Woman Finds Support from an Unlikely Family Member to Overcome Cancer
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 Butler. Her mother died the day she got her diagnosis and about the same time, she was diagnosed with diabetes. Doctors and staff at Harris Health System’s Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and Acres Home Health Center helped her manage both. Today, she is cancer free.
On Oct. 12, she joins other breast cancer and cancer survivors at a “Pink Out” Celebration hosted by Harris Health. The event features an exterior lighting of Harris Health’s Smith Clinic and reunites cancer survivors with physicians and staff to celebrate their stories of strength and perseverance. All were treated through Harris Health’s Ben Taub Hospital, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and Smith Clinic.
“I can’t say enough about the people who took care of me,” she says. “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, and subsequent surgeries at LBJ Hospital and radiation treatments at Smith Clinic.
“I wanted to give up, but I wouldn’t and staff didn’t let me,” she says. “Losing my hair was traumatic, but being sick was worse.”
Though there have been others with cancer in her family, Butler is the first to have breast cancer.
“It can happen to anyone, no matter your age,” she tells others. “Take care of yourself. Be strong. See your doctor. Have a good support system and have faith.”
Butler’s most helpful caregiver and supporter is her 31-year-old daughter, Tiberia.
“She was my inspiration. She has special needs and I take care of her,” she says. “I didn’t want her to see me give up.” The two reversed roles during Butler’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.”
She enjoys life more than ever and eats 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,” she says.