the hospital, you might be laying on the floor laughing). When I get my sorry butt into the hospital, and then get lost, before finding out where I was supposed to be.

As I followed the signs to ‘the clinic’, I was certain that everyone who I passed knew … that they knew where I was going, and what would happen there, and that they were whispering to others as I walked passed saying “she’s going for THAT appointment (because SHE is over forty!).” It was a very humbling walk down the hallway!

I reached ‘the clinic’ and opened the huge, enormous, heavy, squeaky (and any other adjectives that make you feel a sense of foreboding). The room I walked in to was pink … no, not just pink, Pepto Bismol pink … I cannot say that the color made me feel more at ease, honestly it made me feel rather nauseous!

The lady at the desk was all business … “health care card … fill out the top sheet … keep the bottom sheet.” I obeyed all of her commands (I cannot for the life of me remember the questions on the form … hum … something about age of first menstruation, any relatives with breast cancer, and a question that made me feel young … something about menopause 🙂 NOT ME), and returned her clipboard … I think it might have been special to her! That still provided ample ‘worry time’ as I awaited my turn (hum, is this what a man waiting to be called in to have a vasectomy feels like?).

Then, the instruction that brought me back to thoughts of the guillotine … “now step through that door, remove your bra, and put your blouse back on.” Sigh, this was the moment of door #1 (the change room), or door #2 (the exit) … and I grudgingly walked through door #1 … more pink (blech).

The change room reminded me of a retail clothing store … four ‘closets’, each with a curtain for a door, and a low shelf in each brimming with magazines. I followed ‘pink lady’ #1’s instructions … and waited … and waited. And listened … there was a screening being done on another lady … I could hear some of the instructions … ‘lay your purse on the chair’, ‘come over here’ and then the instructions mimicked the teacher’s voice from Charlie Brown comics.

But, I figured that since I could hear voices (even if they were mumblings), I could also hear shrieks, screams and cries! So, I developed my escape plan … if I heard cries, I was out of there (even if it meant racing down the halls of the hospital without a bra on under my blouse … I am sure that has happened in a hospital before). So, I flipped through my copy of People magazine, with my ears on alert for distress … nothing. Then, mere moments later, out came the patient … that was IT?

As she descended to her change room, I said, “so, you survived?” And she said, “yes I did … it is not enjoyable, but it is not so horrible either.” But before I could pelt her with more questions, THE DOOR (to the torture chamber) opened.

And I heard my name, spoken softly, and gently … but it didn’t quite feel ‘safe’ coming from ‘pink lady’ #2’s lips.

I was laying my purse on the chair, before she even started instructing me (I was hoping that if she thought I was a ‘keener’ maybe she would excuse me from this test).

There it was … the Mammo device/machine (aka, the instrument of mass torture and potential destruction). Except that it didn’t look so awful. My eyes were scanning it all over for the ice cold, metal paddles … there were none.

And the Mammo technician, her name wasn’t even Ingrid or Helga! And she was soft spoken, and rather nice.

And, it lasted, maybe seven minutes … tops.

And, it really was not so bad. I felt no pain (and I am a pain wimp … I was the sort of pregnant woman who made statements like, “I am in love with the epidural doctor”). I mean none. Oh, it was a teeny bit uncomfortable, but that lasted seconds.

In no time, I was sent back to my closet to re-dress, and leave. And really, the appointment was so quick, so painless that I felt no reason to even stop and ‘reward’ myself with a coffee drink.

According to http://www.worldwidebreastcancer.com (check out the ’12 Signs of Breast Cancer’) the main cause of death in women with cancer. In 2010 about one and a half million people, worldwide, were told they had breast cancer.

And ladies, touch your tatas! Learn how to do a self exam (ask your doctor, check out the web). Women, this is important! If we do not take care of ‘the girls’ who else will?

Did you know that early detection of breast cancer can mean cure rates of about 90%?

It is worth it ladies … for your family, for your friends, for yourself and the fulfillment of your life’s purpose. So, don’t shy away from this appointment.

Now to wait for the results …

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