Mindfulness, Mammography, and Me

Living in the moment sure has its ups and downs. The news cycle not going to go there, life, work, kinder (kids), the Mrs., all present their own unique challenges and opportunities. Hell, even the weather these days is hard. But, despite it all, I am trying my best to show up with intention. I breathe and practice mindfulness, while being as present as one can be with a smart phone and a chaotic life. There is however, one time where I strongly recommend leaving your mindfulness in the dressing room. It’s when you go for your annual mammogram. After recently experiencing my yearly squash-fest, I thought it right to share. Nu?

So I’m wearing my fresh little cloth gown, open in the front for obvious next steps, and I am called into the room with the gargantuan techno-seer of all things boob. A very pleasant technician named Linda shares niceties with me as she readies her mammoth monster for action. “Come this way,” she says, as she guides me in for my first “close-up. Let’s do the left one first.” Being the liberal I am, that works quite well.

Quiet, happy place. Quiet happy place.

Now, I am not one to complain at all, but in the department of mammary glands, the women in our family must have been out to lunch (more likely folding laundry) when actual bosoms were dispensed. There are men walking around in the street with more cleavage then we have (collectively). Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you. But being small, resembling an 13 year-old boy, makes this ordinary, yet necessary procedure rather extraordinary. Stars, fireworks, skyscrapers, and everything…

As I cautiously inch over her towards Linda, she begins to literally pull skin from my left facial cheek (I think my ear lobe was stretched in there too) to the bottom of my rib cage. Linda (whose hands must have been pre-chilled), she wants some breast to image. How can I blame her? She pulls my taut skin tighter and tighter, as she begins to electronically close the gap on the two plates of glass that are squeezing the stuffing out of me. “Don’t breathe! H-O-L-D!” As if breathing was even an option? I hear a noise, feel a real zetz (a strong blow, or punch)Β  of radiation pulsate through my soul and realize this would be the exact right time to not be mindful. To check out. Think funny thoughts. Go to my quiet, happy place (where is that again?).

As Linda released the confining compression case, I looked to the floor to see if a pool of blood had formed. I half expected to break a rib. “Let’s do the left angle view now.” Yup, the angle. Great. I’m on it. At this point, my head is turned in such a way that my aching neck begins to twinge. “Raise that arm up. Closer. Closer.” I had no idea ones belly button could move diagonally? Is it possible that she is also checking my thyroid? IS Linda that good? Oy vey iz mir. ( oh, woe is me.) “Don’t breathe! H-O-L-D!” I definitely felt more radiation this time. She must have seen something. That was a zetz alright! I begin to sweat. Sweating while she is forcing all of the derma on my left side into the glass crushing chamber of boob makes for one slippery slope. Is it a hot flash? Is it fear. Is it because of the radioactive blast she just unleashed to snap my picture.

“Okay. Let’s do the other side.” Linda, she says this cheerily.

Gentlemen who may be reading this, just imagine Roadrunner and the Wile E. Coyote. Roadrunner always has a handy Acme anvil that always flattens our Coyote friend. Well, take your (rhymes with klutz) …, and place them in a vise in order to understand yet another thing us women must endure.

I’ll spare you the details of the right side. You know, Lather, rinse, repeat. UGH! I feel as though I experienced as much radiation as Meryl Streep did in Silkwood. If you recall, she was zetzed pretty good. Where is that special shower and the metal scrub brush. I’m doused! I may light up like a firefly at dusk.

I head back into the dressing room and observe my ruby-red torso in the mirror. Singed, albeit tattooed by the vicious radioactive scrunch and crunch machine, I reflect on how this procedure had to be invented by a man. As I put my clothes back on, I ask Siri, and don’t you know, Raul Leborgen from Uruguay thought up this special compression technique for capturing cancer.

With my inside voice, I thank him. I open my curtain and head to the exit. A bowl of chocolate adorns the desk at check out (a woman’s touch), and I am fully assured that as my two go, we are cleared for another year. Mazel Tov (kudos and yahoo!) to me and my girls!

Women, make sure you do this! Mammograms save lives. It’s a boobemysah (old wive’s tale) that it is painful, unless of course your bra has no cups, hasn’t bought a vowel, or was burned in the sixties…

 

Yiddish Proverb:

If you are healthy, you are wealthy. Aoyb ir zent gezunt, ir zent raykh.

 

Some great folks I like to share with….

 

 

48 thoughts on “Mindfulness, Mammography, and Me

  1. Mamograms are the worst – they hurt. I can’t believe in this day and age they haven’t made the test better. That said, a friend discovered a cancer from an ultra sound, so apparently now you need to also organise an ultra sound to get better results. Just did my mamogram. Need to sort out the ultra sound.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, this gent read this with interest. My better half never described the procedure to me so I confess ignorance. That you can laugh at the procedure and make others laugh with your writing is a wonderful gift. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your choice of photos. I have not yet had a mammogram despite being of an age when I should be having them I seem to have slipped through the net and should get on to it. I wonder how they will do it with someone who can’t stand or lift her arms up high? There must be a way, maybe it’s gentler…I can hope.
    Thanks for such a great post.
    #abitofeverything

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your post made me smile especially the pictures. How great to make something not so pleasant seem funny. I am sure your post will encourage others to get their test done. You are very honest about it not being comfortable, but there is humour there and laughter always makes things seem less scary. Great to have you back on the #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, you are an amazing writer. This can’t of been a fun or comfortable experience, yet you have shared it and as a man who will not ever have to experience this, I read it, learnt something and loved the pictures that accompany the article. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was laughing so much at this post! I am also breastically challenged (loved pregnancy for the dizzying heights of a B cup!) but am not yet offered mammograms on the NHS so haven’t experienced one but my mum described it pretty much the same as you! Soooo important to get checked. My mother in law has just received the all clear from breast cancer spotted on a mammogram and found early enough. Thanks for sharing with us over at #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am not looking forward to my first mammogram, it’s coming quicker than I’d like! But they’re very important so I will be sure not to skip it. Glad you are cleared for another year! #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Oh mammograms are no fun – even if you have boobs! I’ve had to have a couple in the past and it’s certainly a feeling like no other, but the benefits of them definitely outweigh the pain. #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Its not something that I have had to deal with yet, however I went with my mum and saw how painful it can be but its one of the things that are absolutely necessary. Thank you so much for joining us for #KCACOLS and we hope see you next time!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: #KCACOLS – 7th July 2019 • A Moment With Franca

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