Friday, March 02, 2007

The dreaded "m" word

What are those things? some might ask, and some will know only too well. For the uninitiated, they're stickers, band aids, attractive little markers that point out to the lab technician just where the nipple is when she views the indescript area of flattened tissue on her film.

"Just remember, the more compression, the better the image" said my technician as she began the smashing process. A few minutes earlier she had yelled down the hall "I only need the small plates!" (Thank you so much for announcing my shortcomings to the entire staff of Westside Radiology.)

Most of the time I'm glad I was born a girl. One of the things that does not make me glad is my doctor's insistance on yearly mammograms. My daughter-in-law just sent me this joke... a list of exercises... any of which will prepare you for the exam:

1. Open the refrigerator door and insert one breast in door. Shut the door as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again in case the first time wasn't effective.

2. Visit your garage at 3 AM when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat with the other breast.

3. Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your breasts. Smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Set up an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again.

A couple of weeks ago was my turn to have the car backed up so I too could be "sufficiently flattened and chilled." We can put a man on the moon but we can't find a better way to check for breast cancer?


merryn said...

Interesting... After all I've been through the past few months, I've never seen these "attractive little markers". Sadly, your daughter-in-law's list of exercises are right on though.

cgssis said...

I think it's pretty obvious why we can put a man on the moon and not have a better way to test for breast cancer. Now, if the test for prostate cancer were similar...

Moonshadow said...

I linked to this post from my blog ... I hope you don't mind. I thought it was "right on" and, well, hilarious in a brutally honest way.

Judith said...

And the worst thing about the mammogram is undressing in front of a wasp-waisted, 20-year-old x-ray technician who weighs 90 pounds soaking wet and who looks at your middle-aged, sagging figure with a shudder. I would like to have "I got this way having children" tatooed on my chest!!!!