In addition to discovering that when I cough very hard I pee my pants, turning 40 has revealed yet another joy to me. My doctor sent me in for my very first mammogram. Horray!
I had a physical in May, and he said "Oh! I notice in six months you turn 40! How cool is that! Guess what I'm getting you? A referral! For a mammogram! You'll thank me later." Groaning, I took the referral slip from him.
"Don't complain. When I turned 40 someone stuck their finger up my butt, so it could be worse. You could be a guy."
Nice. Thanks Doc. You're funny.
Six months passed and I totally forgot that I had an appointment until a letter came in the mail on Monday reminding me not to drink caffeine and to not wear any deodorant because it will make weird shadows on the x-rays and I'll have to come in for a mulligan. Bleah.
Un-caffeinated and un-deodorized, I made it to the hospital. I was the first person in the waiting room, and about 10 people came in after me. Nine of them were called in before me, which had me irritated and questioning what the deal was. I don't know why they all got to go first.
Perhaps they were all there for doctors appointments to discuss biopsies and cancer, mastecotmies and treatments. There was a woman there who was undergoing radiation and chemo for breast cancer. She came up to the reception and gave her birthdate and I overheard that she was two years younger than I am.
She had a lot of make up on, and looked as if she's been going to a fake & bake to get a glorious tan. She smelled of cigarettes. Which makes me think that just because she is two years younger than I that she had made a lot of prior bad life choices (and continues to probably do so).
I felt her life choices put her in a more at-risk league than I may be. I felt for her, but also had to sit and wonder (not judge, just wonder, mind you. There is a huge difference) what she was thinking. One could say the same thing sitting across from me, noticing how heavy I am when they are a size 2. I guess we're all in the same league after all.
I finally got called in (a half hour later than my appointment) got undressed and johnnied up, and went into the room. The tech looked at me and realized she could use the tiny squisher panel, not the huge heavy-duty squisher panel. That made me feel pretty under-endowed. But somewhat relieved.
Horray for small boobies!
She set me up and was very calming and reassuring even though I didn't need to be calmed and reassured. I knew that what I was going through was something of a rite of passage, a mandatory act for women crossing my age threshold. I stood there holding my breath while listening to the x-ray machine make its buzzing noises thankful that I lived somewhere that this kind of screening is very readily available to people, and thankful that my joking-assed doctor sent me in. I held my breath and said little prayers for anyone going through cancer treatments, anyone getting a call-back from a bad or questionable scan.
I thanked God for my 40 year old tiny boobies and finished up after being squished 8 times (4 on each side. Horray!) and went to work.
I know yesterday was World AIDS day, but my thoughts were with the pink ribbon clan instead.