Friday, July 19, 2013

Mammography Screenings are not Horrible - Get one Today

Today I am going to do a little more sharing than usual. You see I will be turning 43 next month and I have never had my baseline Mammogram done. I know, I know. You are supposed to get your first one done at age 40. Well I am a large breasted woman, and quite frankly I was scared. There I said it, I was scared. Not that they were going to find anything, I was scared of the procedure itself.

My husband and I sat down for a long conversation one day, and he really wanted me to go in to get screened. I thought, sure, easy for you to say. But when he spoke to me with his heart, telling me that he needs me around for awhile, and he couldn't raise the kids by himself if anything ever happened to me, I got the message. I am not getting tested just for myself, but for my whole family. I needed to put on my big girl panties and just do it.

So I made the appointment online with the Women's Clinic. I purposely made the appointment about a month out so I cold get used to the idea beforehand. Then the countdown began. Two weeks to go. One week to go. Five days to go. Two days to go. OMG it's tomorrow morning.

Not me, but I thought about taking a picture :)
So the morning of the appointment came. 7:15 appointment to get it done with early in the morning before work. I was in a pretty good mood, but shaking on the inside.  The receptionist was very nice, then she says, "Oh your here for your baseline." I said "Yup, that is why I am trying to be chipper this morning." When I get nervous about something, I get talkative, make jokes and get teary eyed, at that point I was doing all three. And so the appointment started...

I was taken into a dressing room to disrobe from the waist up, and got a cute little shortie robe, as I called it. I was then led into the Mammography room. There the technician asked me a few questions, very easy so far. She then led me up to the machine. Deep breath. She told me she would explain everything that she was doing so that I knew what was going on. She was telling me stories about how she has been kicked, swore at and even punched before doing this job. She then informed me that they were normally the older patients. I promised her I would not do any of those things, and we then started. I was going to have four pictures taken. The first two were flat and square on to the machine. The uncomfortable part was her placing the girls into the machine the way she wanted them to look. In my head I kept repeating, she has seen millions of boobs, this is not embarrassing. She then lowered the plastic top of the machine on top of one of the girls, and she went to the computer to do her job. When the plastic raised back up, I asked "Was that it?" She said yes. Holy Cow! I told her that was easy, I could do that standing on my head! (I really did say that) We then did the other side.

Then it was time for the angled pictures. The pressure was slightly more, but I think that was because of the awkward position you are placed in to get a good shot. But really it wasn't bad at all. Both sides were finished and before I knew it I was getting dressed again. The whole appointment took 20 minutes. I can handle 20 minutes once a year to protect my girls.

When the technician was finished, she told me about how they will call in a few days if they see anything, and she told me that nothing stood out to her when she was looking at them. I am not worried about the results, as this is my baseline. I know things can show up on a baseline, but I am not worried about the results. She then asked me how it went, because she knew I was nervous. I told her it wasn't that bad at all, I was expecting way worse. She asked me to spread the news that mammograms are not like they used to be, and that everybody should get one every year. I instantly thought of this blog. I have a way to spread the news across the internet to all the women that are afraid like I was. Mammograms are not that horrible!

I am lucky to have good health insurance, if you are 40 or over and can't afford a mammogram, click here to find the resources to get free or low-cost mammograms in your community. It really is a easy, fast appointment, and it could save your life!

What are your first mammogram stories? Please leave a comment below to help other women overcome their fear and make that appointment today, like I finally did.

 I am sharing this post with all of these lovely bloggers.


  1. It's not a fun activity, but it is a necessary one and really isn't too bad. Thanks for sharing and encouraging us all to get our mammograms. Thanks for linking at Inspire Us Thursday at Organized 31.

  2. Thanks for sharing at Party Thyme. This is such an important message for all women. Thanks for reminding all of us.