Ma’am-O-gram demystified. Finally.

Today, I get my first mammogram.
I admit it, I’m nervous. To someone who has heard “it’s cancer,”

any routine new check causes an extra bit of angsty.  Sometimes, speaking to that anxiety is the best way to address it head on, or nipple-on, as the case may be.  I figured it might make fun reading!  So stay tuned! Boob squishing commences at 3:00 (PST)!

4:57 pm- Post- squeeze. Well, I am very pleased that I got the all clear on the O-gram. That is a relief. Not that I felt anything was amiss, but the baseline for nervous making is high on the first time. But I made it through, without needed to look to outside nerve soothers, or nary a tear. In fact, I feel a bit ridiculous that I put the dang thing off for so long, out of a completely unwarranted fear.

I have big boobs, and I wondered if that made a difference-  I asked the technician if there was any sort of association between boob size and pain, and she said nope. It really is just an individual, by individual issue. That most women are non-plussed by the procedure. Well there, I feel like a dumbass again.

img_1554We entered the exam room, she handed me a hospital gown  “Did you wear deodorant or powder?”  I didn’t. (Don’t, both can show up on the image.)  She then told me to undress my top, put on the gown and have a chocolate while I waited for her to come back. Then she handed me a pretty little box with pink bow and two chocolates. “You get your boobs squished, you get chocolate.” She said on her way out.

It was awkward. You stand, topless (always wear two pieces of clothing, so you don’t have to stand around in your panties), one breast in the cold pannini-press-like squishier, a stranger wrangling it into position, while you stand one arm in the air,  a paralyzed Flamenco dancer; your other arm is draped clandestinely across the machine as inevitable the conversation turns to how weird the whole shebang is. I bet there aren’t too many male technicians.

I did not hurt. Not one iota. I’ve felt more pressure from a sports bras.  My brain had, over the years, cartooned the procedure into something


one might see when one character smashes another with a mallet. Pancake like. It wasn’t. The gauge on the side read 9.4 lbs pressure. I think that might be per square inch, not sure,  should have asked. But mid squeeze- I thought, 9.4 pounds would be about like setting a boob on the table and laying a bag of cat food on it. and yeh, that is about the level of  squish. In fact, I asked her, “Is that it?” Like I was daring her. It was. No. big. deal.

So get it done.

They save lives, and there is  chocolate!



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Rebecca Cramer, raised in Oklahoma City, OK, had her first job in design, layout, and printing of concert posters for artists like B.B, King, Bobby Blue Bland, and Wanda Jackson at her family’s offset and lithography business, Colorcraft Poster Company. Her career history includes editing and managing the review process for The American Ornithologists’ Union’s magazine The Auk, as well as teaching English at the secondary and post-secondary levels. In 2008 she completed a Master’s in Applied Linguistics (TESOL) at Oklahoma City University. One constant has been Becca’s love for the arts and her penchant for creating, and she approaches design and construction from an artist's perspective. She has worked such diverse media as silver-smithing, collage, and found-item art. She loves repurposing things others throw away into something useful and beautiful. Early on, Becca displayed a passion for makeup early, when at the age of two she broke into her grandmother’s lipstick stash and applied lipstick to herself, the vanity, and the walls. In June 2012, she moved to Denver to become a makeup artist. Under the name Becca Be, and Fetch, her work has appeared in several fashion publications, including Dark Beauty, Jute, and Kai’outi magazines. She has also worked with designers for Denver Fashion Week, and with ADCD’s Paper Fashion Show (both as artist, and Production Designer).

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