How to Save Second Base (Like a Boss)

Look Better Naked By Aug 14, 2015 21 Comments

In which I get my first mammogram.

save second base | first mammogram


Before I begin, I must offer the people at the Perelmen Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania an apology.  Today I got my first mammogram and was scared as hell and acted a tad worse than a sullen teen when I had my appointment.

Let me back it up…when I was a kid my grandmother would tell the tale of every mammogram so vividly and so often that I just knew that I was never going to get a mammogram. Grandma would describe how they would jam her breast into the machine and smash it together and when she would object there would be some dismissive words about her feelings. She told this story often and very well so I was all, “Nope!”

Yup, your relatively smart blogger was like, I got this; I do monthly checks and when I go to the GYN the phrase “you have remarkable breasts” may have been used (or not). Whatevs, I was going to throw good sense to the wind and take my chances. Since I have been taking better care of myself, plus I am not really a fool, I decided that a routine test, a test that scores of women have done daily, needed the fabulousness of Rachee. I thought about the girls and called to schedule the test.

Scheduling was … interesting. The first person I spoke to was not helpful and I hung up before I picked a fight (nerves, yo). The next scheduler was quite lovely and patiently walked me through scheduling, sharing the locations and sites for where I could get the test. She transferred me to the radiology department, wishing me luck. I scheduled my test, the same week!, and went on with life.

Fast forward to Friday and I arrived for my appointment. Of course I got lost, overshooting the parking lot and having to work my way through the perpetual construction that makes up Penn. Once I arrived, I felt a bit like Dorothy and her friends heading to visit the Wizard…the building is huge, full of glass and kind of scary.

Registration was quick although there were a plethora of questions asking me about my boobs in a variety of ways – Have I had an implant? Did I breastfeed? and so on and then I was called back.

Nervously I headed to the changing room where I was told to strip to my waist and put on a lovely top:

save second base | first mammogram

I sat in the waiting room…and waited.

When they called me back I almost channeled the Cowardly Lion when I saw this sucker:

save second base | first mammogram

My immediate thought was, “HOW was I going to fit into that machine?” I’m a little vertically challenged and although there is some give, I didn’t think stretching my boobs while standing on tiptoe would produce the most reliable results.

The tech who did the exam, H, was awesome. She seemed to sense my nervousness (I think chewing on my nails was a dead giveaway) and she walked me through every step of the way.

H asked me a series of questions to confirm my identity, then wiped the machine down as she positioned it and started the test. She explained every step as to why I would be positioned a certain way, how the machines have been modernized, how yes, I would feel pressure and it would be uncomfortable and that it would be a different sensation than I was used to (she was not lying) and assisted with angles and views and the test was over.

I left the office with promise of test results being called no matter what they revealed and feeling a little different. It struck me that there needs to be some sticker for women (or me, a sticker just for me) which would not be unlike “I voted” stickers proclaiming that “The ta-tas were saved.” Instead I headed home, got some coffee and put on my fabulous lip color and this tee shirt I wasn’t able to fit a few months ago:

Save second base | First mammogram

To read more about Breast Imaging check out this link from Penn.

Schedule an appointment for yourself and remember to take care of the girls.


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. mommypowers says:

    So glad you got this done, I need to schedule mine!

    1. Rachee says:

      Save the girls!

  2. Cathy says:

    You are so funny! So very, very funny. Isn’t it so much fun to breathe in, hold your breathe while your boobs are being squeezed so tight you can’t breathe anyway? Well, at least we have the test to begin with – prevention is everything. But I love your slant! And your shirt..

  3. Hi Rachee, I just had to jump in and tell you that I now work with a wonderful place called Ella Health. It is a spa-like 3-D mammogram experience. Very intimate, personal, calm…complete with warm robes, a cup of coffee and experienced technicians who know how to make this a better experience. If your readers are near one, I highly recommend it…no fear needed! Glad you had the courage to go forward

  4. Yay! Congratulations! Yes, you got a mammogram, but it doesn’t end there. Continue to be vigilant, because you know your body better than anyone. In 2004, after a mammogram I asked for because I felt a lump, I was told everything was okay. Six months later, I demanded another mammogram, because my little voice told me something wasn’t right. Like the other mammogram, that one said everything was a-okay. I called my doctor and said I want this taken out, and you know what? The found a benign cyst, but when they took it out, the cancer was hiding underneath. If I hadn’t listened to my little voice, it wouldn’t have been discovered until it was too late. So bravo for your courage, but keep it up! Brenda

  5. Glad you aced your mammogram with flying colors!!

  6. marianallen says:

    I have dense breast tissue, so every mammogram is a nail-biter until the radiologist clears it. Sometimes I have to have a follow-up scan or an MRI. Glad you got the girls taken care of!

  7. Dani Faust says:

    I love your voice/style. Anyway, girl good on you for going. I’m shit scared but I know I gotta get em done. I was supposed to start at 30 cuz of my family’s history. so….yeah…. Thanks for the reminder. I hope I get a sticker when I’m done.

  8. It hurt a little but is well worth it. Keep it up it’s better to be aware monthly or once a year Mammogram than not have it and be surprise of the outcome.

  9. Angie says:

    Loved this! I had my first one, too, last year. I didn’t find it bad at all – heck! I’d had seven babies who’d teethed on my nipples when they nursed – how could this be any worse?

    1. Rachee says:

      Seven babies who teethed using your nipples…ouch!

      1. Angie says:

        Just a bit of exaggeration…just being a boob… ; )

        1. Rachee says:

          I had one so I get it. No boob. Just boo!

  10. Great job on getting your mammogram done. Awesome post, love the way you told the story I was very much engaged.

  11. I definitely need to schedule a mammogram for myself. I’ve never had one but I think it’s time at my age to just get it done. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  12. LaQuisha Hall says:

    Queen! You are awesome for looking out for your health! Thank you for sharing the experience and reminding the rest of us to get that appointment scheduled! 😉

  13. Tanay says:

    Phew! I’m super nervous about this! I have a little bit more time but I don’t think I’ll ever be mentally ready lol. This was funny though I’m glad you got it done!

  14. tiffani1082 says:

    Save the tatas! I’m not due for a mammogram for a few more years, but I’ve got to say, I’m not particularly looking forward to it. However, your post makes me realize it may not be as horrible as I expect it to be.

  15. LaShon Renee says:

    Glad you made it through. I’m not looking forward to mine.

  16. Bahahaha! I was diagnosed in April of 2014… I can’t even count how many people have gotten to second base with me since then… doctors, nurses, radiology techs, yetta, yetta. My boobs have never has so much action!

Your turn! Tell it to Rah-shay!