Our poor breasts. If you think about it, they go through a lot in a lifetime. Constraining bras, awkward fondling and breastfeeding are just a few things they need to deal with. They’re also a part of the body we should never ignore, thanks to a well-known disease called breast cancer.
That’s why the Canadian Cancer Society recommends women perform self-examinations and, by the time they’re 40, talk to their doctors about getting mammograms on a regular basis if they’re at risk of getting it. (By the time you’re 50, the society recommends mammography every other year.)
But let’s face it: no one wants to go get an x-ray where your boobs are squashed like pancakes on cold metal plates. In what world would anyone willingly go through that process? Unfortunately, it’s also a necessary evil — one that’s coming to light once again this October, a.k.a. Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In honour of that, here’s what goes through every woman’s head during a routine mammogram. Because dammit to hell, we all have to do things we hate for the sake of our health. No matter how much we really, really hate them.
This is going to hurt like hell…
Yeah, sure. I’ve read up on all of the “non-horror” stories about how it doesn’t hurt as much as you think it’s going to, but now that I’m sitting in the waiting room pretending to read a magazine and I’ve seen the look of horror on that woman’s face who just exited the room, holding her right boob like her first child, I KNOW this is gonna be bad…
That nurse is going to do WHAT with my boobs?
Right, like standing in front of this space lab machine isn’t daunting enough, this lady wants to twist my breast an ungodly degree and slam it between two metal plates? Whatever happened to gentle pressure, dude? Or buying a lady a drink? Like, I can stand on my tiptoes here — why do we need to twist and shout? Purple nurples are SO ’80s…
I am not a panini press… I am not a panini press…
For the love of everything holy, why is this taking so long?
I regret quitting yoga.
Why did no one tell me that I would be invoking the classic cat-cow pose during my mammogram, only standing up? How is this a thing? I usually have a two-drink minimum before allowing someone to contort me like this, and Twister was never, ever my game. Dear God, I wish I didn’t let that Groupon yoga class deal expire.
Just don’t breathe.
Slow breaths my butt — since when does breathing hurt so. damned. much? Okay, new tactic. Stay still for as long as possible and pretend that you’re passing a cemetery in the car. Just hold your breath so that the evil spirits of past mammogram patients don’t haunt you…
What do you mean I have to repeat this process?!
Oh I’m sorry, you didn’t get a good enough shot the first time? My boobs don’t get any flatter than this lady, so no, I will not now put my right arm over my left while simultaneously performing a handstand so that you can get a better look.
Fine, let’s just do this.
Note to self: get ice packs to soothe that cyst on the way home. Hell, grab some ice cream, a triple-sized candy bar and a bag of chips while you’re at it. PMS and menopause have nothing on this medieval torture device and Nurse Ratched here.
Well hallelujah, that took long enough.
It’s over!!! I feel like I just ran the boob marathon from hell, but now I’m going to reap the sweet, sweet rewards of smirking at that nurse (she will NOT get the satisfaction of knowing my pain). No way in hell I’m putting my bra on again though. Also, I must make eye contact with the ladies in the waiting room and warn them to brace themselves. The struggle is real, but if I can validate my health for another year, then I guess it was worth it.
Now, if only I could remember how to breathe…