Dealing with cancer was the scariest chapter of Cynthia Butler’s life. She regularly examined her breasts, so when she felt a lump and realized how quickly it was growing, she saw her doctor and scheduled a mammogram and ultrasound. A biopsy revealed cancer.
It wasn’t a good time for Cynthia. Her mother died the day she got her diagnosis. “I needed her with me. She’s here spiritually, but I wanted her physically too.”
Around the same time, she was also diagnosed with diabetes. Doctors and staff at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and Acres Home Health Center helped her manage both. She can’t say enough about the people she has encountered. “I give 10s across the board to everyone, beginning to end. They are very, very sweet people.”
They were especially helpful throughout her chemotherapy treatments. “I wanted to give up, but I wouldn’t. Losing my hair was traumatic, but being sick was worse.” Once she completed the chemo, she had surgery at LBJ and radiation treatments at Smith Clinic. Today, she is cancer free.
Though there have been other cancers in her family, Cynthia is the first to have breast cancer. “It can happen to anyone, no matter your age,” she tells other women. “Take care of yourself. Be strong. See your doctor. Have a good support system and have faith.”
Cynthia’s most helpful caregiver and supporter was her 31-year-old daughter, Tiberia. “She was my inspiration. She has special needs and I take care of her. I didn’t want her to see me give up.” The two women reversed roles during Cynthia’s treatment. “Tiberia took such good care of me. I didn’t think I could love her more, but I do.
“When I wanted to give up, I tried to remember that God doesn’t put more on us than we can bear. God gave me strength. I worry a little more than I did before. I’m very aware of my body, wondering if the cancer will come back. Even so, I enjoy life more than ever. I feel good, and I try to stay that way. I eat healthier. I spend a lot of time with my great-nieces and -nephews. And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll have grandchildren to spoil rotten.”