Patty’s Ponderings – A, B, C, Or DD Day!
Any woman, who tells you she enjoys her yearly visit with her mammographer, is clearly in need of psychological evaluation!
Yesterday was D-Day for me; for some women B, C, or even double D-day! I arrived at the Sanford Women’s Plaza as I usually do; begrudging the very need for this sort of torture. Yes, I know it is needed.
Breast cancer killed my Auntie Mildred, (my mom’s best friend) when I was five-years-old. It was my first lesson about death, long before I understood that she wasn’t coming back.
Breast cancer killed one of my dearest friends, the irrepressible Kim Brenden, just a couple of years ago this October. My friend Kathy Baxter fought and beat it completely without my knowledge a while back and my BFF Georgie has had her own concerns with it. Oh I could go on, but there is really no need.
Breast cancer kills and the only way to find it is through examination; self, or doctor administered and of course mammography. But there is no denying it is one of life’s most unpalatable, yet thankfully, short-lived experiences!
You answer a litany of questions for an inquisitive, energetic young woman about your medical history and then brace yourself for what is to come. You strip to the waist, make sure your anatomy is deodorant and powder free, (unheard of in my world) and don a goofy shortie robe that you will spend the majority of time hanging out of!
A knock on the dressing room door signifies you are moments away from several minutes of substantial unpleasantness. Another very sweet young woman, (this is your mammography technician) tries to put you at ease. She chats about the weather, road construction, your job, (“Oh, you’re Patty, from Ben and Patty?—awkward!), while manhandling your “girls” like yesterday’s pot roast!
The gyrations and manipulations required to arrange one’s bosoms into camera-ready positions would give pause to a Cirque Du Soleil contortionist! All the while you despairingly grasp at that innocuous robe, (which is now hanging off one shoulder and dragging on the floor), trying to restore a scintilla of dignity to the situation.
The machine applies enough pressure to flatten your once normal looking thoracic region into something resembling a pita or fluffy pancake, (depending on the volume of your assets). And the pain, although transient, is intense. For men reading this, imagine someone backing their car over your favorite body part!
And now the other side! Oy!!
The best part of a mammogram is- when it’s over, you load up your “girls” and give thanks that they, and you are still here.