Ultrasounds—they’re not just for getting a first look at your baby.

The images are fuzzy beneath-the-skin pictures in shades of gray, but nothing moves. And you don’t have the misery of a bursting bladder. But there’s no joy in it either.

My “mass” looks suspicious to the radiologist. I sign the consent form for a biopsy and brace myself.

I’m unreasonably fearful about two things: loud noises and anything that gets too close to my breasts, especially anything sharp. A breast biopsy combines both—I know because I had a needle biopsy once before, a dozen years ago. Then I’d had to lie face down on a specially-designed platform with my breasts dangling through a hole. I’d jumped at the loud pop it made, jolting the needle out of place, so the doctor had to do it over. At least the news back then was good; the biopsy came back negative.

This time I stay face up. The technician lets me grip her arm and I try to think happy thoughts through three pokes (and accompanying cymbal claps!) from the spring-loaded needle, while it collects samples of my marble.

Afterwards, I’m given instructions on how to care for the biopsy site and led down the hall for another mammogram.

Now I’m home clutching ice to my right breast and trying not to worry but thinking of nothing else. I’m likely to get the news Thursday. Or Friday, at the latest.