mammography machine, university of california, san diego, moores cancer centermammography machine

Archive of a Breast Cancer Survivor

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11.13.05
My Yearly Mammogram

I had my yearly mammogram last week. It hurt more than I remembered. I don’t know if the technician “squeezed” me more because of my case history, wanting to be diligent to get every single ounce of correctness from the scan, or if I’m truly bruised from the general procedure of compressing the fatty tissue of my one and only breast. Either way, the process was still interesting. It’s digital now. They don’t use sheets of x-ray film anymore, nor does the technician run out of the room before zapping you with x-ray force. She stays with you, and of course, I was pleased to not be left alone—and to be able to see the images right away, to have an instant analysis. All is good. All is clear. They even scanned my pretend breast to check the skin for possible marks—and all the scan showed was a round balloon with a metal port. To see the temporary implant and the fine line of skin holding it all in as it rests inside of me was strange and intriguing at the same time. I have webbed detail of abstract tissue in my left breast with the round translucent orb in the right. It’s odd and beautiful, really, to have such a freakish reality. It’s my reality and I’ll be living with it every single year as I go for my mammogram, as you should too.
To be safe. So that you may live life well.

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