I always try to find humor in situations, and it seems when I am feeling anxious this helps me to ease anxiety in some way. I experienced more anxiety than I was anticipating with my last mammogram, so here is some of the humor I was able to find.
As a mother I have read many of the Flat Stanley books to my children. For some strange reason he popped in my head as the technician placed my breast on the plate and lowered the “squisher” which I realize is not the technical term, but that is what I will call it for lack of a better word. Then I thought of the words “Flat Boobsie” and about laughed out loud, which helped just a bit to alleviate some of the discomfort I was feeling. Soon it was over and I was sent on my merry way. I would get a call or a letter telling me the results.
A week later I got a letter saying that I needed further diagnostics on my left side. This was the first letter I had gotten after a mammogram stating that more testing was needed, so I began to worry a bit. I am not usually a big worrier, as I see it as a huge waste of time and energy that could be used more productively elsewhere. Even so, this remained in the back of my mind until I was able to get in for the further testing.
I went in and they used the basic squisher on my left side that had been used before, which the technician seemed to set on “ultra squish” this time. Then she looked at the screen and decided to use a smaller squisher from several different angles, and I became more and more uncomfortable and worry began to sneak into more than just the back of my mind. She looked at the screen once more and said that she needed to have someone else look at it, so I went back out into the waiting room in my blue paper robe shirt. In the waiting room there are all sorts of recent magazines, and since it is October which is Breast Cancer Awareness month, there are all sorts of articles for me to read about different battles that women have had with this disease.
A different technician came out and called my name and said that we now needed to do an ultrasound. So, into the ultrasound room we went and and she squished the already squashed area even more with the ultra sound wand. Long story short, everything turned out to be fine, there were just a couple of areas that needed closer looks. I went home, my left breast was sore for a couple of days, I took Aleve and it went away. I got the follow up official letter stating that everything was fine, and even though I pretty well knew, it was still a big relief to see it in writing.
I lived in New York in my mid-thirties, and had to get what they called a “Base Line Mammogram” at age thirty five. At the time I turned forty I lived in St. Louis and began having to go every other year for a mammogram. It is not a comfortable thing, but a great early detection test, and now that I have had several friends who have gone through battles of their own with breast cancer, I think it is a very valuable and sometimes life saving test, Flat Boobsie and all.