In November of 2006, a Miami Gardens young mother of four thought her life was over when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She recalled days of her youth when she, “hoped to get some boobies some day.” She never thought those same “boobies” would change her life.
This is the triumphant story of Breazetha Smith, a breast cancer survivor!
Her story like most women started while doing her own self-breast examination; she detected a lump in her breast. She immediately scheduled a doctor’s appointment to have a mammogram. That same day she also had an ultrasound and a biopsy to make sure that she was covering all of her bases. Two weeks later the results came back positive. Like most women she determined that it was a death sentence. She immediately said to herself upon receiving the news, “I guess I’m gonna die from cancer.”
Life became very stressful for Smith. Not only was she battling cancer, but she was also struggling to make ends meet. All she could think about was the well being of her four children. Smith was working two jobs and raising four kids alone. Her bills were past due and her home was in foreclosure. Her future seemed bleak.
Two weeks after the diagnosis she underwent the procedure to have a port put in for chemotherapy. Breazetha underwent 10 treatments of chemotherapy in addition to 41 treatments of radiation. In July of 2007, Breazetha underwent a bilateral mastectomy to have both of her breasts removed.
Scared but assured after recovering from Scared but assured after recovering from her double mastectomy “Brezzy”, as she is affectionately known to friends and family, decided to change her outlook and was determined to survive and keep a roof over the heads of her four children.
She returned to work for Miami-Dade County Public Schools System where she has been employed for the past 18 years and has been part of the City of Miami Gardens family for 5 years.
While bouncing back from her health scare, few years later, tragedy struck her family once again. On January 28, 2010 her 20 year old son was fatally gunned down in Opa-Locka.
With her life looking upside down again, she refused to give up. She still had three kids to provide and live for. Her oldest daughter, now 22, stood by her side through everything along with her mother and sister. Smith knew that she needed to be resilient and show her surviving children that she was strong and no matter how tough life got, “never give up.”
Today life is better for her. She still mourns the loss of her son, but she finds great joy in spending time with her other children, grandson, family and close friends.
Through her health challenge and loss, her faith kept her encouraged and with the blessing of being able to work two jobs she has saved her home from foreclosure.
Turning tragedy into triumph, this amazing woman took control of her situation.
Like many breast cancer survivors that have their breasts removed, Brezzy feels as if she isn’t a complete woman. Not having breasts limits the type of clothing that she wears and now like the days of her youth she again looks forward to getting some “boobies.”
“There’s hope. There’s treatment. Don’t give up,” This is a story about Breazetha Smith, a breast cancer survivor!