Special post: The Mam-Gram-Van and Me

I don’t like pain. I avoid it at all cost.

It’s a humorous side note, then, that I birthed my three kiddos with no epidural. Did I mention they were all over 9lbs?  But having babies is a sacrifice of pain I am glad I endured. They are precious to me!

But because they are precious to me and because I love my husband VERY much and because love myself, too, I agreed to subject myself to a pain I had not yet experienced…

MY VERY FIRST MAMMOGRAM.

Yep. I visited the Mobile Mammography Bus today. You might know it as the: Mam-Machine. The Mam-Gram-Van. The Bosom-Bus. The Bust Bus. The Puppy Mill (I just learned that variation today!) or any variance on the name.

I don’t care what you call it – just make sure you know what it is and make use of it! 

Though it’s clear by now that I like to find the humor in as much of life as possible, I’m not making light of this procedure. And quite honestly, this is a sore subject for many folks (figuratively and literally). But it is an important subject that should not be ignored.

So today I’m declaring myself an unofficial spokesperson for all the “girls” out there. And thus, I am sharing my story…

I was NOT looking forward to the squishing and squashing of MY “girls”. The thoughts of having them flattened to the point of pancakes was NOT my idea of a good way to start the morning. (did I mention my appointment was at 9:45am?)

In the light of the fact that our Parish Nurse (and fabulous friend) had arranged for the bus to make a stop at our church, I knew I had to go. I walked onto the bus, talking a mile a minute. They knew right away this was my first time.

After a mix-up with my insurance was fixed (I didn’t do it on purpose, I promise!), it was time to prepare. I changed into the lovely front-opening shirt awaiting me in the tiny, but cute little room on the bus. I was also instructed to remove ALL the deodorant I’d applied so lavishly before I left the house at 9:30am.

I raised my arm to scrub away the deo (using half a dozen baby wipes). It was then that I noticed the shaver I’d used earlier on my delicate underarms had been a bit dull. I am not proud of it – but I had a “five-o’clock shadow” under each arm.

Not exactly what I wanted to share with the poor lady who had to take pics of my “girls”. (Here and now…I apologize to her. If you ever read this, I am truly sorry you had to experience that. Truly, truly, sorry.  I will try to get better lighting in my bathroom in the near future.)

I was sure I was going to bawl. I was sure this pain was going to knock me out. I was sure the pain would cripple me into a weeping mess.

I was wrong. There was no pain, only minimal discomfort. Nothing like I’d imagined.

I’ve had bras that hurt worse than the mammogram. Seriously.

After a few more pics (there was a lot of material to cover), I got dressed and left.

It was done.

I’ve dreaded this procedure all these years. I can hardly believe it. Why did I have so much fear? I don’t know.

But if you are fearing it, don’t.

To quote another nice nurse on the Bosom-Bus…”Remember – you are giving YOU a gift.” You are giving yourself the gift of early detection.

And to quote ‘MATER: “Get ‘er done, y’all. Get ‘er done.” 

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8 thoughts on “Special post: The Mam-Gram-Van and Me

    1. Hi Laura! YAY that you’ve had yours done already!
      And thank you for the support and for the RT over on Twitter, too.

      It’s weird how I worry about some things that I shouldn’t – yet don’t give enough thought to the things I should.

      Glad it’s done…and glad it wasn’t as bad as I imagined! 🙂

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  1. Donna,

    I get a mammogram every year now. They don’t hurt nearly as much as they used to. Thank goodness for improved techniques. I am glad that you have taken this gigantic step toward continued good health.

    Linda A.

    Like

  2. Good reminder to go. I have a few years before my first one, but I know I will definitely not miss it. My mil’s mammogram found a spot last summer, and it was cancer. She did have to have a major surgery, but thankfully we still have her with us!

    (And I’m sure the nurses see all kinds of five o’clock shadows ;), whatever you think is somewhat embarrassing, they’ve seen much worse! Thanks for sharing your story, Donna!)

    Like

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