Hey everyone And so it came the day of my mammogram appointment. This was a day on which i was apprehensive but at the same time proud. Yes damn it i was proud, that as a transwoman i was being given equal access with other women what my detractors would call real women to the breast screening progress.
Dressed in my smartest sunday best including my favourite jacket which by sheer chance is the one which proudly displays my women for independence badge on the lapel . Well a girl has to give herself a confidence boost for such occasions, and sometime she has to remind herself she really an independent woman in all areas of her life and not just politically. With this in mind, i headed to Shettleston Tesco early as that was venue where the mobile screening unit was located and believe me it was a good job i did leave early as even though this is an area i know well my nerves were beginning to get the better of me and i became slightly disorientated. Geography girls never were good with directions Well that’s my excuse and i’m sticking to it.
Even on reaching the venue i went up the wrong flight of stairs, a fact i only noticed when i reached the top and saw a sign which said emergency exit please use other exit. Honestly i couldn’t begin to tell you how daft i actually felt.
Anyway, mistake made and corrected, i duly went up the right set of stairs to be greeted by a very helpful nurse and before we proceeded any further i asked her if this was appropriate for transwoman as one of my closest friends didn’t think it applied to girls like me. The nurse assured me that it did, and escorted me to an available changing room instructing me to remove my bra and put my top back on but leave my bra and jacket and in the changing room. Having done this i went back to the main reception area, i felt fresh air hit my breasts and realised possibly for the first time how restricting our bras though good for our figure and shape can actually be.
Eventually, after talking hormone treatment and revealing that I had not had surgery on my breasts as I preferred to let them develop au natural, the moment of truth arrived and i went in to treatment room. On arrival I removed my top and now stripped to the waist i was ready face the music. I have to say the nurses were extremely good and put me at my ease straight away. As the senior nurse gave me instructions and explained how the procedure would be carried out she informed me she that she and her colleague can carry out up to 50 mammograms a day.
She also explained that in order to get the complete picture they needed she and her colleague would my breasts on the x-ray machine and take two photographs of each of them. One would be taken from the front and the other from the side. She also informed me that this would result in a degree of discomfort and if I was feeling too much pain I could stop the procedure at any time. I have to admit I did stop temporarily during the first examination of my first breast. However, I decided give it a second try and this time I just thought on Donny Osmond as my right breast got clamped for the x-ray. Somehow thinking of Donny made the pain more bearable. Before I knew it both breasts had been x-rayed from both front and side and the ordeal was over.
The nurse said that quite often women find more painful when the breasts are examined from the side but I seemed to find it less so. This, she said was probably because I was by this time used to the pain threshold and I knew what to expect.
At this I made my way back to the changing room slipped back in to my bra and got dressed to go home. The whole experience lasted I would say no more than half an hour and though the examination was a wee bit painful will be worth it when I receive a clean bill of health in about four weeks from now.
On leaving the unit I made my way to the bus stop and boarded the number 2 to take me home to Baillieston where I was delighted to see my friend Gemma who was on her way to work. On chatting to her about my appointment she asked me how it went and I was totally honest about what I’d been through. I also said that it was a bragging right successfully claimed in the name of womanhood.
You see it is my opinion that many men think that being transsexual is all about glamour. Women however this idealistic picture of what they think being a woman is all about was probably get this image from other men in both their family and their neighbourhood.
Unfortunately however we as women know that life is not all pink and pretty and our firsts don’t stop with our first party dress, our first makeover, our first date or our first well you know our first magic moment.
No we know that there are some rather less glamorous firsts to face and for transwoman these can be particularly challenging.
So I am glad that’s another one ticked off my list.
Yes, just like my first wax and my first flush and worst of all my first stomach cramps which by the way were absolute agony, this shows my commitment to living in my acquired gender. You know there was a song a few years made famous by Shania Twain Man I Feel Like A Woman. After my mammogram and the liberating feeling I got from it, I think I can safely I say that not only do I feel like a woman I feel like a real woman now.
Love And Best Wishes