Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Sudden Fondness for Sticky Things

Yes, that's me doing the look up while wearing the paper gown. What else do you expect me to do while I'm waiting for the doctor to come in and service me?

I'm a lying liar. I told a big fib on Pissed in NYC's blog the other day. With complete insouciance, I announced that I no longer required to have annual mammograms. Turns out, I was talking out of my rear end. I don't know where I got the idea that I didn't need an annual Mash for Good Health, but I was wrong.

Let me back up. I had my annual wellness check with cute Dr. Jason this morning We began with a review of my medical record.

"So I see that you're still using meth and coke," he noted as he gazed at his computer's screen.

"Oh, no, change that. I've dropped cocaine and added an occasional LSD tab," I corrected him. "Coke doesn't mix well with my speed."


A few minutes later, he was feeling me up on the table while we discussed bra fittings. (Long story.) Then there I was, all smug while cute Dr. Jason was doing his thing under the sheet, and I asked how many years between mammograms for me now. He reacted with some measure of surprise.

"You need one every year, Silly," he laughed.

"Well, I'll be," I said to myself as I stared at the air duct over my head. I really thought I was off the annual cycle. Oh well, I thought with a shrug and then wondered if the good doctor could just finish me off while he was down there doing whatever he was doing with his hand.

A few minutes later, Dr. Jason handed me a sheet of paper and instructed me to go to the first floor to have my blood drawn and then mosey on across the hall to the imaging center for my mammogram.

I tipped him appropriately and bade him adieu until next time.

The imaging center scheduled an appointment for me later in the day with the added bonus that it would be my favorite technician(? what's the proper term here?) Em performing the procedure. She is the same professional who performed last year's mammogram.

As she prepped me, Em explained the new digital technology. Then she applied the little nipple protector stickies to the ends of my nips. I couldn't help myself. I told her how I smuggled out the ones she applied last year so that I could take them home where I stuck them to the F and J on my keyboard. That served as an effective kid repellent.

Em laughed at that and we discussed how entertaining it might be to learn what other women do with those little sticky things. I told her about how I blogged about the stickers last year.

The mammogram didn't take long at all. I thanked Em and went into the little room to get dressed. I put my bra on without removing the stickers. As I left, Em offered me a couple of extra nipple stickers.

"You're keeping the others, too, aren't you?" she asked.

I nodded. "I'm wearing them home so I can show my husband before I stick them to the keyboard. It's becoming tradition."

So have you had your mammogram yet this year? Seriously. Have you? You can get some fun stickers, you know. And if you have, did you keep your little nipple thingies? I know Pissed in NYC kept hers and stuck them to her fridge last year. What did you do with yours?

Men may be at a risk for breast cancer, too. It's not just a chick thing.

Public Service Announcement over. Oh, and Em, if you're reading this - hi! You did a great job today. I didn't say "owie" a single time. Thank you.


  1. You had to bring this up!

    I haven't had this many people wanting to see my boobs since college.

    And I have to pay THEM!

  2. See? You are so clever. It didn't occur to me to keep them! I just ripped them off and tossed them. At least I have a year to think of where I will display them.

  3. I have always been amazed at how stretchy a boob can become. the last squeeze test I had - I swear the tech pulled the sucker clear across the room, scoped it, and as I threw it over my shoulder on the way out - said "was it good for you?"

  4. Don't let him fool you! If he's been feeling you up each time all these years, it's fair to say he's been using that "digital" technique for ages...

  5. Oy. I always get the same boobtech. She's a butch from Jersey with a slight mustache and apparently great fondness for my girls. She positions them just a liiiittle too much, if you get my drift.
    And they respond, much to my chagrin. Unlike me, they are unabashed little tramps.

  6. I haven't ever had one, and my kids are riding my a** about it. I just keep thinking about how the chances of finding bad news grows more likely the older we become. I'll be 48 (EEEKKKK!!!!) this month.

    I am blessed to have health insurance now, so there really is no excuse. I've just been cultivating a huge distrust for the medical community in general.

    I guess it would make a great birthday present to get all that shite out of the way...

  7. I'm interested to know what is recommended in terms of mammograms in the States. Here, in Australia, it's over 50 years old, but some doctors are saying over 40.

    I read your blog, but this is the first time I've commented. I do enjoy reading your stuff, so thanks.

    Oh and hi.

    (I've done everything backwards. Boobs first, then social graces.)

  8. If that doesn't keep your kids off your computer (Mooooommmmmmm! Eeewwwuh! [Honestly, if your kids are at all like mine, I don't know how they manage to get so many syllables into one three-letter word. There ought to be an Olympic Event for it]), you might as well give up.

  9. My mammography center has a sign posted:
    " We compress because we care"

    They also launched a campaign called *Make some time for "the girls"*.

    Trying to bring some element of fun into that funky procedure of contortion & compression.

    Some people got all huffy about it- wrote editorials about how it is inappropriate to refer to breasts as "the girls".

    But really- how could they argue back.... don't get your tits in a knot, no wait- DO!!!

    Anyway, glad you succumbed to the pressure (pun intended).

  10. Working where I do, downer central HS, we have had our share of cancer victims so to keep me happy you all need to get your mammogram or other cancer screenings.

    This is a PSA brought you by Mathman.

  11. Nope, not for a coupla years, now... I keep, ahem, conveniently, losing the referral slip needed to get the procedure done.... Now that it's digital, do they need to be squeezed and stretched as much? And last time, I didn't get stickers. When did that happen? And why do ya need 'em??!!

  12. Damn, I threw my little stickers away and I'm now kicking myself thinking of all the innovative things I could stick them on...especially something at Mama's house that would totally freak her out

  13. I didn't get stickers last time either. They said it was no longer needed. Yes, Giggles, they still do all those fun things to the Girls. The worst for me was the time they were checking on some suspicious spots (ended up to be cysts), the tech literally twisted them. Can we say OUCHHHHHHHHHHHHH! But like MathMan says, get the mamogram. Its is worth it.

  14. Ok, I've been getting mammograms for 9 years I think, and I've never had stickers............what's up with that??
    We have digital imagery too, and I asked to see mine...........amazing clarity,and all clear.
    I take it very seriously, no breast cancer among the women in my family but my friends and SIL's have been hit very hard.........I'd like to keep the girls, saggy and unperky as they are til the end.

  15. Actually, you don't need to do the tits in a vise annually if you're on the low end of the risk spectrum (determined by family history, age at first period, whether or not you breastfed, and a host of other things). European countries generally do mammograms on a 3-year cycle and their detection and cure rates are the same or better than ours.

    Of course, one reason they have better cure rates is that when someone is diagnosed with cancer in Sweden or France their friends and family don't have to run around holding bake sales and spaghetti suppers trying to come up with the money to pay for the treatments, but that's kind of a digression.

    You might also remind Mathman that most breast cancer is found through manual exam, not via x-rays, and encourage him [as if he needed encouragement] to help you with staying healthy. There's actually some debate in the medical journals over whether mammograms do much at all other than remind women not to ignore their boobs [and create a consistent cash flow for radiology depts of hospitals] but until they resolve the debate, I figure an occasional mammogram fails into the "better safe than sorry" category.

    The Centers for Disease Control does fund a program through various state agencies around the country to pay for mammograms for uninsured and low income women. If anyone knows anyone who's hesitating to get an exam due to financial problems, there's information at on local programs.

  16. Never got any stickers! I will have to ask next time, why no stickers.

    I'm happy it is Friday. Have a really nice one.

  17. We only get mammograms every three years on NHS here in UK. I had my last one last year. I get one more because I think you only get them until you are 60.

    I didn't get stickers just squidged between two metal things

  18. Next year I have to go back for my prostate exam. After that, it's once a year hearing the snap of the glove and that cozy feeling with my doctor. A family history like mine leads me to believe I might just have the thing removed as a preventative measure.

    Like mammograms, these things are not comfy, and I think everyone harbors a secret fear that this time they'll find something bad. Except, of course, we're having these little tests to find those bad things and nip them in the bud.

    I'd keep those stickies and collect them, putting little year-labels on them. You can show your grandkids.

  19. My kids don't really use the computer, so the sometimes-better-half just tosses the stickers away.

  20. YES!!!! YOU NEED A MAMMOGRAM EVERY YEAR. Don't forget :-)

    Very funny post.

  21. This is my year for an ultrasound (40!), although I think they can't do it till I'm done with the preg and the breastfeeding, for that matter. I have to look into this, actually.

  22. Nip stickers? I want some! My doctor doesn't use those.

  23. The nip sticker thing made me laugh.

    Here's a shocking fact about the NHS: They don't start mammograms until age 50. Thus, I've never been mashed.

  24. Due to family history (6 women, 5 deaths), I was started on the mammograms 'extra early'.

    I haven't had one yet this year (ran late/lost the letter), but will be scheduling one for July.

    I always have the same tech, who is a RIOT. She's short, covered in tattoos/piercings/gauges and makes me laugh to tears EVERY YEAR. My favorite greeting EVER was "I remember YOU! You need the BIG PLATES!"

  25. You said you "wondered if the good doctor could just finish me off while he was down there doing whatever he was doing with his hand." LOL! :)

  26. Thanks for the link, Lisa. And as it so happens, my mammogram and sonogram are scheduled for Monday. Assuming that everything is cool (and it should be), I'm going to treat the girls out to a fabulous lunch afterwards. Because I always do. Glad you got your mammogram.

    Don't want to be a downer, but I've heard of three women I know who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the last three months. Hope that motivates people to make the appointment. If that doesn't, then knowing that one of the woman was very lucky and the cancer was caught in early in state 1 should. She was told that she has a 98% chance of having a normal life span. Early detection makes a big difference.

  27. What did you do with the tassels?

  28. Obviously, you didn't closely follow Molly Ivins when she said toward the end of her life, "Have. The damned. Test."

    Btw, I am so fucking jealous of Dr. Jason.

  29. I go every year in January and prefer not to take home any reminders of the ordeal they put my abundant breasts through, thank you very much.

    If they're gonna find something, it may as well be early, right?

  30. So that's how you got the tin foil to stick!



  31. Gee, I never got any stickers ... darn.


  32. I don't remember any nip sticks either...What the hell?? I feel cheated.

  33. sorry it has taken me a couple days to comment on this but I am glad you had you tests and found a useful use for you nip strips.


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