Yes! I would like my breasts flattened by a panini press, please!

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First and foremost, I could not agree more with the fact that early detection is critical in saving lives of those with cancer.  Like most of you, I have loved ones (including fellow blogging loved ones) who have been cursed with the “C” word and some of them have lost the battle while others continue to fight to survive.   It is scary and sad to think of the amount of people and their families who have been affected by Breast Cancer.  I pray for a cure in the very near future, and admire all the warriors out there that continue to fight.

Simply put: Mammograms save lives.

I have been dutifully getting checked annually since the age of 40 (has it really been 10 years)?  I often dread the appointment and delay it as much as I can before the feeling of guilt takes over for acting like a such foolish baby.  

I mean, how bad can it be to subject yourself to 15 minutes of uncomfortable pain which could save your life??  It has to be NOTHING compared to the pain and anguish of getting a diagnosis and going through the many treatments and surgeries.  NOTHING.

We don’t like to talk about how uncomfortable the scanning really is because we don’t want to be seen as weak or ungrateful for such a life saving procedure.

But for those who don’t know what it feels like to have your tender breasts brutally flattened by a heavy metal and cold machine, allow me tell you. 

OUCHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does not even begin to describe it.

In this “day and age” (pardon the cliche) of advanced technology and medicine, how have they not figured out a better way to scan breasts that does not involve painful crushing and compressing (and near deflation) and popping of blood vessels and mammary glands, of such tender loving parts?

HOW?

I was fortunate last week to get scanned by a modern state of the art 3D mammogram machine.  I thought to myself, “Well, this new machine most definitely would have addressed the painful crushing factor and must be a much-anticipated improved version of the old squasher clunkers”.

Or so I thought.  As I stood there bracing for the ultimate PRESS on side #1, I had hopes of experiencing a lesser assault.  The technician had positioned me as close to the machine as possible (so much so that I was one with the machine).  She did the necessary pulling, adjusting, angling and positioning to get the image just right.  “I am going to press down now, don’t move and stop breathing”.

Really?  I stopped breathing and patiently waited for her to tell me to breathe.  Just when I thought the machine could FLATTEN ME NO MORE, it inched further down pressing harder and harder.  

How I ask,  is one supposed to stay still, and not breathe while your breasts are being ironed flat and etched on to the lower cold metal plate of the machine? Did I miss the memo?

Usually tears roll down my eyes and I feel faint from the lack of oxygen, while this is happening. This time the technician was done before this occurred. YES!

Then there is side #2.  You know what is coming and you dread it more.  DON’T BREATHE!  

You walk out not wanting to put your bra back on because your once round perky breasts are now book shelves and they are SORE!

In spite of this, I will continue to get scanned year after year because I love life and my family.  I urge all of you women out there to make the appointment to get checked!   

One can’t help to wonder though, if there would already be a new painless alternative were this to be done to men.

Men, I love you all but picture this: (I don’t wish this on any of you)

You are asked to take off all clothing from the waist down (you can keep your socks on, yay you.).  Then, you are positioned in front of a huge intimidating loud monster-like machine and asked to stand still (oh, and you are asked NOT to wear deodorant before the procedure, so you are forced smell your own sweat).

Then, the friendly technician takes your most precious jewels and begins to pull, place, yank, straighten, lift and manipulate them (no, there is no sexual feeling whatsoever) and you are asked NOT TO BREATHE as the powerful upper plate of the machine begins to move down with the goal of meeting up with the lower plate, at all costs.

You feel the cold metal against your now shrinking jewels as it presses and presses and plasters and planes and spreads out and squashes and crushes and flattens your manhood until you can’t take it anymore.  And then, to make sure it captured all the right angles, it does it again.

Panini, anyone?

*I dedicate this post to my loving aunt, my beautiful cousin, my brave sister-in-law and to my dear blogging friend Susie at:

http://susielindau.com/

27 thoughts on “Yes! I would like my breasts flattened by a panini press, please!

  1. Thanks so much for the shout out Maria! That was so sweet of you! My mammogram saved my life.
    I have been wondering about the 3-d mammograms. It sounds like they still squish, but they’re supposed to get a better image and less radiation.
    Thanks again and Happy Holidays! Can you believe they’ve arrived already????
    PS If you link to a post instead of to the blog, we’ll get a pingback, although I should have seen this anyway since i follow you. Sheesh!!!

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  2. Aaaah so scary! Every time I read a post about mammograms I don’t know if it’s good that I’m getting my mind prepared or if it’s just increasing my anxiety at the future! Have you seen the video of women who go about “mamming” aka setting their boobs on things? Pretty excellent.

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    1. My post probably did not help with your anxiety – sorry! I just had to write about it because I still can’t believe there is no painless way to scan!!! And I wanted men to think about what it feels like, hee,hee. You seem like a strong woman Aussa – I’m sure you will kick the machine’s butt when it’s your turn! I have seen that video of mamming and it’s hilarious. 🙂

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      1. Hahaha no apologies necessary, knowledge is power, right?! And seriously– maybe that’s what I’ll hold out for: that by the time I have to have one they will have found a painless way to do it. With all our technology and progress you would think that would be possible!

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  3. Oh dear lord! Just add that to my list of reasons to dread my 40th birthday. Although, I have to admit I am very curious as to how the technician is going to find a way to get my barely an A cup teensy rack into that machine. That moment of comedy might just make the pain worth it…

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      1. Good question. And they’re cheaper than mammos, I believe, so you could petition your insurance co. to cover it if you found a center. Though bc thermography is not connected with the money-mongering pharma-diagnostic-medical system you often have to pay out of pocket. I absolutely regretted my mammo a couple of years back. I went through with it after several cancellations only with good reason. The thermogram the following yr showed I was all clear. And then the guy who did it DIED. OMG. He was the only one for hundreds of miles around who was as knowledgeable and skilled with breast thermos. The money system is part of the answer to ur ques.

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  4. I saw ‘3D mammogram machine’ in your post and I thought you were talking about me! Congrats on getting checked! Yes, it can pale to what could happen if left gone undetected. The Panini machine would be a welcome alternative at that point. And I wanted to see how your legs were doing……sans razor that is? How did that go over at the Cancer Center? Again, thanks for your support on early detection of the C word!

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    1. Hello! You are one man that is exempt from not knowing what it is like to be “manipulated” in your private areas!!! 🙂 Why is it that my eyelashes stopped growing but my upper lip mustache is growing like weeds! Not right! I am truly looking like Frida now. Hope you are enjoying your “seedless” parts. 🙂

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  5. If men had breasts there would already be a painless way to have a photo taken of one’s breast.

    My favorite is when the technician as she prepares to pancake you, says “say when” and you manage to squeeze out the word, “when.” Then gives it one more twist.

    Thanks so much for the graphic images! I’m going to get my mammo next week. I’ve been putting it off since September. I’ve been getting mammos about 1 a year-ish since I was 25ish. You’d think I’d just be used to it by now.

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    1. One more twist is exactly what always happens to me! 🙂 I consider myself to be very fortunate (knock on a lot of wood) that I have been “clear” thus far. I feel for all the women that have not been so fortunate!

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  6. Your detailed description is right on, Maria! There’s got to be a better, less uncomfortable way, and I’m sure there is, if a woman designed it. Thankfully, I have a high pain tolerance, so the mammogram has never been a big deal to me. Of course, I was once told by a co-worker that it’s more painful on someone with larger breasts. 😦 I have a dear friend fighting breast cancer for the second time…the pain of a mammogram is worth it. As always, I love your humor, Maria!
    P.S. Men could never endure this test. 🙂

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    1. Well, my well-endowed breasts suffer. I guess that’s the price to pay for large ones. 🙂 I wish your friend the best of luck in her fight! How terrifying! I hope that by the time my daughter has to go for mammograms, there is a better way.

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