Have you heard the one about women getting a mammogram? She joked that all she had to do to get ready was shut her breast in the refrigerator door! For anyone who has ever endured a mammogram, you know that pretty much sums it up. And ironically enough, with breast cancer awareness month just starting and a recent diagnosis in my family, I am on my way to the time of year I dread most: my annual mammogram. Allow me to cast my fears and anxieties aside by focusing on them even more and discussing exactly why I cringe at this procedure:
1. I do not enjoy having my girls being mushed into all sorts of weird and unnatural contortions. It just plain hurts. And having a strange woman technician put her hands all over them while trying to make small talk is even worse. I don’t want to look at you; I don’t want to talk to you; I don’t want you touching me.
2. I am flat chested so my lack of endowment makes it all the more difficult to shut that refrigerator door. Try as she might, it’s always difficult for the tech to get my breasts on the plate and in position. Slide over to the left, now just a little to the right, can you lift up a bit more? What she’s really thinking I’m sure is, Can make your boobs about five times bigger? And I laugh every time when she asks if I have any implants. Uh, do I look like I have implants?
3. Speaking of refrigerators, why is it always so damn cold in there? While sitting there arms crossed, waiting in a flimsy gown that I try to wrap around myself as tightly as possible (why, I don’t know because you are about to expose your naked self any moment now), I freeze. That only makes me want to get dressed and get the hell out of there even more. Can’t they at least keep it toasty warm with some Jimmy Buffet playing? And why stop there, how about a margarita upon entering?
4. I dread having something wrong with me. Quirks and hurts and humiliation aside, this is the big one. A test to see if you possibly have breast cancer is not something any woman looks forward to. What if I sense the technician staring at the x-ray just a bit too long? What if it shows a problem? What if I have cancer?
But no matter what fears I have, I know that getting a mammogram is one thing you don’t skip. It saves lives, and for that, I will endure a few moments in the refrigerator door today. But seriously, a margarita would be nice.