Midnight in the Garden of Mammos

[still from CBS]

Today's Trib had a story about mammogram parties at local hospitals. Apparently this has been going on for quite a while. CBS reported in 2007 on midnight mammogram parties as well as mammogram parties earlier in the day. The idea is that women get together to make a party out of their annual checkups, employing chocolate, wine, cheese, flowers, manicures, camaraderie, massage to help them bear the painful pressing of the mammograpy machine. The funny thing is that the Trib had a story on this in 2010, as well as 10 days ago, by a different reporter, in the Des Plaines local. Today's (3/16/11) story says that the parties are for women who have not had cancer. Oh well. I had a farewell party for my breast. (You can see photos of it on the right.) Apparently that's old hat. And not above reproach: Writing in Jewish Woman magazine in 2010, Elicia Brown quotes Barbara Brenner, executive director of advocacy organization Breast Cancer Action:“People respond to crisis in whatever ways they need to cope. That’s what’s positive about this,” [Brenner] says. “But selling T-shirts, throwing Bye Bye Boobie parties—how does that get us closer to ending this epidemic? How does it get us closer to better treatment options that increase the quality of people’s lives? Too bad we can’t throw a Bye Bye Breast Cancer party!”
Too bad, but in the meantime, why not have fun while looking death and disease in the eye? Isn't that the basis of most rituals and festivals?

[Skull by Thaneeya McArdle]