Steed shares story of survival with Brundidge RotariansPublished 11:00pm Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Beverly Steed Helton came home Wednesday to share the story of her journey with a formidable foe.
Helton, assistant to the State Director for USDA Rural Development, was the program guest at the Brundidge Rotary Club and she was there at a time of celebration. In March, Helton reached the five-year milestone as a survivor of breast cancer.
She shared the challenges that she had to overcome to reach the point where she could say, “I am a cancer survivor.”
“At the point that you become a survivor is a personal place,” she said. “It might be when you take that last chemo treatment or when you reach the one year mark. Or it might be the five-year milestone. But, the thought of having had cancer never leaves you completely. It’s in your mind somewhere, just not in the forefront.”
Helton said that no battle with cancer is fought alone. It’s a battle, first, with personal emotions.
“There’s fear, anger, anxiety, depression, so many emotions,” she said. “Then, the treatments and side effects and the transformation of your body before you reach that place where you are a cancer survivor. But, I didn’t fight the battle alone. My family, my friends, even strangers were there all the time. All the way.”
Helton said that she drew strength and encouragement from her faith and from others.
“When you go through cancer you find inner strength that you didn’t know you had,” she said. “Prayer. I had people from so many different places praying for me. Prayer does make a difference.”
Helton said that along her journey to survival, she met many wonderful people who were also battling cancer. They shared their trials and triumphs. They encouraged each other and held each other up.
“I’ve made lifelong friends, who are cancer survivors, and I’ve lost some dear friends, who fought so hard to be where I am today,” she said.
Because of her journey and the ups and downs of travel, Helton knows what it’s like to challenge cancer. She knows what it takes to conquer the disease and she knows, too, that not all battles are won.
Along the way, she had mentors who made the journey easier and showed her that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
Today, she is a mentor for those who are doing battle. It is her hope that she can help make their loads a little lighter and give them the encouragement and support they need to stay the fight.
“You’ll never know what another person is going through unless you can walk in their shoes,” she said. “But you can be there for them.”
Helton shared a quotation from an unknown author: To the world, you are one person. To one person, you may be the world.
Those who stand beside a loved one doing battle are “the world.”