Lifestyle

Rock the cloth: Breast cancer awareness

Saturday, October 20, 2012    

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* Worked at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, for 22 years, and is now a project officer.

* Completed her BSc in Accounting and International Relations

and MSc International Business (after diagnosis)

* Mother of 13-year-old Johnelle, who is a second-form student at Wolmer's High School for Girls and one-year-old son Christopher (after diagnosis)

* Active in school PTA, community's citizens' association, Jamaica Reach to Recovery

Sharon's Story

My mother noticed a lump on my breast one morning in May 1997. A needle biopsy in June revealed that it was benign. However, another biopsy was conducted as the doctors were concerned about the hardness beneath after the liquid was drawn. This came back malignant.

In July of that year, I did the lumpectomy, which was also malignant. Still hesitant about the mastectomy, I conducted extensive research with family and friends about breast cancer and mastectomy and consulted several medical doctors. In October, the lump appeared. With all the reading and information, I decided that the mastectomy was the best thing to do and in November I did the surgery. Results were that I had Stage 1 Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) and although the lymph nodes were removed, they were benign.

Treatment

Six months of chemotherapy

started in January 1998, but there was no need for radiotherapy or any other treatment.

Living

Two months after completing chemotherapy I became pregnant. In May 1999, my angel — Johnelle Dias — was born.

I have been in remission since and have been active with the Jamaica Cancer Society and Jamaica Reach to Recovery.

In January 2011, I gave birth to my son, Christopher Lewis. Both my children are doing great and so far I have been keeping very good health.

Sharon's looks

Sharon's looks feature detail in the bodice area. Many women bear their badges of honour following surgery.

If you are thinking of wearing pink this month, you can move away from the traditional shade in support of the efforts. By introducing new tints, shades and non-traditional hues, we can wear pink multiple times without becoming bored with the colour. Variations and shades include coral, fuchsia, cerise, neon, rose and dusty rose, puce, salmon, magenta, hot pink, carnation, to name a few.

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