Mammogram, Where is the easy button?

I keep having more and more ‘oh man, I’m getting old’ moments.  Having my first mammogram last week was one of those moments.

I’ve always been told by doctors that when I turn 35 I should get my first mammogram.  This is due to my family history of breast cancer.  My mom, aunt, and grandma’s on each side of my family have had breast cancer.  My mom also had the BRCA gene testing when she went through her ordeal and she came back negative.   I think I was more nervous about what my mom’s BRCA test results would be then getting this mammogram.  My mom actually asked my sister and I if we even wanted to know the results because she didn’t want the possibility of being positive dictate our own life decisions.

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So making my first mammogram appointment is what I’ve done.  I had my first one this past week.  I scheduled an appointment at the Lancaster Breast Imaging Center in Lancaster.  I wasn’t nervous at all going in.  The ladies at the front desk were SO nice as I filled out paperwork.  I waited a very short time in the waiting room and was escorted back to the changing room.  In a very nice and private locker room style room I disrobed from the waist up, slipped on my gown and sat in the waiting chair.  Those few minutes sitting in the chair, looking at all the ‘yay boobs’ regalia, was the only time I thought, ‘what if” and thought about my mom, my friends and other’s I’ve known who went through this without happy endings.

Soon I was escorted into the exam room.  I sat in the chair and stared at the mammogram machine, which I had never seen before.  The lady doing my exam, also SUPER sweet, asked me some questions and then we got started.  One thing I didn’t know is that you shouldn’t wear deodorant for a mammogram or if you are you clean it off with a wet wipe…now I know.  I don’t have any body issues, especially when it comes to medical stuff, so I just opened my robe and got right in there.  However, if you did have issues with exposing yourself or people touching you then I can see where this would be super awkward.

A mammogram itself is so easy.  You stand in front of the machine and the technician positions your arm and breast in the correct position and the machine squishes your breast from top to bottom and then from right to left.  You do this on both sides for a total of four ‘squishes’ and that’s it.  There is a little pressure but nothing unbearable.  The hardest part is staying still while it takes the image.  She asked me a few more questions and then I went back in and changed and left.  The whole thing from walking in the door and back out again took maybe 25 minutes.

I don’t know the results but honestly I’m not concerned.  This is really just a baseline test.  If anything I am more concerned with what insurance decides to bill me. 🙂  I just can’t stress about how easy this was!  By getting your baseline test and checking every year or two to keep up with early detection is key and could possibly save your life. #noexcuses

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