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Family's support made difference for breast cancer survivor

12 WOMEN WINNING THE FIGHT • BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH SERIES

Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 3:20 PM
Last updated Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 2:16 PM
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Beryl Henderson found a lump in her right breast while she and her husband, Calvin, were on an anniversary trip to Charleston, S.C.

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Beryl Henderson said it was the combination of faith and family that gave her the strength to get through her ordeal with cancer.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Beryl Henderson said it was the combination of faith and family that gave her the strength to get through her ordeal with cancer.

It was May 2011, and she had just had a clear mammogram in October. Her husband insisted she see a doctor.

“For a couple of weeks, I put it off,” she said. “I said there was nothing wrong.”

When she finally did see her doctor, he didn’t think anything was wrong, either, but did a biopsy “to be on the safe side,” she said.

When it came back positive, she was stunned.

“I just sat down,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do. I was just shocked.”

She tried to call her husband, but he didn’t answer.

So she called her oldest son and started crying.

She had a lumpectomy, but the chemotherapy made her very sick. Still, she continued to work and do her normal activities.

Someone in her family was with her at every doctor appointment or treatment, and Henderson said her faith and family gave her the strength she needed.

“I don’t think I would have gotten through it without the support of my husband, my sister and my kids,” she said.

Henderson said she now has a better sense of what is important.

“I just don’t stress out about the small things anymore,” she said.

ABOUT BERYL HENDERSON

AGE: 53

HOMETOWN: Edgefield, S.C.

FAMILY: Husband, Calvin Henderson; children, Riccardo Henderson, Rhonda Henderson, Kristol Johnson, Chris Henderson; four grandchildren

OCCUPATION: Area leader at BAE Systems

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: June 15, 2011 – lumpectomy, eight rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments

HER ADVICE: “Get family support. Just don’t try to do everything yourself. You need help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

SATURDAY

Mammograms: Georgia Regents Medical Center, 1120 15th St., first floor, Breast Health Center; women may schedule a routine mammogram today or Oct. 26 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. by calling (706) 721-9729; www.grhealth.org/breasthealth

Miracle Mile Walk: 8 a.m. registration; 9:30 a.m., walk begins; Augusta Common; the net proceeds to provide mammograms to underserved women in our community; www.TheMiracleMileWalk.org.

MONDAY

Pink Ribbon Tea for breast cancer: 2:30 to 4 p.m.; USC Aiken’s Etherredge Center lobby; event is designed to raise awareness about breast cancer; Patricia Moore-Pastides, speaker; RSVP deadline was Oct. 14; (803) 508-7414; www.usca.edu/events/pinkribbontea.asp.

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