HealthCare Resources Blog

Mammogram – The Big and Small of It

Posted in Breast Health,Women by Pam on May 24, 2010
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I admit it. I am a big hypocrite. I hold Mammogram Clinics and preach the importance of women having a mammogram all the time. And then I go nearly five years without one. Gee, anyone with some sense knows the statistics of breast cancer and the vital importance of having a mammogram, especially at my age (53).

So, at my last mammogram clinic a few weeks ago, there was a gap of time in between patients. The looks from Dr. Velasco (oncologist) and technician (Blanca) as we sort of sat, around spoke louder than words that said “Ok Pam, it’s your turn.” I said “Ok, let’s go for it but I swear I have no breasts whatsoever.” They chuckled and said they hear that all the time.

So there I stand in front of the big machine with the gown open in the front seeing a slightly puzzled look on Blanca’s face. I am sure she was trying to figure out how to put a breast that wasn’t there in a place where it needed to be as flat as a pancake. But how do you make a pancake with no batter?  She gently pulled, gingerly tugged on my skin, asked me to move closer to the machine (I was already practically inside the machine).  Hmmm she thought. This is going to be a bit more difficult than anticipated. “Push a little closer Pam” as I could feel my ribs become one with the machine. Ok, don’t move and she shot the picture. She went in to the developing room, came back out and said, “We need to try again.” Big surprise I thought. Once again we maneuvered like I was a female Gumby, trying to take a “photo” of something that wasn’t there. Another shot. She returns once again and goes for Dr. Velasco. I never even thought uh-oh, I must have a tumor. I just knew she needed an extra pair of hands to try and stretch out my so-called-breasts. In walks Dr. Velasco, a man I know so well and respect tremendously. No embarrassment here for me, I have bared my body to some of the most respected physicians in Vallarta. We looked like an octopus with 6 hands attempting to perform an imaginary, new type of plastic surgery to make my breasts into a large enough size to squish into the machine. I could hold it in no longer and began laughing – the type of laughing where you can barely breathe and it was contagious and they began as well saying, Man Pam – you are right. You have no breasts! Had someone else walked in at that moment, they would have thought we were having a grope-fest but there was nothing to grope for! I felt like Popeye’s Olive Oil who always in my mind has little bumps for knees and breasts with only bones in between. With me up so hard against the machine I could barely breathe, tears streaming down my face from laughter, Dr. Velasco pulling so hard my breasts should now be sagging to my bellybutton and Blanca attempting to take the photo, the shots were taken and hurray! Success! You could have now taken my breasts and put them in one of those little egg-things that hold Silly Putty because that is what they were like. I thought for sure when I put my bra back on (which is the size of the pre-teen undershirts) it wouldn’t fit because I would now be a size 38 from all of the pulling.

As Dr. Velasco put the mammogram film up to view, it showed about 1 millimeter of breast. He kindly said “Pam, you are right. You really do not have any breasts. Actually you have breasts of an 80 year old woman”. Wow, did that make me feel curvy and feminine. With my weight loss, the first thing to go of course is fat – so that was part one of the disappearing boobs. Then, top it off with the fact that after having a hysterectomy 20 some years ago and never taking hormones (which stimulate the growth of breast tissue) that was part 2 of the reason I had nothing there. Luckily, all showed fine and I passed my mammogram test with flying colors (nearly one hour later after a whole lot of wrestling trying to find the little buggers!).

So ladies, get your mammograms. And thank your lucky stars you have something to actually put in the machine.

My next breast exam? It will be with a plastic surgeon, most definitely!

Note: This was written last year. I have since had implants!!! My last mammogram went much easier!

Ladies! Get your mammograms!


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  1. […] mammogram clinics. Two full days of digital mammograms. So, for that reason, I am going to post an article I did on mammograms (humorous!) a couple of years ago. 1 […]

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