Thursday, December 1, 2011

Keeping the girls safe

Just had a mammogram and I feel great. Haven’t had one in six years (I know, I know) and boy, the machines have really improved in that time. Every time I’ve had one done, the clinicians have always been fantastic. So much so, I’ve even written letters to their higher-ups, praising the staff’s congeniality, sensitivity, professionalism, and...well, overall breast handling. Can you imagine having this job? Manipulating and tugging and pushing strangers’ breasts and flesh around a $250,000 machine for eight hours a day? Calming fears and anxiety from women of all ages, from all kinds of backgrounds, with all kinds of body issues?

My bra is off to the women who do this work day in and day out. You are my heroes.

If you’ve been afraid of “the machine” and your fears have kept you from scheduling a mammogram, give me a call. I will talk you through the entire procedure and what to expect. You could even come over and, if you were comfortable with the idea, I could simulate the pressure so you would know exactly what a non-issue it is. If you are uninsured, like me, there is a lot more paperwork involved than in the past. The paperwork isn’t awful, just cumbersome. Release forms, date of birth, date of first period — the usual questions. Nothing surprising. The procedure itself isn’t painful, just awkward and probably lasts all of five minutes. My clinician was fabulous – constantly checking in with me about the pressure and if she could press “just a little bit more” so that she could get a clearer image.

Now, if your fear of cancer detection is what is keeping you from making the appointment, that’s a much deeper and more complex topic than what I can tackle on this blog. But if we’re just talking a fear of the mammography procedure, please contact me so I can help set your mind at ease.

As for the ingenious machine in the photo, my partner Tom is currently online trying to find out where he can purchase one.

photo from