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So, You've Scheduled Your Very First Mammogram!

Updated on April 27, 2012

First, I say, good for you! Next, I'd like to say, don't worry! Just 3 days ago, I was a mammogram virgin, too. I was so nervous, but I got through it so I thought I'd share my experience so others won't be scared and put it off. It's really nothing and it can save your life!

Here's my story...

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But I Don't Want To Smoosh My Boobies Between Glass!

Yeah, I believe most of us think the worst when conjuring up this image upon hearing the word 'mammogram'. "What if the machine gets stuck?"..."Will it hurt?"...Will blood pour from my nipples?"

Okay, that last one might have just been too much, but I guarantee that at least one woman has had that run through her mind.

My appointment was scheduled a month in advance so that just meant I had 30 days to think of all the horrible things that could go wrong.

I'll go ahead and confess to you that I did think about cancelling my appointment. I thought about it until the time I opened up the door to the doctor's office. I didn't cancel and I'm so glad I didn't. Believe me when I tell you, it was a piece of cake! Well, at least for me it was. I can't vouch for every boobie scan. I only have two!

Before going, I was told not to wear any lotion, perfume, or deodorant near or on my breasts. Luckily it was not a hot day, so the deodorant was not necessary anyway. When the nurse asked me if I had followed their instructions, I stood up tall and proud and said "yes ma'am!"

She giggled and I thought I heard her say "What a goof". Hey, there's a few of us out there! At least I made her laugh!

She ushered me into a room and told me to disrobe to the waist and put on a nifty paper robe. She didn't tell me, but I knew to have the opening in front. I'm sure there were some women that didn't give it a second thought and put it on the usual "extended hospital stay" way.

My robe didn't fit me all that great. There was about an inch of flesh showing and it was freaking me out! I didn't know what awaited me in the next room and I was not properly dressed!

Was there an audience? Would I be required to serve drinks? Was there a talent portion during this mammogram show? A song and dance number?

My robe was ripped because I kept trying to pull it closed and I was more worried about that than my boobies being smooshed between that terrifying machine with the glass plates!

"You may come in now" I heard her say. I opened up the door and to my relief, she was the only person in the room. Not only that, she had a sweet, gentle face, and a awesome demeanor! I couldn't have asked for a better boobie inspector!

She put all my fears to rest when she said "first time, huh?". I giggled and then she told me I had "the look". At first, I thought she was hitting on me, but then I realized she meant the look of fear because it was my first mammogram. (For those that don't always get my humor, I really didn't think she was hitting on me!)

She guided me to the machine and told me to stand facing it. She said she would scan my left breast first. After adjusting my breast between the glass, she told me to turn my head to the right with my chin up towards the ceiling. Then she said something about doing the hokey pokey and turning myself around, but I couldn't because my boob was stuck in a machine! I hope I still pass the test!

After the left breast, she did the same thing to the right one. Next, she said she had to scan my side boobs. Well, I was starting to get a bit huffy at that statement, until I realized she just meant a scan of the side of my breast. For this, I had to stand sideways and kind of hug the machine. I've never been quite so intimate with a machine before. I think it was smoking as I left the room.

Oh, a piece of friendly advice...that paper robe is meant for modesty, but when the nurse starts twisting you all around and stuffing body parts in the machine, you really won't need it. Trust me, I am very modest, but after the first scan, I went topless AND carried on a conversation! I was so proud of me! I thought about buying the nurse a drink to celebrate but I couldn't find the bartender.

That's pretty much it. If you are lucky enough to get a nice and understanding nurse/technician, you won't have any problems at all. It doesn't hurt, but it can be uncomfortable and a little embarrassing. They also said that if you are experiencing tender breasts to take them out of the marinade, dab with a paper towel and bake for 15 - 20 minutes...wait...that's my next post on baked barbecue chicken! Okay, here's the rest...it is best to reschedule your appointment until that passes.

There's nothing to fear, and like I said, it might just save your life! If you are over 40, talk to your doctor to see if you should be scheduled for a mammogram. Some doctors suggest them after 40, while others say to wait until a woman is 50 and older.

The only thing you have to fear is fear itself and you will feel so proud of yourself after you do it! You'll feel like a big girl and big girls can handle anything! I promise!


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    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great article and great use of metaphor.... Additionally, being in the healthcare industry I'd like to add something else: ---try and get your mammogram at the same time as your yearly physical exam, so the charge won't hit your annual deductible---

      Take care

      John

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      Great hub lisa, your humor makes it a great read.I just wanted more pictures LOL( my sick humor)

      Love ya

      Michael

    • EclecticFusion profile image
      Author

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      John, ah, great advice! Thanks!

    • EclecticFusion profile image
      Author

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Michael, haha! In the summary I did put "with photos" just to lure some people in! I didn't say what kind of photos!

      Thanks for the comment!

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      You sick puppy lisa, you are so naughty!!

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Great hub, I like what John Sarkis said. If you have it at the same time you have your yearly physical, you can get it out of the way. Also, you won't forget to have it done. Thanks for such a good hub. Had to vote everything up :)

    • EclecticFusion profile image
      Author

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Michele, thanks for the comment and votes!

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I hope that your account encourages other women to go and get their mammograms! A sense of humor is a lifesaver, as you've clearly illustrated. ;)

    • EclecticFusion profile image
      Author

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Maddie Ruud, I hope it does too! Thank you so much for the comment!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Yeah after they have squeezed them flat, it doesn't hurt at all... really. lol

      Honestly, I have had a couple of bad scares and I keep up with mine even if it does always hurt and some people I think it always will but it is worth the alternative.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Super hub and great advice. I do believe you laid all the fears to rest. However we're in a different world here and here it is best to stay away from procedures. Can't tell you more than you never know what may happen here. However will keep your wonderful advice in mind and maybe check out how things are done here.

    • EclecticFusion profile image
      Author

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Jackie, unfortunately it will still hurt some sensitive women, but it's not like the pain will last for days. I would imagine that once you're free from the machine, the pain would go away. I'm just guessing of course, because I didn't experience any pain at all. Thanks for the comment!

    • EclecticFusion profile image
      Author

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Gypsy, it sounds pretty scary where you live! Hopefully you will find someone that knows what they are doing! Good luck! Thanks for the comment!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Really great advice for those firt-timers, and I love how you placed the importance of having a mammogram combined with humor. Loved it! If I had not had my mamogram last year, my DCIS breast cancer would not have been found. I have been healed. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • EclecticFusion profile image
      Author

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Faith Reaper, thank you and I'm so glad you had yours when you did! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such an inspirational comment!

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