Oh, Momma . . . It’s The Mammo

Twenty years ago, my preventive healthcare consisted of one annual exam. An awkward moment with the OB/GYN, then a “Thank you. See you next year.”

But times change, as have my body and medical recommendations. My preventive healthcare is now a part-time job. I feel as if I schedule more appointments than Lindsey Lohan’s parole officer. (I know, I know. That was hateful, but I couldn’t resist).

Health checks are the right thing to do for EVERYONE!!! But with cancer on both sides of my family tree and having been a teenager in the ’80s when we weren’t concerned with SPF and thought baby oil was the ultimate suntan lotion, I am particularly adamant about getting my recommended check-ups.

There’s the mole check, colonoscopy, ultrasound (unfortunately, not the belly kind), pap smear, and blood work – with which I somehow end up with the sweet girl who’s completing her internship. And last, but not least, the always-pleasant mammogram.

Last week, I had the grand slam (not at Denny’s, unfortunately). I’m talking pap, ultrasound, blood and mammo. My doctor runs a one-stop shop. It really isn’t that big of a deal, but oh, Momma, it’s a good thing you have a year to forget about the mammogram.

I think it’s my vain concern for my breasts that bothers me the most. With age, gravity, and three years of nursing, the only thing perky on this woman is my personality. Then to have the printing press stretch them out even more . . . well, I fear the girls will be at my waistline after three more of these exams.

But I’m not going to kid you, it’s uncomfortable. This stranger (thank God, a woman) is manipulating my breasts more than my husband has in twenty years of marriage. And she wants me to move the rest of my body in some strange positions. Direct quote: “Stick your bottom out, bring your stomach in.” What is this, a Playboy photo shoot?

And all the while, you try and pretend that this is just a normal day in the jungle, chatting away about nothing in particular. “Last month, we took the kids to … Son of a B—-!” Yeah. There is the pain. But it’s just momentary.

And let’s face it. Nothing hurts as much as the weigh-in.

On a serious note, I can’t stress enough the importance of these exams. This momentary discomfort is well worth it, if you can reduce your chances of having to battle cancer.