Fight Go GIF by Vamos

I’m back where I don’t want to be, stretched out on a hospital bed, gown open, this time the transducer is circling the other breast, the one that has been spared so far. The screen to my left displays a grainy gray image. The tech has called in the radiologist to confirm her results, and he seems determined to find something.

I’m rigid, trying to breathe, he hoo, like Lamaze class. I have two terrors—the fear that he’ll decide to biopsy something, and the unbearable pressing of the transducer on my nipple, back and forth, hard, as if it was the thick skin on my arm or belly. I shrink from it, stifling a moan, but he presses on, paying me no mind. It’s the second time in as many days that I’ve felt manacled. “Harden the fuck up,” the doctor is probably muttering to himself. While I’m thinking, what if his balls were under the transducer, smashed flat? How would he feel?

More criss-crossing on my nipple, his stare at the screen intent. If he presses harder, will the “mass” in question look more menacing? Please no. Please no biopsy. Even as I think it, I know it’s better to be safe. But please no.

The doctor finally stops. “It looks benign,” he says. I wonder briefly if he’s just saying that to avoid having to cut into someone who can’t even stand the transducer. But I’m off the hook and all but leaping off the exam table.