Mary Bryan Smith

First post: Apr 26, 2011 Latest post: Dec 11, 2011
On April 4th at 8.15pm, I was on my way to yoga when I received a phone call from my doctor at Duke. I was guessing when I heard her voice that she wasn't calling to wish me sweet dreams for the night. On the contrary....she informed me that I had been diagnosed with invasive breast didn't make yoga that night.

In 1997 my doctor discovered a lump in each breast during my pregnancy. These benign fiber adenomas grew to the size of a grapefruit in one breast and a baseball in the other by end of my pregnancy at which time they were removed. (Dolly had nothing on me!) Due to my history it was recommended that I have my baseline mammogram at age 35. This mammogram showed that atypical hyperplasia was present in my breast tissue. After this finding, I was blessed with the opportunity to participate in a study at Duke Breast Wellness Clinic. Since 2003 I have been under the care of Duke physicians where I receive annual MRIs, mammograms and fine needle breast aspirations (yes, many needles, ouch!.....and much hand holding). After years of biopsies, I had learned not to get too excited about any lumps or findings. My motto...don't worry until they tell you to worry. It's been the only way to stay sane (that and medication of course, lol). It was at a routine visit in March when a MRI showed a spot on my right breast. Due to the dense tissue in my breasts, it did not show on my mammogram nor did it show on the ultrasound, done the same day. (Mammograms on me are like looking through a sliced potato...useless). I was then scheduled for a MRI guided biopsy several weeks later. This is where my journey begins....