The wonderful nurse practitioner in my ob/gyn's office got the ball rolling for me again when I went to see her on February 1, showing her the newest lump I had in my left breast that felt like a jellybean. She had staff members trying to track down any available medical records of mine (a fruitless search, it turns out - fucking tornado), and set me up with a surgeon in Springfield. (The surgeon's office asked me to bring my films with me from my previous procedures, which was a laugh. Told them we would check the fence lines for them on our way there from Joplin.)
I must admit that I liked Dr. Bumberry immediately, not because he seemed competent, or that he was kind and caring, which he turned out to be, but because he had beautiful auburn hair. (Reminded me of a guy I once dated who had hair like that. All similarities stop there, however, because the surgeon does not appear to be a complete asshole.) He was in agreement with my previous surgeon that I was a candidate for prophylactic double mastectomy and wanted me to meet with the plastic surgeon, whom he said had "great nipples." My husband and I were juvenile enough to snicker at this. Dr. Bumberry was professional enough to ignore us. The plastic surgeon was able to see me that afternoon, and he explained the reconstruction procedure to us. He wanted to do a tram flap, where the breast skin is saved and muscle and tissue from my tummy is used to build new breasts. A tummy tuck and perky boobies all at once. Win-win.
The next step was going to get a mammogram and ultrasound a week later. Now, I've had countless mammograms over the past few years, but the barracuda that gave me this one made me cry. A radiologist came in after the ultrasound and told me she was usually a little hesitant about prophylactic mastectomies, but after reading my mammogram and ultrasound, she was in complete agreement that it needed to be done. She was also concerned that my "jellybean" was not like the other cysts I have, which are filled with fluid. She wanted me to come back the following week for a needle biopsy.
The needle biopsy was done on February 27. Four days later, while checking out at Academy Sports with my 13 year old daughter, Dr. Bumberry called to say my "jellybean" was Stage 1 cancer.