It's time... for the yearly check-ups. You ladies know the ones I'm talking about. I'm talking about getting poked, felt up, internally scraped while a duck-bill holds your hoo-ha open, and getting your boobs smashed. Yes, it's female check-up time.
The pap. The mammogram. The horror.
A lot of women call their breasts, "The girls" and I like that term. I think I first heard it used by Stacy London on What Not to Wear. I'm thinking at this stage in life, however, my girls have become "The ma'ams." I'm no spring chicken anymore and I hate being called ma'am, but really it is more fitting.
Let's just say that you're walking down the street with a nice shirt accentuating the positives. Would you be comfortable with a man ogling your "girls"? The term "girls" makes me think of my daughters, so this makes me feel just a tad bit uncomfortable.
Now, think about the same situation and as you pass a fellow sporting a nice gray suit walking down the street, he acknowledges your bosom with a nice tip of his hat and, addressing each boob separately, he smiles and says to the left one, "Hello, ma'am," then looks respectively toward the right, but doesn't look directly at it and says, "and good day to you also ma'am!" This is of course unrealistic, so let's just say that he then leaps onto a lamp-post and dances on down the street singing a song about beautiful women like a Fred Astaire movie, while glancing back at you adoringly. Pfft. Fantasies. They're so crazy!
So, first on my agenda this year is the mammogram, or as I now call it, the "ma'ams-o-gram." I've only been forced to endure this torture for a few years now and I have to say that I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. First of all, you have to go topless in front of strangers. If you've already gone to the gyno for the other check-up, then you've already been felt up by the doctor, now you have to expose yourself to a stranger and get your boob smashed in a vise. This does not equal fun in my book.
Also, I've talked about the boob thing recently. They're big. It hurts! And for those of you who haven't gone through this yet, do you know what they tell you as they're smashing it in the vise to get the images? "Tell me when you can't stand it anymore." They mean the pain. I honestly wonder if a boob has ever exploded on them because somebody had a high pain tolerance and forgot to cry "uncle."
Not only are you half naked with a stranger and getting your boob mercilessly flattened like a panini, just at the moment you're about to pass out from the pain, they tell you this: "Now lift up your chin as high as you can." If foreign countries aren't using this as a torture method, they really should be.
Imagine me, humor writer, with the boob in the vise, in pain, and then instructed to look up, thus increasing the already searing pain to eleven. Yes, the pain goes to eleven. I envisioned in my mind what I must have looked like and thought about what a funny picture it would be for my blog and I busted out laughing right when she was taking the picture. Sure enough, it was blurry and she had to do it AGAIN! Oh Lord, what had I done? Curse you, sense of humor!
I'm pretty sure this is the look:
As if that wasn't bad enough, there was a wrinkle in the first boob picture, which had gone swimmingly, and she had to do that one again, too! Are you seeing where the word "horrors" came in? Fellas, do they have ANY sort of test where they smash your winkie flat? I didn't think so. If there is such a test, please alert me so that I can become a technician.
"What do you do for a living?"
"I smash wankers, that's what I do. And I love my job."
Now, at least my ma'ams-o-gram wasn't lengthy, I thought, and I was in and out of there in a half an hour flat. "You'll get a paper in the mail next week," they proclaimed. I took my free gift (a manicure set and two Hershey's kisses, only one of which was eaten upon arrival at home that night by a child; I knew I should have eaten them in the car... "My boobs got smashed, those are MY chocolates!") and I was on my way.
So yesterday morning when the phone rang and I saw who it was on the caller ID, I knew it wasn't good news. Sure enough, they need to take another look because they "saw something, which could be nothing at all, but we need some more views" and then they might send me to the hospital for an ultrasound right after if it still looks suspicious after the doc looks at the images.
She was a lovely woman on the phone and did her best to encourage me that it could be nothing, could be just a fluid-filled cyst, etc. but of course you know from past posts that what I heard was that it could be just a tiny little skull and crossbones we need to address. Fred Astaire, where are you now to sing and dance for me?
I assured her that she was talking to the right person and that no matter what it is, I will find a way to laugh about it and that I will probably blog about it too. And of course, I am.
So my follow-up is tomorrow. I've had many women tell me "Oh, I had that happen too and turned out to be nothing." However, I am realistically looking at the fact that I know two women in stage 4 breast cancer as well. Plus they never came up with any result on my throat problem. What I thought were ENT troubles gave the doc no concern, but other symptoms like the choking and voice change did, so she ran bloodwork and I had a thyroid ultrasound done, which both came back fine.
Thought for the day: I'm either dying of throat-breast cancer or I'm fine, either one. No matter. I'm going to keep on living my life and writing until the day I die. I know it can be done because I actually followed someone who did that very thing. Such respect I have for her. She died of the same rare breast cancer my aunt has.
You know what they say, no pain, no gain! In all seriousness, go get that ma'ams-o-gram, ladies! It could very well save your life and that is worth all the discomfort.
Please send good thoughts my way for my testing tomorrow and you have a wonderful day!