Pulse newmasthead 10th anniv 2252x376px

Subscribe/Energize


new subscription

Join the 11,000+ who receive Pulse weekly



energize subscription 
Stop by the
Pulse newsstand and
energize your subscription
with a contribution and
keep Pulse vibrant

Our goal this year:
500 energized subscribers

So far: 187



Questions?

If you have any questions about submitting a story to More Voices, please use the form below to send us a message.
Our editors will respond as soon as possible.
captcha
Reload

More Voices


Every month More Voices invites readers to contribute short nonfiction prose pieces of 40 to 400 words on a healthcare theme.

submittomorevoices


I undo the front of the cloth gown and step closer to the menacing machine. The female technician gently lifts one of my breasts—usually she begins with the left—onto a cold, flat surface. I shiver as my warm skin reacts to the chilly metal. Then, the top of the machine slowly descends, pushing into the top of my breast, flattening it, and squeezing it until tears form in my eyes. 

“Hold your breath,” the technician states.

Without the noise of my breathing, the whirring of the machine sounds louder. After a few seconds that seem like endless minutes, the machine lifts as if it has heard my prayers; it frees my breast from its unwelcome grasp. The process is repeated as my right breast undergoes the same procedure.

I fear mammograms—not because the pain is intolerable, but because I have had four biopsies based on mammogram findings. The first occurred when I was twenty-seven years old, the mother of a one-year-old. The last took place sixteen years ago, when I was fifty-four. Each biopsy involved an outpatient visit to the hospital, the dreaded intravenous needle, and the angst-filled days of waiting until the final lab tests arrived: benign.

What a lovely word benign is! Yet, as I prepare for my annual mammogram, I cannot ignore the fear that spreads throughout my mind and body: What if? What if this year’s results are the ones I dread?

Ronna Edelstein
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Comments   

# arthur solomon 2017-08-05 16:16
After coming from the Charities Pirate game which raises money to help cancer patients and seeing the thousands of adults and children with signs supporting cancer victims, i find this article especially poignant and relevant. As a man i never realized the cold and painful sensations experienced.As Ronna writes it is natural to dread the worst scenarios.The passage about "beautiful benign" is my favorite. Well done!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Ronna Edelstein 2017-08-06 13:49
Thank you, Artie; I appreciate--as always--your kind words.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote