Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Other C Word

In the United States, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and in honor of the women in my family and strangers around the world, I’d like to make the following public service announcement, “Mammograms, though not nearly as pleasant as candygrams, do indeed save lives.”

I should know because, this year, at the age of forty-one, I had my first one. And, now that I’m an expert, I’m going to tell you what I told my step-daughter when we were in the drive-thru the other day, “It was horrid! Someone kneels in front of you… grabs your boob… puts it on a cold glass slab… then turns on a machine… that squeezes your breast until it’s the width of a sheet of paper. Worse than that… the ultrasound tech tells you, “Don’t move!” To which you can only squeakingly reply, “My boob is in a vice! Where exactly do you think I’m going to go?” 

And naturally, given my luck, half way through my rant, we heard the drive thru worker say, “Um, ma’am - we can hear you.” At said moment, I had two choices. I could get out of the car and let a child, whom I love, answer for my statements OR I could turn it into a teaching moment. So I owned it and said, “Sure mammograms suck, but they can save your life. Besides, it could always be worse. I mean what if you were a dog and had thirteen nipples. You have two. It’s TOTALLY do-able.”… and then I pulled up, got my food, and paid with cash.

Seriously, all jokes aside, think pink! Do yourself a favor, and – if you’re over forty – get a mammogram. No, it’s not pleasant but neither is cancer and prevention is key. Talk to you later.

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