My relationship with my breasts is complicated. At times in my life I have loved them (age 15-30), at times I’ve hated them (age 9-14), and at still other times I have loved and hated them at the same time (age 30-40). Recently my boobs have accomplished some pretty amazing things, for which my children are very grateful, but sadly these feats have taken a toll. As I’m not willing to consider elective surgery, it seems we’re stuck with each other for better or worse.
The way I look at it, my boobs have done their time. They’ve served their biological purpose admirably and now it’s my job to reward them by doing my best to make sure they remain “supported” and taken care of in their retirement.
Some German doctor first came up with the idea more than a century ago and while the process has supposedly improved over that time, I’m hard pressed to see how.
Last year I turned 40 and that meant it was time for me to have my first mammogram. Not something I was looking forward to but not something I was particularly dreading either. After two kids I am un-phased by most medical procedures. What would have mortified me at 30 doesn’t even register as embarrassing today.
To be honest, I was more scared of what the results might be. I had taken a Risk Assessment and it wasn’t much higher than average but I have aunts on my mother’s side of the family who developed breast cancer and the “C” word is very scary. So scary that I put it off by almost a year, which is stupid, I know. By the time I got around to actually scheduling the mammogram I was almost 41.
Don’t let this photo fool you! There is no smiling during a mammogram. Wincing, yes, and maybe some grimacing, but no smiling.
I finally put on my big girl panties and scheduled the appointment. After doing some research into my options, I elected to get a 3D Mammogram which is offered at both Huntsville Hospital and Outpatient Diagnostic Center. While it can cost slightly more depending on your insurance (up to $60 extra), it appealed to me because of the lower “call-back” rate compared to 2D mammograms as well as a higher percentage of cancer detection in younger women.
What Happens During a Mammogram
A mammogram is an x-ray exam of your breast. In order to get an image of this particular body part they need to flatten your breast as much as possible in between two glass plates. This feels EXACTLY as comfortable and appealing as it sounds. Some German doctor first came up with the idea more than a century ago and while the process has supposedly improved over that time, I’m hard pressed to see how.
The 3D mammograms do last about 10 seconds longer than the 2D which feels like an eternity already but I just kept thinking about how the tech said I would be less likely to have to come back for a “call-back” and figured it was probably worth it.
What it Feels Like to Get a Mammogram
I’m trying to think how to explain this accurately but honestly, the picture above pretty much says it all. Getting a mammogram is uncomfortable – to an extreme – and unpleasant and for about a day afterward I felt like someone had punched me in the boobs. There are worse things but I’m not going to get overly excited about my next exam.
Why It’s Worth Getting One Anyway
That said, I absolutely 100% WILL NOT be putting off my next exam. Worrying over what my possible results might be was so much worse than the 15-20 minute exam and getting results back that say that everything looks normal is PRICELESS.
The moral of this story, don’t be a Jennifer. Don’t delay something that could save your life just because it
might will be a little uncomfortable. Schedule that mammogram and take care of your boobs. They’ve worked hard and deserve it!
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.