I never planned to have a mammogram. You see, when I was in my twenties I was convinced that by the time I was 40 a new form of technology would emerge that would make the squeeze machines obsolete. Maybe there would be flying cars by then, too. But here I am today still driving my earth-bound car and writing about mammograms.
I recently went to the doctor complaining about some pains in my breast and after she checked me out she said she did not notice anything unusual, but since my breasts are dense and since I am nearly 40 (!), I should go ahead and get a mammogram. Oh joy. Let the squeezing begin!
After doing a dog and pony dance with the insurance company to make sure my not-yet-40 mammogram was covered, I went down to a woman’s imaging center and checked myself in at the desk. I was a little nervous but the receptionist made me feel comfortable and told me it wasn’t that bad. But hey, I thought, she gets paid to say that! After another nice woman called my name, I was led back into an area that looked just like a spa dressing room. That’s me in the pic above standing in my room’s doorway. After locking my things in the cabinet and putting on a plush robe, I waited. I overheard a woman getting led into anther room because she had a suspicious mammogram. Good gracious, I thought. Is it possible I could have a biopsy today like that woman? Please God, let everything be okay!
When my turn came, I was led into a room where a fantastic and appropriately funny mammography tech greeted me. She led me though all the various positions and compressions and you know what? It wasn’t that bad. Sure, it was a little uncomfortable once or twice, but that only lasted a a second. The most uncomfortable part of the entire experience was putting on a slightly too-tight thyroid guard (which I opted for due to my already slow thyroid). The best part was that in the time it took me to get dressed and gather my things, the results of my diagnostic mammogram results were already in and I was in the clear!
So, I have to admit that I was wrong. A mammogram isn’t too bad at all…much better than an annual well-woman check if you know what I mean. I am lucky enough to live near great facilities with modern equipment so maybe you won’t get a spa-like room or quick results. Nevertheless, be sure to get your mammogram when the time comes. Early detection saves lives!
Mammogram information (cancer.org)