By: Queue Murphy
Today I got my umpteenth mammogram. I have had many in my life because when I was 16, they found a lump. Looking back, I think the lump they found was because I was jumping on my trampoline and kept doing front drops. My dad took me to a UAW doctor who said I needed surgery (my dad didn't know any better). They put me under the knife the following week (at a UAW facility) and cut a big two inch hole in one of my girls and took a chunk out. Needless to say, I still have that scar, decades later - not attractive.
Even though I have entered men-o-pause, I still have to get mammograms every year. Or should I say mamm-o-grams....I digress. I still get them every year because I have 'dense' girls. Isn't that sad - that I have dense girls? Having dense girls lends to a higher cancer risk. My blood-relative Aunt, also died of ovarian cancer in her mid-50's, which also adds to risk of breast cancer.
Mammograms - for the decades I have been having them, have not improved. They put your girls in a clamp, press on a foot lever, which then compresses the girls, and compresses and compresses and compresses. I have always been too afraid to look down to see how squished they get, but I know I can't breath! They then tell you not to breath (I stopped breathing way before they told me!) - they then give it one more squeeze - OH My Goodness!!!! Click for the picture, clamp is released, then they tell you to breath again - why they have to tell me to breath again, I don't know. Then another picture of the same girl...I usually get 3 or 4 of each girl.
I once asked them who gave them the hardest time. They said it was definitely the young ones. They forget to breath and pass out...which then just gave me a visual of a young woman hanging from a clamp, and I grimaced.
Needless to say, mammograms are one of those necessary evils, so still get them when your doctor tells you to. Make sure you also do monthly breast exams. I know many women this has saved, and I know some women who are no longer with us because they didn't observe the change in their girls, OK, their breasts. However, I am looking forward to the day when they can do it a much less uncomfortable way - like an ultrasound!
So here's to the girls!