Mammogram Madness: My First Positively Negative Experience

  |   By Charisse Savarin

Let me begin this by saying that I don't like the idea of radiating my breasts to find cancer; seems more like a way for cancer to find me. But I was talked into it by my male doctor who would likely never know the joy of having his breasts smashed on a cold metal surface.  And because I like my breasts, although over the years they haven't gotten the attention they deserve, I went ahead.

The reasons I like them, by the way, include the following: they're a perfect size. With the right bra, they can look voluptuous. And with a regular bra, they're there. But not to the point where they distract from conversation. People of both sexes have no problem looking me in the eyes without sensing there might be something better if they suddenly started developing poor posture.

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So off I went for my mammogram. And don't you just love health insurance in this country (the land of the free where nothing is)? Even though having an ultrasound is a safer and more likely effective way of detecting cancerous tumors, it's more costly. You see, my breasts are dense which makes it even more difficult to detect. That's right. My breasts are dense. And it wasn't until just now that I realize my breasts, being the dense entities that they are, have a lot in common with our current president.


About a week later, I received a letter in the mail stating that there was something suspicious that showed up on the mammogram and that they needed me to come back for a second round. I freaked out. At the time I didn't know that the rate of false positives from mammograms is quite high. It's like Facebook and Instagram where people lives tend to appear falsely positive. I'm sorry, but I've been married before. The only marital pictures posted are the blissful ones, not the "piss" full ones.

So I went back.  Again I put on the paper gown which happens to be quite flattering from the front if you're not fit. The technician took way more pictures this time, and it hurt. Breasts are never treated tenderly during these exams. Maybe only lesbians should be allowed to conduct them, as they're naturally more inclined to be kinder. When it was over, I went back to change into my street clothes.

I hadn't even started getting out of my paper gown when they told me they needed me to come back for more pictures. It was then that I realized I needed to put more money into the parking meter or I'd probably get a ticket.  So off I ran in my paper gown to put in more quarters. Because in the end, I knew I couldn't handle having breast cancer AND a parking ticket. Lucky for me I didn't have either. 

mammogram story

This happened a few years ago. And I don't mean to brag even though I'm a woman of a certain age (over 50), but my boobs are still dense. And hey, maybe I am too because I keep putting off getting another one. I do feel myself up on a regular basis to check for lumps. (Somebody's got to do it, and right now I'm the only one available.) I did try to talk them into giving me an ultrasound, instead of a mammogram, as it was pretty likely that the same thing would happen again. And the answer was no.

Here's a question for the health insurance companies. Does it cost that much more to put some nice cool gel on my bosoms? And I daresay, it would probably be a much more enjoyable experience for everyone.

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