Mammo (I’m trying to make myself not say this, but the urge is strong) GLAM

Here’s how to get the most spa-like experience out of your mammogram. First, have some of the coffee in the waiting lounge.

coffee is coffee

It’s as bad as office coffee but just have it. Focus on the plants. They’re fake plants but just do this. You think the plants in your spa waiting room are real, or that the coffee hasn’t been sitting there all day? Just have this. Put in some creamer. Take it with you into the changing room. Scan the area for signs you’re in a clinic.

no pink whatever

Turn away from those signs and don’t look back. Focus on the locker.

aaah the locker

Appreciate the slow, soft closure of the door, like a spa locker, not like a gym locker. Appreciate this by draping your attire on the hooks and gently lifting out the chambray tissue under-robe.

the under-robe

The advantage of paper over satin or rayon is that the cinch is more profound. So your waist looks small and your top and bottom look artificially flared, like you’re a pair of paper fans flipped up and down, or a curvaceous crepe lantern. Far more interesting than a robe that just hangs there and shows your regular human shape. Now slip on the branded over-robe.

the over-robe

Experiment with the color-texture mix. Pop the collar! I know you’re prepared to do this because you graduated from high school in the mid-1980s. This is who gets annual mammograms now, these days, it’s us. Ladies! Welcome. Admit that the scrunched collar of a paper robe is just about as flattering as the ribbing on a poly-cotton Izod shirt, it really is, and you would never know that if not for time and wisdom. Celebrate your under-robe collar. Be pleased you’ve come this far.

here you are

Be pleased somebody thinks enough about form and function and your state of mind right now to craft a machine that looks like sculpture. Curvy! It’s an O. It moves every way, at every angle, so rather than lying down and letting your head fall through a padded hole or whatever, like at a spa, you just have to stand there in the flattering low light and lean up against a heating pad. That’s it. That’s arguably less taxing than some spa treatments. During a mammogram your hair stays good, your makeup doesn’t run. You can check that for yourself in the reflective glass.

does my mammogram makeup look ok

There’s the issue of wiping off your deodorant before the scan, which is a pain, but afterwards — deodorant towelettes!


Emery boards!

emery boards


i love stickers

The sculpture machine, which is new this year at Mankato Clinic, shows results during the scan so there’s no longer the need to sit in the waiting lounge wearing your robe. I miss that because there’s some gravity to those ten minutes that you just can’t get anywhere else. At my 2011 exam I was in the post-scan lounge and my colleague DeAnna walked in and sat down on the other couch. I knew, because everybody at work knew, she was there to check a cancer that had shown up in the past year. Our chit-chat went like “hey, DeAnna,” and then “hello, Ann,” and then we each drank coffee in the particular silence that strikes up between work friends wearing matching pink bathrobes, one is dying, one isn’t.

stickers are for real

You can see why they say you should do that every year.


7 comments on “Mammo (I’m trying to make myself not say this, but the urge is strong) GLAM

  1. Absolutely incredible, Ann. You’ve done justice to the yearly mammogram. You’ve not only made it tolerable by poking fun at it, you’ve given us a sobering reminder that this is not fun and games. We need to do this. Thank you. I will be tweeting and sharing everywhere I can. xoxox (miss you)

  2. Donald & Louise Brown says:

    Excellent Post, Annie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So darned cute, and really we DO need to keep this all in perspective.  When you think about my Mom, having a mastectomy at age 85, being kicked out of the hospital after 23 hours, sent home alone to manage drains, re-bandaging, etc., then going on a house boat ride with John and Caryl 2 days later, insisting she was up to it!  Well, a mamo is really nothing, right?  We come from Tough Stock, and don’t forget it!!!!!!!! I Love You!!! mom

  3. Launa Helder says:

    BSE….. that can also stand for “Best Service Ever”! Take it how you will. Umm…. I didn’t understand (although I liked and found interesting) the duct taped torso. Was it a sculpture there, or did you create it?

    • Thanks Launa! I made the torso. I had visions of making lots more, but stopped after that one cuz I ran out of shirts that could but cut up and stuffed. I have a lot of tape left! Come over sometime and we’ll make you.

  4. Well done Ann! I could almost hear the quiet clicking of the locker to the spa. I have never had a mammogram (yet) but I will never forget this take on it 😉 One question… why an emory board? I don’t get it. ;-P Surely, there must be a reason to do your nails. . breasts. . .nails. . . floundering.

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