Mammograms hurt, just putting it out there. Your boob gets squished in some vice like thing whilst you stick your bum out so your wobbly belly doesn’t get in the way.
It’s not dignified, it does hurt, but man alive it’s so worth it.
Not so long ago I had that moment, I found a lump. No little pea sized thing for me, this thing felt like a watermelon. It appeared quickly and it hurt, boy did it hurt.
I saw the doctor, who prescribed antibiotics and instructions to return in a week. A second course followed, and 2 ½ weeks after I first discovered the lump I was referred to the breast clinic. 1 week later I was sitting waiting to be poked and prodded.
The doctor drew on my boob where my lumps were (more than one apparently). And I mentioned that sometimes my other boob felt lumpy, so the felt tip pen went there too.
I was mammogramed and scanned, and my cheeky little watermelon turned out to be an angry cyst. I breathed a sigh of relief and started planning the rest of my day.
Then she moved to the other boob, and I could see cysts there too. All is ok. Until she told me one of the cysts wasn’t a cyst, it was a tumour.
With reassurances that it was just precautionary, I had a core biopsy there and then with the expectation that it was most likely a fibroadenoma, a benign tumour. It was and all is well.
Those 3 ½ weeks, however, were an emotional rollercoaster. Flipping from “how do I tell my boys I’m going to die” to “everything is going to be fine, just forget about it” my emotions were all over the place. But there was one thing I wasn’t able to think, that at least I caught it early.
Why? Because I couldn’t remember the last time I checked my boobs. This lump could have been there a month, 6 months or a year, I just didn’t know, all because I hadn’t consistently given my boobs a squeeze. Stupid right?
There was a chance that I was going to put my boys through watching their Mum die, all because I’d been complacent about such a simple thing.
So right now, go and give your boobs a feel. If you are forgetful like me, then schedule a recurring reminder in your calendar. Know that if the worst ever happens at least you’ll be able to say I caught it early. Value your own wellbeing the way that your family value you.
And if you do find a dreaded lump, do not, and I repeat, do not feel too embarrassed to get it checked out. Trust me, not one single person who interacted with me was giggling quietly to themselves about a lady flashing her boobies. They were all completely focussed on making sure they didn’t miss anything, making sure they gave every single patient the best possible chance.
So yes mammograms hurt, but it last seconds and could save your life.
So when you get your invitations to be screened or for your smear, suck it up ladies and get it done!