Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Men should have mammograms to understand the emotions of the community of women who sit in their little pink smocks in a cheery room waiting to have initial or follow-up X-rays or sonograms or more, or for the doctor to read the results and deliver the diagnosis.

Men would then understand the fear a woman faces whether it’s her first or tenth mammogram.

They should see the bravery of the woman struggling to hold back tears as she heads to the changing room after the devastating news that will forever change her life and perhaps end it far too early. It’s then her burden to share the news with her family and while facing her personal fears, try to soothe the emotions of her loved ones. She also sees the days stretch out before her in seemingly endless rounds of doctors, hospitals and treatments.

Men should share the elation of the woman who receives the “all clear” as the tension drains from her face to be replaced with relief and smiles. Men should witness the camaraderie as the other women offer congratulations for having “escaped” the dreaded disease for another year.

They should see the young mother of two small boys sit in the corner avoiding the eyes of the other women to not reveal her nervousness over the uncertainty of what to expect. Then the men should watch as an older woman, a grandmother, senses the fear of the younger woman and draws her into a casual conversation about wallpaper, then squeezes the younger woman’s hand as her name is called for “the test.”

Physically, mammograms are no big deal. They are uncomfortable and on occasion, a bit painful, but they can help detect the tiny beginnings of a monster.

Men should understand the importance of this annual ritual and that without the exams and early detection, many more of us would be lost. They should encourage and support their women to have the exams. Go with them and hold their purses and wait patiently in the family area for their return. Holding a purse for someone you love is much easier than saying “goodbye” forever.


(In memory of my beautiful friend Harriette.)

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords


  1. Anonymous7:16 AM

    Wonderful blog for women.

  2. Ellie9:27 PM

    I wholeheartedly agree with your blog. The annual exam for a cancer survivor renews the fears of having to go through the ordeal another time. You are relieved only with you get the "no significant abnormality" notice. Thank God I have a very supportive husband who keeps pushing me to have the annual exams.

  3. LoveM8:52 AM

    I tried to comment on this the other day and discovered that the emotions, experiences, friends experiences, fears and all the feelings came pouring out. Too many words and yet not enough. The comment came to me early this a.m -- AMEN