A lovely lady walked me down a short hallway. She handed me off to another lovely lady, whose hospitality was charming. We chitchatted as she walked me to the dressing room, where she handed me a warm robe. What a luxurious thing. Enveloped by warmth, I wondered why I didn’t have a robe warmer at home. I made a mental note to put one on my Christmas list.
I was escorted to a comfy couch and served snacks and drinks while I waited. Ethereal Irish music floated through the air, and the luscious green countryside played on the screen. The sea, the cliffs, the richness of the land, stone walls along the roads, the misty rolling hills with sheep spread out among them…all of the pastoral scenes had me wanting to book a flight. There were books and magazines in baskets. Gauzy white curtains hung from ceiling to floor so that I felt as if I were in a cloud.
After a few moments, a nice woman came to get me. She walked me back to a private room. She asked me where I was from and made small talk as we walked. The room was beautiful, with a floor to ceiling photograph of a path through the woods. Whoever put me in this room must’ve known something about me. Soft music played. The lighting was dim, but warm. The woman asked me some questions to make sure she had the right patron. Once it was established I was who I was supposed to be, she moved me over to the machine. She gave me two pink stickers with flowers on them and had me disrobe, one shoulder at a time.
You might just now be getting it that this was no spa, but honestly, it felt like one. Until the machine, I would’ve thought I was headed for a massage or a facial. Instead I stepped up and did my yearly duty. First the stickers, then the front, then the side. Switch sides and do it all again. It didn’t take very long. It was mildly uncomfortable when I was clamped into the machine, but I guess that is why they make you hold your breath. Like a different kind of Lamaze technique, maybe. I did not get stuck in the vice grip of shame this year, as in previous years. No one had to come in to turn on the bright overhead light to find and push the emergency release button.
It was quite an uneventful test. All that piped in calming music must’ve worked, because I was peaceful the whole time. No fear the day of…it is the waiting for the results that keeps me up nights. My old place gave me results the day off to avoid the anxiety. It may not have been a spa, but they were efficient to be sure. Insurance doesn’t pay for the specialty group, so I came to the spa instead. My thoughts were how far the medical community has come to try to make getting a mammogram more dignified. I mean, clamping your breasts into a machine will never be fun or less humiliating, and taking those stickers off will not be less painful, but they have at least made an effort to make it bearable. For that, I am grateful. Now, if we could just get them to add in a massage afterwards, I think it would be even easier to get checked.
Seriously, ladies. It is October. Breast Cancer awareness month. It is a solemn occasion if you have known anyone who has gone through the battle. It is also a great reminder to make an appointment, especially if you haven’t in a while. Is it fun? No. Does it matter? You bet. The earlier the diagnosis the better the outcome. Just rule it out. It’s as easy as a trip to the spa. 😉
P.S. My results were all clear!!