Mammogram, Ho!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Like in "Westward, Ho!" not "Be My Ho!"

Jeez.

I'm going in for my biannual mammogram this afternoon. Initially, I was going to write a humorous and vivid description of this procedure, including the usual analogies to iron-presses, cartoonish accidents and cold metal devices squishing my boob like a grape.

But then I decided not to.

You want to know why?

Because I want a mammogram. I want to know if there's anything suspicious lurking in my breasts, waiting to take my health or my life. I want early detection and treatment if I'm a member of the 20% of women in this country who get breast cancer.

The image from HBO's John Adams of his daughter's so-called "treatment" for breast cancer is burned irretrievably into my retina, and I'm profoundly grateful for the opportunity to receive modern treatment and diagnostics.

Painful, slow death including a non-anesthetized mastectomy versus a mammogram. Yeah.

So I'm not going to bitch about it. I'm going to go and have it done, with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. Because I know I don't want the alternative.

27 comments:

Cindi in CO said...

Well, I don't know about the smile on my face and the song in my heart, but I get them too.

If I don't look out for the girls, who will?

Michelle K said...

I hope it's as painless as possible, and then I hope you do something nice for yourself afterwards.

Just because.

Janiece Murphy said...

Michelle, from my point of view, I am doing something nice for myself.

But I may have ice cream, too.

Just because.

:-)

Carol Elaine said...

I had my first mammogram last year. I'd heard tales, so I knew something of what to expect, but all I could think during the process (aside from, "Ow!") was, "How do small-breasted women do this?"

Seriously. I can't figure it out.

Still, I'm gonna continue to go in for my mammograms, because one saved my mother's life. Just two and half years ago Mom had breast cancer that was discovered at the earliest stage, thanks to a mammogram. One lumpectomy and two and a half years later and she's doing great.

BTW, if anyone thinks that she may not be at risk because it doesn't run in the family, guess again. It didn't run in my family either, until my mom got it.

And enjoy that ice cream, Janiece, whatever the flavor may be.

Michelle K said...

Ooook...So what are we defining as small breasted?

I've still got two more years before I get my baseline mammogram, and although I'm hoping they get ultrasound mammograms worked out before then, if they don't....

Michelle K said...

Ok... Enjoy the ice cream!

kimby said...

Janiece,
My "girls" and I say good for you for getting your Mammo done!
And ice cream is certainly called for.

Janiece Murphy said...

All done, and eating my soft serve.

Michelle, in this context, I would consider "small-breasted" a B or smaller (yes, I do fall in that category).

The mammogram itself is more painful for small breasted women mostly because they have to stretch the skin pretty darn tight to get a full view of all the breast tissue.

Cindi in CO said...

Well, Michelle, I'm a B cup (to be filed under TMI) and they manage to wrangle mine onto the x-ray plates, or whatever they are.

Cindi in CO said...

Whatever it takes to get my cup size off the top of your comments section.

:D

Michelle K said...

OK. As I'm a C cup I'm assuming I'll be okay.

Whew!

And Kimby, since we're on the subject, any updates?

Carol Elaine said...

Janiece, yes, B cup or smaller was what I was thinking as "small-breasted." I've known A cup women who have had mammograms, so I know it's possible. I just didn't know how, because based on my experience with my DD girls (TMI as well), it was pretty damned uncomfortable. I didn't know the twins could be stretched like that.

The minute they come out with workable ultrasound mammograms, I am so there.

Yea for the soft serve!

kimby said...

Michelle..All of my test came back a-o-k! THe lump that they found is gone..most likely a blocked duct (so says the breast doc) Papa's tests not so lucky I am afraid...I am going to post about it on Wilsonworld, once the rest of the family has been told..mainly PAPA, as he does not know yet. (my nieces and nephews and son read my blog, and that is not the way we wanted them to find out.)

Papa has Lung Cancer. Inoperable. We already know that he is going to refuse treatment, and we are ok with that..as ok as we can be.

Sorry Janiece to make this announcement in the comments on your blog...but I wanted my friends here to know, and until i can make it blog-public..this was the way to do it. I am telling Papa tomorrow morning at at normal tea time chat. The siblings and I decided that it would be best coming from me...he is most at ease with me.

As for mammo's being painful for smaller breasted women...if you add up all of your cups...you might come close to mine...they did not have to fight to get enough of the girls on the tray...the tray was too small. PAINFUL doesn't begin to cover it.

I am thinking you deserved more that ice cream...was it at least chocolate?

Michelle K said...

I'm very sorry Kim. Here I was all going to be excited that your tests came back clear, and then you have bad news.

The only useful think I have to say is to get hospice involved early. They'll help to make sure he's kept comfortable, which will be a huge relief for you.

((HUGS))

Janiece Murphy said...

Oh, Kimby. I'm so sorry.

And I agree with Michelle. Hospice is purely one of the best inventions of the last century.

*HUG*

kimby said...

Thanks girls. Hospice was wonderful with Mom when she fought the good fight with Breast, brain and Lung cancer. Unfortunately she lost her battle. She was 59. The year after she died was when Papa came to live with us. He never got over Mom dying.. It doesn't seem as hard this time..maybe because Papa i older (83) and already in bad health. We have our first meeting at the cancer clinic on July 8th.

Tania said...

Kimby - I'm so sorry. *hug*

mom in northern said...

Just be aware of one thing ladies...
Men get breast cancer too
Think about a "mamo" given their breast size..

I am told by the techs that do them that it is possible.

Cindi in CO said...

Im very sorry too, Kimby.

kimby said...

thanks again all..I have made it public on my own blog now..so I can stop hi-jacking poor Janiece's place.

You guys really have no idea how much your support means to me. I just wanted to say thanks.

Janiece Murphy said...

Kim, no need to apologize. Hi-jacking is an honored UCF tradition, after all. :-)

Tom said...

Janiece, that's the attitude I have towards colonoscopies. I've had 2 so far, and they keep wanting me to come back again! I wonder if there's some kind of loyal customer bonus?

Yeah, you dope! It's called Life! Lack of colon cancer. That's a pretty good loyal customer bonus, if you ask me.

Janiece Murphy said...

You got it, Tom.

Yay, life!

Anne C. said...

Heh, until Tom's comment, all the comments were by women. Brave Tom!

Big Hug, Kimby! I agree with Michelle and Janiece about hospice. And there's always a spare hug on the UCF blogs. :)

Michelle K said...

Anne,

That's because talk of breasts make some guys brains shut down.

:)

MWT said...

As I understand it, via some commentary from a mammogram operator, small boobs actually hurt less in the slammer than big boobs. If the boob is so tiny that their owner doesn't even need to wear a bra, for example, it just feels kind of pinchy.

(Not that I would know anything about that. *cough*)

Also, condolences to Kim. :(

Michelle K said...

That didn't make me feel any better MWT!

:)