Tell a FriendLeigh AnneLeigh Anne Jasheway ~ Queen of Stress

Mammograms R Us

Last year during my annual exam, my doctor found a lump. I tried to tell her that that LUMP was my BREAST!

But she insisted that I get a mammogram. So I did.

Now, those of you who have never had a mammogram have probably heard terrible things about how painful it is, but compared to wearing a WonderBra all day, a mammogram ain't nothing. And, at least it's covered by insurance.

Oh, sure, they squeeze your breasts completely flat between two plates. Well, in my case, they used saucers -- they didn't want to dirty any more dishes than they had to. But believe me when I say your breasts will bounce back to their normal shape when you're through. Of course, my normal shape IS flat, so you may want to get a second opinion on this one.

The only part of the mammogram that really bothered me was when they tried to move my breast tissue forward, as far away from the rest of my body as possible. Actually, while my breasts were being x-rayed, I was in the lobby waiting for them to return.

When I was through, though, I had a clean bill of health (see, Doc, I told you!) and peace of mind that I wouldn't have had if I'd put it off.

But having just been through this process and knowing how frightening it can be, I think I've come up with an idea to get more women to get regular mammograms. What I'm proposing is that we open mammography units in shopping malls all across the country. We'll call these places Mammor Shots.

Instead of being handed a flimsy cotton gown that's not even necessarily in your color chart, at Mammor Shots, before you ever step in the x-ray room, a technician would do your hair and make-up. Then she'd hand you a designer cover-up in your choice of sizes, colors and patterns. You'd choose a lipstick to match. And a feather boa if it tickled your fancy.

Once inside, instead of the cold, sterile environment of the typical x-ray room, Mammor Shots would be warm and inviting. There'd be soft classical music piped in through the overhead speakers. A faint scent of vanilla would waft through the air. And the x-ray technician would say comforting things like, "Oh, that's perfect. You've done this before, haven't you? You look beautiful!"

Afterward, while you're waiting for the x-rays to be developed, a large muscular guy named Sven would give you your choice of a foot or full-body massage (make mine full-body!). Any pain the mammogram itself might have caused will soon be forgotten under Sven's fabulous fingers.

Thirty minutes later, a well-coifed nurse would offer you your choice of twenty different poses: perky, sassy, confident, mature... After all this, you'd want to show off your best angle, right?

Once you have made your selection, a copy would be shipped off to your doctor. And you'd get to take another copy home. To do whatever you'd like with. Frame it and give it to your spouse to put on his desk at work. Ask the guy at the DMV if you can use it instead of that tacky photo on your drivers license. Send it in your Christmas cards.

And, of course, once you're done at Mammor Shots. Head on out the door to the Cinnabon next door. You deserve a treat!

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