Meet Cynthia

Cynthia Smith

Cynthia Smith, a Parkland pharmacy employee for nearly 35 years, is diligent about getting her mammogram every year. So when she noticed a deformity on her right breast she didn’t think anything of it. But one of her Parkland colleagues urged her to get another mammogram. That appointment saved her life.

During that appointment Cynthia had her usual mammogram. But then they performed a sonogram and a biopsy – two steps that had not occurred before. That was on a Friday. The results would be ready on Monday.

“All weekend I was on pins and needles,” said Cynthia. “When I went back on Monday they told me I had breast cancer. I was devastated. When people think of breast cancer they think of death. I could think of nothing but my two daughters, my life, my family."

One month later, she had surgery to remove the lump and the surrounding tissue, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. On Oct. 16, 2017, she will celebrate 17 years as a breast cancer survivor.

During her chemotherapy and radiation, she continued to work. Her coworkers would park her car upon arrival, and then retrieve it for her at the end of her shift. When she lost her hair they gave her baseball caps that matched the color of her scrubs. And when she was burned from radiation and couldn't bend to tie her shoes, they tied them for her. “I thank God for them,” she said. “They helped pull me through during such a difficult time.“

In addition to the support from her Parkland colleagues, she also remembers the caregivers who helped her through her cancer journey. “I had some of the nicest nurses and the best care. This is where I would go when I was sick, even if I didn’t work here.”

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