I am about that age, what many others call the peak of midlife crisis and what I like to call the point in life where I have acquired mass amounts of, sometimes painful, learning experiences. Also the point where I was told I needed to have my first mammogram.
The girls and me were not so happy. Reluctant really. I don’t really like pancakes, especially when they are in the form of my breasts.
But, I was all too familiar with the importance of being screened and that was all the convincing I needed to book my first mammogram appointment.
The two weeks between scheduling the x-ray until the appointment were filled with random thoughts about breast cancer. Not necessarily fear, just awareness. For I am also at that age where close friends have been diagnosed and seeing their battle was sad, yet inspirational. The strength of women never ceases to amaze me.
I definitely wanted my boobies to come out with a clean bill of health after my first mammogram. But, seeing these astonishingly strong woman battle cancer gave me a hopeful comfort.
I woke up that morning not fearing the procedure even though I had heard that your breasts are flattened to a painful point. Even more painful for us lacking in the chest department. Great. But, I still felt more eager than anything else to have this new experience under my belt and form my own opinion about its level of uncomfortability. Just keep your needles and other metal gadgets to yourself.
I put on my peek-a-boo gown and headed to the x-ray room. I couldn’t help but giggle the whole time the technician was explaining the procedure. I kept looking at the mammogram machine thinking, “They fit in there. Really?” Turns out, they can. Pretty easily.
She maneuvered me into position and the machine started to compress, flattening my breast. Once horizontally, once vertically, on each side. Out of four times, there was only once where I had to put the brakes on the compression. Even so, it was never painful.
This should be on every womans bucket list. But, do yourself a favor and don’t go when Aunt Flo is visiting. That would be bad for a first mammogram.
How was your first mammogram experience? Or are you putting if off because of fear?