Today, for me, was Mammogram Day. Oh yeah!
Actually, it wasn’t that bad. I wouldn’t even have mentioned it except for a few funny things and, of course to remind all you women to get your mammogram done!!
My reason for having a mammogram today was not because it was my annual checkup. With me being at the end stage of my renal function, I was advised to get up to date on all the regular stuff – mammogram, pap smear (no need for me as I had a hysterectomy about 20 years ago) and a few other tests. That way I’m not just “Lisa the kidney patient” with every symptom or ailment being attributed to that fact. Hopefully, there won’t be anything else, but it’s good to be proactive in regard to your health. Which brings me to today…
My last mammogram was in 2009. Yup, I know! It had been too long. But, I’d rather have a root canal, an enema, laser eye surgery (I’ve had two out of three of those. I’ll leave you to guess which ones.) than to have my boobs squished to within 1/2-inch of their life. But, I put on my big girl panties and made an appointment.
The last time I had one done was in the visiting Breast-Mobile in my hometown. And the procedure was painful! But today I arrived at the hospital and, knowing it had to be done, put all apprehensive thoughts out of my mind. I walked in, registered and headed to the appropriate waiting room. I didn’t have to wait long before they called my name, directed me toward a dressing room and handed me a hospital gown with the usual instructions to remove all clothing from the waist up.
Now, I’ve been in hospitals before for tests that involved wearing a hospital gown and the opening was always in the back. So, without thinking, I put the gown on the same way as I always have. I reached behind my neck for the ties. There were none there so I used the ones at the waist. The neck seemed a little high, and the sleeves kept falling off my shoulders, but I didn’t think much of it. I was more proud of the fact that being in my fifties, I’ve finally reached a point were I didn’t come out of the dressing room with my shoulders hunched forward and my arms folded under my boobs to give the impression they were just as perky without my bra. I came outta that dressing room with shoulders back and didn’t give a hoot what others thought. I sat down in a chair; two other ladies were there for the same procedure as me. It was during some small talk that I noticed that their gowns were tied in the front. I believe I then turned a little red. Confidence foiled by my own mistake. I then mumbled something about having my gown on backwards and one of the ladies said, “It don’t matter. Your gonna have to take it off anyway.” Fair enough.
I was called into the mammogram room. The young woman looking after me was a student and she was great! The procedure was quick, easy, painless and almost…comfortable. What did I have to fear?
And now my mammogram is done. And shame on me for not doing it again sooner. Besides my minor embarrassment from having my gown on backwards, I think what struck me more was that I had been sitting between two women who were there for more serious reasons. Both were there for repeat mammograms because they had ongoing and unpleasant medical conditions. Very humbling considering in 2017 “1 in 8 women are expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime and 1 in 31 will die of it.” (Breast Cancer – Canada.ca)
So this is me reminding you to have a Mammogram Day. Make that appointment, put the gown on frontwards (or backwards, it’s your choice), put those shoulders back and get your boobs squeezed!