I have spent a fair amount of time celebrating reaching the 5 year mark; boob cakes (5 layer, chocolate raspberry moose cake), parties, vacations....
But, party time was over and it was time to prove that there was nothing but boob in my boobs. It was time for my annual mammogram.
I showed up for my appointment on Thursday and per usual was a little bit anxious. I cut the greeter off mid speech to let her know I didn't have deodorant on, I didn't need the mammowipes and this was not my first mammogram. She smiled kindly at me and left me to put on the dreaded pink johnny.
I take a seat in the waiting room and fight the urge to wave at the other woman who are waiting and can't help themselves from staring. I think about what may be going on in their heads; "Hmm. She looks young for 40 (or as my age starts to creep closer to 40, I like to think this)" or "She must have a family history"or "I'm anxious about my own test I don't even know that I'm staring". Either way, inventing other peoples internal dialogue helps me pass the time.
Then they call my name. The mammogram tech introduces herself to me and lets me know that she is pretty new and will have someone check the films before I go back to the waiting room. I let her know that she needn't be afraid to hurt me and that she should do whatever she need to get the pictures. I also tell her that all of my markers are very close to my chest wall so she can do what she needs to get them. She looks at me a little surprised, but agrees.
Then the usual; relax this shoulder, squish your face against this plastic thing, lets put this boob in a vice and of course don't breath (like I could if I wanted to). My scar causes some issues on the right side, so we do those pictures again. Then this lovely new tech goes to get someone to look at them, and it walks my mother and I's favorite mammogram tech. What, that is a totally normal thing. Most mothers and daughters share favorite mammogram techs. It's totally regular.
The new tech then starts to introduce me to our fav tech and she stops her and says "No worries, I know her. Nice to see you again." She helps her show the positioning on someone like me (small boobs, markers close to chest wall, dense breasts) and they take a couple more photos. I also note that the pressure on the machine is cranked up to 18 psi. 18 lbs per square inch. Now that's a vice.
They are both happy with the pictures and I go back into the waiting room. And everyone turns to see who come through the door. You have to love the amount of anxiety in the waiting room. I park myself in a chair and wait.
Then the door opens and the fav tach walks in, just looks right at me and says "they want more". My heart drops to my stomach. When we get into the exam room she tells me they look fine, they just want to see the marker closest to the chest well. My heart moves back up to my chest. On which side? Left. Ok, Here comes another 18 psi and this time an additional plastic tray. She gets the picture in one shot.
10 minutes later someone else comes in to let me know I'm free to go. She also asks me to remind my doctor to put the order in for next year. I just say "ok", like sure lady, like between my oncologist, surgeon and pcp someone will forget to schedule me a mammogram. But, I'm bruised and free to go back to work.
I am sore, but I wasn't too sore to put a sports bra on and run 3 miles that night (and completed my virtual 5K for BraveLikeGabe.