Squoosh Me!

Now that the kiddies are back in school, the calendar is filling up with those appointments that are just easier without having to tote them along, or worry about leaving them at home for a bit.

Today’s slot on the calendar was penciled in with my annual mammogram.  I have no issues with following up on this regular task as I have been touched by many women in my life who have been dealt the unfortunate card in the deck of breast cancer.  Sadly, two of my aunts did not manage to beat the odds, but several dear friends, another aunt and my mother-in-law proudly wear the badge of survival. So maybe with early detection there is actually half a chance of beating this dreadful life sentence and coming out on top.

In the years following my mother-in-law’s successful battle with cancer, my husband and I along with our kids walked together in solidarity at Philly’s Walk for the Cure.  What an amazing experience that was.  How could you not get welled up when you are witnessing the sea of fuchsia tee shirts of survival that were a testament to the long, hard and tough battle with cancer–and proof that they were still kicking.  It’s also hard not to be touched by all the folks walking by with names emblazoned on the backs of their shirts that indicated their loved ones were not so lucky. The emotions experienced are palpable, and above all, give me a great sense of hope knowing that so many people stand together to fight and contribute their efforts against the ugly C word called cancer.

Having just returned from my squeezing, my curiosity had me looking up to confirm that the test itself was in fact created by a man.  Which, of course it was. None other than a man would think to stick your boob in this vice like contraption, as you are tweaked and turned to make sure you hit all of the proper angles. Especially since I am not what you would call particularly endowed–which translates into a lot of pulling and poking to get the right tissues into the proper position.  Let’s just say not having to have a whole lot to grab could be just as bad as having too much.  I’ll never forget the year that they had to put stickers that looked like nipples on top of my own for some reason–because apparently, my own were not good enough.  Talk about extra humiliation!

But, all things considered, it wasn’t all that bad.  I went to a place called the breast imaging center, and they absolutely have it down to a science.  This is one of the rare places that I go to an appointment, check in, no sooner sit down and are pulled into get dressed–or more accurately, undressed, then immediately taken back to face the task at hand.  By the time all was said and done, it couldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes.  Can I handle 10 minutes once a year to try and prevent that awful C word from taking my from this planet sooner than absolutely necessary?  You betcha!

So, in a nutshell, if you have not yet scheduled your appointment for your annual exam, get on it!  It’s not so bad.  Hopefully by doing so, you can check it off the list for another year. Even if the news may not be so good, you have to at least be assured that you are getting a better than fighting chance for making the effort.

For more information on how to help/contribute or just to learn more about cancer, visit: http://ww5.komen.org/





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