Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh, Crap! It's That Time Again

 Thought for the day: Since men undoubtedly invented the mammogram machine, I think it's only fair that women should be given the opportunity to invent an equally delightful machine to test men for testicular cancer.

As much as I dislike having to compress anything I've written, as much as I hate having to scratch through any of my words, I'd rather cut another 10,000 words from my WIP than do what I have to do tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I get my up close and personal annual compression. It's (gulp) mammogram time.

OMG! It's that time of year again.

Alas, I forgot to forgo caffeine like I usually do the week before the big test, so I may regret that, but in preparation, I have been dutifully doing my exercises. Not the running around the block or stomach crunches kind of exercise. I still stink at doing that. But there are certain specialized exercises that can help any woman psyche herself up for her annual appointment with the torture machine. Out of the kindness of my heart, I share them with you:

Put a pair of metal bookends in the freezer, and leave them there overnight.
Invite a stranger over to help.
Next day, strip from the waist up.
Have the stranger place one of your breasts between the bookends. (This may require considerable stretching.)
Have him/her smash them together and hold.
Repeat with the other breast.

Open your fridge door and place one breast between the door and appliance.
Ask your biggest, strongest friend to slam the door on it, and to lean on it for a few seconds for good measure.
Hold your breath while (s)he holds the door shut.
Repeat with other breast.

Go into your garage at 3 AM, take off all your clothes, and lie on the cold concrete floor. (If you don't have a garage, the driveway will suffice.)
Ask a pal to slowly back the car over your boob. 
Turn over and repeat with the other one.

OK, so maybe I exaggerate. (But not by much.) 

Here's a poem that's been around for years, so you may have already seen it. Unfortunately, no one seems to know who wrote it, but now is the perfect time for me to share it with you. It's called


For years and years they told me,
Be careful of your breasts,
Don't ever squeeze or bruise them,
And give them monthly tests.
So I heeded all their warnings,
And protected them by law.
Guarded them very carefully,
And my bra I always wore.
After thirty years of astute care,
My doctor found a lump.
She ordered up a mammogram
To look inside that clump.
"Stand up very close," she said,
As she got my boobs in line,
"And tell me where it hurts," she said.
"Ah, yes! There, that's fine."
She stepped upon a pedal.
I could not believe my eyes!
A plastic plate pressed down and down,
My boob was in a vise!
My skin was stretched and stretched,
From way up under my chin.
My poor boob was being squashed
To Swedish pancake thin.
Excruciating pain I felt
Within its vice-like grip.
A prisoner in this vicious thing,
My poor defenseless tit!
"Take a deep breath." she said to me.
Who does she think she's kidding?
My chest is mashed in her machine,
And woozy I am getting.
"There, that was good," I heard her say
As the room was slowly swaying.
"Now, let's have a go at the other one."
Lord, have mercy, I was praying.
It squeezed me from up and down,
It squeezed me from both sides,
I'll bet she's never had this done,
Not to her tender little hide!
If I had  no problem when I came in,
I surely have one now.
If there had been a cyst in there,
It would have popped Ker-pow!
This machine was designed by man,
Of this I have no doubt,
I'd like to stick his balls in there,
And see how they come out!


On a serious note, breast cancer is nothing to laugh about, and every woman should be diligent about getting those annual mammograms, no matter how much we dislike them. I've lost several dear friends to breast cancer, and I'll bet you have, too. Do yourself and your family a favor: if you haven't had your test yet this year, call and make that appointment. Please. And men, make sure your wives, mothers, and daughters take care of themselves, too.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. OMG I laughed so hard at that poem there were tears running down my face.

  2. Last year, the reader found something. We had to do another test. Thank God it was negative (just a weird image reflection) but it scared the life out of me. I am diligent and always will be.

    Good luck, and suck it up. You know you have to. It could save your life. And you are a strong woman, so this is child's play compared to some of the other crap you've had to deal with in life, I'm sure.

  3. LOL! (Only I'm wincing as I do.)

    It's not just the pain. I always worry, too, that one of these years my boobs aren't going to pop back into shape, and I'll be left with my pancakes flapping in the breeze.

  4. ROLFL!! So true.

    But it takes a darker turn when they find some microscopic "lump" that's probably a speck on the glass and carve you up with no anethesia and leave you out cold on the floor, bruised and black & Blue for a year.

    If your insurance covers it ALWAYS get the biopsy done in a real hospital, not an "imaging" place.

    Right now I'm taking my chances with breast cancer. Two years later, my breast is still bruised and so painful I can't wear a regular bra, much less tolerate a mammogram.

    Greed-based health care is neither healthy or caring.

  5. Yup,I do it faithfully. If this weren't a non-funny subject, your post would be hilarious.

  6. I thought your descriptions were fairly accurate! I love that "take a deep breath" part! Yeah, right! It is IMPOSSIBLE to take a deep breath with your breast squashed flat like a pancake. I mean, I know my lungs aren't in there, but they might as well be.

    Good luck at your appointment.

  7. This is hilarious. Serious subject, of course. Though at 71 (and BTW, thanks for the birthday wishes; a day I'll remember, the Blogger crash) I've yet to have a mammogram. I'm very small (probably no excuse) and my little mother (died at age 97, also a small woman) never had one (probably no excuse either).

    Good luck!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  8. Hi, Ladies. Thank you all for your comments. I'm back home from the torture chamber, and all is well with the world. Wasn't as bad as usual. No bruises. No residual pain. And definitely no regret that the procedure is d-o-n-e.

    Karla- Glad you got a good laugh from the poem. That's how I reacted the first time I read it, too.

    Anne G- I'm glad your scare turned out to be a false alarm. I've had several of those, too.

    Linda- Yeah, I know what you mean. All of my body parts take a little longer to bounce back into place nowadays, but I really don't relish the idea of walking around with Ubangi-lip boobs.

    Anne A- Oh, I am SO sorry to hear about your experience. It sounds absolutely dreadful, but please don't let that one bad experience prevent you from getting the care you need. I know mammograms suck. But breast cancer sucks much worse. My best friend ... college roommate, and maid of honor ... died last year from breast cancer after fighting a very courageous and difficult battle for several years. The fact that your breast is still so painful after two whole years is in itself worth checking out. Don't you deserve better than that? (If you're hesitating on the response, the answer is YES. You definitely do.)

    Karen- Good girl!

    Connie- Glad to make you smile.

    Dianne- Taking the deep breath isn't so much a problem for me as the holding it for an hour and a half. (ok, so I exaggerate a tad.)

    Ann B- Glad you enjoyed it, but I'll waste a little breath by urging you to get a mammogram. Much to my dismay, my mother never had one, either. And she never made it to seventy.

    Y'all take care.

  9. Had mine yesterday, uncomfortable but necessary.

    We all know that if men had to put their penises in a vise, the medical world would spare no money in finding an alternative.

  10. I think my comment got lost?

    Well I wish you well.

  11. Hi, Skippy. Thank you, dear lady. I did AOK with my "pressing" engagement.

  12. You're so funny. Thanks for the laugh. Glad it came out well [and hopefully back to "fluffy"]

  13. Skippy- Funny you should use the word "fluffy". I used to be too thin, but put on a bunch of post-menopause and post-smoking pounds. But I keep saying, "I'm not FAT ... I'm FLUFFY!"