Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm pretty sure that The Moron's Guide to Blogging says that you're supposed to write blog posts that keep everyone in suspense, but let me just get to the money shot-I had a mammogram this morning and everything is fine. There. You can leave the post now and not worry about me. (It's entirely possible, by the way, that I, and the rest of the free world have a different understanding of the term "money shot"). But you should worry about you, because what assurance will you have that I'm not going to talk about you in the very next paragraph? None at all.

Anyway, I go get a mammogram every year because once I felt a lump and I didn't do anything for like two years, except feel my breast throughout the day regardless of where I was to see if the lump was still there or not. And when you do that, people look at you like you're a fucking weirdo instead of a General Hospital-trained para-medical professional. During the two year period I kept telling myself that I was a moron and that if I'd only gone in two years ago, one year ago, a month ago, last week, to have it checked out, it would have been better than it was by that point. And although I heartily agreed with myself that I was, indeed, a moron, I remained unable to take action. During this two year period my lump would appear and disappear at will, sometimes switching breasts, which led John to refer to it as the Mexican Jumping Bean Breast Lump. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing, but the years that I'd spent worrying and torturing everyone within whining distance about it made me commit to getting an annual mammogram.

I hope that I don't have to go on about how important mammograms and breast self-exams are, because this isn't one of those blogs. But visit here for more information.

What I offer is a way that the Mammograms-R-Us Center that I visited can make the experience less stressful for me.

1. When I make the appointment, don't say "I'll try to squeeze you in." But if I say, "Could you squeeze me in?" laugh maniacally.

2. I know everyone's making cutbacks, but why do I now get a bolero-style paper gown, as opposed to a full-length one? Also, please provide full-length paper burkhas.

3. Give me some lead time in telling me to hold my breath while taking the film, so that I can inhale.

4. Also don't say, "just stop breathing". Because I'm like an oxygen addict at this point.

5. When telling me that you need additional films, try to limit your chit chat with the technician about last night's meal. Because hearing "additional films" makes most women want to throw up.

6. In waiting room, replace mints with Xanax.

7. In waiting room, replace chairs with Xanax.

8. Fill water coolers with vodka.

9. Don't pause two feet in front of me with my file in your hand and make small talk with someone else before giving me the results.

10.Instead of sitting there with a "I-smell-sour-shit" expression, the receptionists should approach women waiting for their results and engage them in in-depth conversation about Rock of Love Bus and how infuckingsane everyone on that show is.

Oh, by the way that reader that skipped out of the post after the first paragraph? Huge whore.


Blogger rachael chatoor said...

I am very glad it worked out for you, HILARIOUS list, Just love those paper dresses they humiliate us with!

Vodka and Xanax, yeah baby totally solid business plan, send the list, I think its brilliant!

January 14, 2009 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger LTYM said...

Hahaha! And does this mean my mad Rock of Love Bus knowledge can get me hired in the healthcare profession?

January 14, 2009 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would totally call and asked to be squeezed in!!

Glad all is well.

January 14, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

Another great one Marinka!

I was just at the 'Vagifier' and got that bolero-style paper gown. WTF? When did these new gowns come into style and why the hell wasn't I invited to vote HELL NO on them?

January 14, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You get paper gowns to put on, full length or bolero style??? I get to go commando from the waist up at my clinic: "Just take your top and bra off, hon, I'll be right with you" says the tech every time. And the room is ALWAYS freezing and so are her hands. But when my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, believe me, I put up with it all and get my yearly squeeze.

January 14, 2009 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger ♥ Braja said...

I came back because someone emailed me and said you called me a whore.

January 14, 2009 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Charmaine said...

If Braja is a whore, I am a whore. I believe in whore solidarity.

About mamomgrams, on a serious note...(if you stop reading now you're a whore) I read that they are painfully (literally) bad at diagnosing or locating a lump. Why is that?

My gyno located a lump once. I went up to the Mammogram room. They offered me a little arrow sticky and asked me to place it where my gyno said she located a lump.

I put in on my foorhead and exlaimed, "I'm not a doctor...don't you people communicate?" groan.

January 14, 2009 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Maddness of Me said...

The most bizarre part to me is how they can squash my boob to the shape of a pancake. Who knew that could be done to my boob without me screaming. That's probably the real reason they make you stop breathing, so you don't scream in horror.

January 14, 2009 at 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm always subjected to the 2nd scanning with a bonus ultrasound thrown in for shits and giggles.

Not fun but an evil necessity.

January 14, 2009 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger jmt said...

I called the skipping reader a whore as I continued reading! LOL And they ARE insane on that show, although I haven't watched but ten minutes of it. I watched the regular rock of love shows and....yeah.

January 14, 2009 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger OHmommy said...

love the last line because i saw huge whore all the time. to myself, directed at others. under my breath.

January 14, 2009 at 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ROTFL! I'm going to bring this with me to the clinic the next time I go in for my yearly squeeze!

January 14, 2009 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Mama Cass said...

I'm so glad I kept reading to avoid the huge whore title! Also, maybe some Xanax and vodka in triage before childbirth? Just a thought. I think you'd make a good vodka drug rep to sell that idea. Persuasive arguments here.

January 14, 2009 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Yikes. I'm about to make an appt, but the bolero gown remark is making me a wee bit nervous.

January 14, 2009 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have yet to be subjected to this particular unavoidable, unpleasant, but necessary procedure. Only a few more years and I'm with the rest of you *whores*

January 14, 2009 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

So glad your girls are healthy!

January 14, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

This is one good thing about having large girls...the mashing isn't all that bad. Not that it's fun mind you. But the girls are smaller than they used to be (yeah!) so next year might not be so easy...

January 14, 2009 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

You are the only person I know who could make this funny.

January 14, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm glad to hear all is well.

I think the xanax plan would work just about everywhere.

January 14, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Magpie said...

I love the vodka idea. The place I go has evening hours - I think I'll suggest happy hour.

January 14, 2009 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger blognut said...

I'm thinking you're on to something... I could totally go on a xanax and vodka diet for about a week before I let them squeeze my boob in a vice. I didn't even realize that you could pull someone's rack out that far from their body until I had my first mammogram last fall. Also, there's one more bit of torture they subjected me to... I'm 5'2" and they had the machine set for 5'7" or something so I had to stand up on my tippiest tippy-toes throughout the whole ordeal. I think I was technically hanging by the boobs.

January 14, 2009 at 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm an oxygen addict too. I knew we were kindred spirits.

January 14, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger La Belette Rouge said...

I am glad you are okay and I am not one for suspense blogging, I never do it. And, I am glad you didn't keep us in suspense on this topic. You make mammograms funny and that isn't weasy to do.

January 14, 2009 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Kevin McKeever said...

Your suggestions should also apply to my annual prostate exam. Just saying.

January 14, 2009 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

God, I'm so glad I read the whole post. Who knows what you might have called me.

So glad everything went well.

January 14, 2009 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger 2 Brits, 2 Yanks, 2 Dogs said...

This is mean of me but my sister fainted after having her mammogram and I laughed - a lot! Then I kept asking her things like were you still attached when you fainted or did they have to lift you up by the breasts to sit you on the chair - I know mean but it was funny when she told me.

January 14, 2009 at 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem I have is this: when they tell me to put on the gown and wait and then leave me in the room for 20 minutes, I never know what to do with myself.
Usually I end up striking various modest poses just in case someone suddenly walks in. It's hard work holding those poses. So that, you know, bits don't slip out.

January 15, 2009 at 1:51 AM  
Blogger Aracely said...

I am NOT a hoar!.. what were you yapping about?... something in The New Yorker again ;)

Two years with a renegade lump huh? That's INSANE... and totally something I would do.

January 15, 2009 at 3:14 AM  
Blogger ♥ Braja said...

I'd like to thank Charmaine and Amy for maintaining the Whore Solidarity Code.

Otherwise I would have had to kill them.

January 15, 2009 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I just wish the prostate exam could mimic the mammogram. I really hate getting my boobage slammed between two sheets of glass.

January 15, 2009 at 6:05 AM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

IS this where all the whore's are congregating?

January 15, 2009 at 6:41 AM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

p.s. WHen the technician who is putting on the little tattoos on your nipples is the mom of a kindergartner in YOUR CLASS, try not to make eye contact....

i'm just sayin'.......

January 15, 2009 at 6:42 AM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

How very timely! I have to go in for "additional films" today since they seem to have noticed something worth additional views on Monday. Luckily - I'm excellent at dissociating from thoughts I don't like so I've managed to just ignore any nervous twinges I might have (unless of course they are in my right breast - then I defintiely know that it's cancer related). This made me laugh and I will be looking for the Vodka-cooler when I arrive at the waiting room.

January 15, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

The day I start having mammograms, I'm going to print out this Mammogram Bible and share it with those in my doctor's office. Just to make sure they're on the up-and-up with things...

January 15, 2009 at 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they take you up on the Xanax and vodka ideas, I may start getting mammograms long before I'm supposed to.

January 15, 2009 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had my first one recently as well. Could've definitely use the vodka and xanax....

January 15, 2009 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yay!!! For once I'm NOT the whore!

January 15, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Lynn C Mama to 3 said...

I am glad I stuck through til the end. I have never had a mammogram (pausing to receive that look of disgust from all medically up to date women) and now I know what to expect (and to bring my own Xanax and vodka).

January 15, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Lucy Filet said...

Ah, the mammogram. I've been getting them yearly since age 25, 'cause I'm high risk.

But those receptionists? ARGH!

January 15, 2009 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger ^_^ said...

Glad you're healthy! Lemme know who you're seeing about that oxygen addiction. I think I may need help too! :)

January 15, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anyone Who Has to Get Part of His or Her Breast(s) Removed (or to those who have to get reconstructive therapy): Just remember what my father used to say to me - Anything more than a handful is a waste. (my mom had small but nice breasts. and no back problems as a result!)

January 15, 2009 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Fill water coolers with vodka."


January 15, 2009 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

I just had my mammo the other day. I got the half gown but insisted on taking off all my clothes anyway. /that will teach them.

January 15, 2009 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

That's the best advice I've ever read with regard to a medical office.

Am printing and laminating to hand out cards when I go.

January 15, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I am not a whore!

Why do doctor's receptionists all have the "I smell sour shit" look. A discussion of Rock of Love Bus is sure to cheer ANYONE, even the best detector of sour shit.

January 15, 2009 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Issa said...

I want a water cooler filled with vodka for my kitchen. I wonder who I call about that?

January 15, 2009 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Pink in a sea of blue said...

I will definitely pop xanax and shoot vodka before my next mamo. They did 6 films when I had my first at 36! If I didn't have a problem going in I sure felt one developing after 6 freakin films!

January 15, 2009 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger cj said...

I will be receiving my very first mammogram this summer when I turn 40. I'm also a huge fan of vodka martini's...absolut up with two olives, shaken NOT stirred. All I gotta do now is hit my mom up for the xanax and I'll be ready for the squeeze! Thanks for the rundown!

January 15, 2009 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger HoodChick said...

My insurance won't cover these for me for a few years yet (some age discrimation shit) but thanks for the tips. I will bring my own "water" bottle in case they don't take your suggestions to heart.

The plus side is it gives me an excuse to continue feeling myself up frequently.

ps: I'm so glad I stuck around to the end!

January 15, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Mariah said...

Oh shit fuck-I have yet to get one

January 15, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Glad all turned out well for you! I have never had one and thank god have never found anything to warrant a boobie torturing!

January 15, 2009 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Cookie said...

Great! One more thing to look forward too. It's wonderful how the medical profession comes up with new ways to make women feel special.

January 15, 2009 at 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, PS-totally stealing that last little gem about the Whore Half Assed Reader.

January 16, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Belle said...

I-smell-sour-shit and have-you-any-fucking-idea-how-great-the-doctor-reaaly-is? expression

January 16, 2009 at 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mammograms can be harrowing. I agree with all your waiting room improvements. Something silly and meaningless on the television. A candy dish of relaxing legal and illegal pharmaceuticals.

January 16, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Pseudo said...

I once had to get an ultrasound because the mamo was "suspicious." The tech and radiologist stood there and discussed whether or not the area they were exploring was troubled or not. I wish I had thrown up all over them.

January 16, 2009 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Marie S said...

Next year you should come to California for your mammo. My Breast Center has the decency to provide full-length, fabric gowns in a royal purple color. I'm sure you would look lovely in one!

January 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Estridge said...

I have a BB in my left breast (put there courtesy of a car full of teenage boys -- is it any wonder that I make it a point to avoid people between the ages of 15 and 25?) and I love to "forget" to mention it when I go in for a mammogram. They always call afterwards, all freaked out, "Were you wearing"

January 16, 2009 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Irish Gumbo said...

Marinka, your blog has been one of the most educational I have been following so far! Or perhaps I should say "edutainmental", equal parts useful info and brilliant comedic twists. Ha! I learned and laughed.

And I am glad I read it all the way through. Wait, I'm a guy, but if I had left would i still be a whore?

January 16, 2009 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Tasha said...

The Mexican jumping bean breast lump. Wow. That was one hell of a story. Glad to hear everything is all clear.

New reader...*wave!*

January 16, 2009 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger anymommy said...

A Federal law is in order - all water coolers everywhere should be filled with vodka. Let's start a petition.

January 16, 2009 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Z said...

Who you callin a whore? ;)

January 17, 2009 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Snotty McSnotterson said...

I appreciate the money shot blog posts, so thanks.

January 17, 2009 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger SweetPeaSurry said...

I refuse to do this, I refuse. I don't care ... really ... if my entire upper torso falls off, I am NOT NOT NOT putting my lovely perky mams into that mam stretching squishing machine. It's not happenin' ... No way no how!

They'd better start getting their arses inventin' if they want to film my girls baby!!! That's right boys ... back to the freakin' drawing board ... or I'm putting your boys on the block!!!

I know they're important, and maybe when I'm forty I'll change my mind. Of course by then, I won't have to put my girls into the booby squishing, insanely uncomfortable, torture device.


Happy all is well with ya!

January 17, 2009 at 9:17 PM  

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