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Smashogram Time
Short essays and poems recount two decades of dealing with multiple sclerosis and aging. Humor, realism and acceptance help.

It is almost time to do one thing I’ve dreaded doing for many years. I have to have my annual smashogram a.k.a. mammogram. Ladies, yes, the process of flattening of two body parts that were never meant to do so between almost always cold vise plates is undeniably painful. I, for one, believe the evil mammo machine must have been engineered solely by people with XY chromosomes. I’m convinced that surely no female would think for a nanosecond of subjecting her sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, aunts, nieces, or friends to such an ordeal. But, smash we must because the mammogram remains the standard screening and diagnostic tool used today.The prospect of not detecting cancer is much more frightening and life-changing than any momentary discomfort could ever be. I remind myself of the intense agony and anxiety experienced by the women I’ve known who have had breast cancer. Thankfully, most, but regrettably, not all, of those women have survived their bouts with the disease. So, if you haven’t done so already, please get thee on the phone today and schedule your smashogram screening. You can reward yourself with something scrumptious afterward. I do.