An Inishowen schoolteacher’s life has taken an unexpected turn after experiencing cancer.
Six years ago, Sharon Doherty from Quigley’s Point was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.
But she decided to take matters into her own hands, and her discovery of the world of wellness led her to create a little book of lifestyle tips.
Sharon is now the proud author of ‘You Got This – Your Health in Your Hands’ and is on a career break from her role as a secondary school teacher to share her ideas.
In her own words, Sharon tells us her story:
My name is Sharon, and among many other things I am an author and breast cancer survivor. I say the latter with caution, as I don’t like to tempt fate, however, since I have passed the five-year cancer free mark, it’s technically true.
I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer on 22nd August 2013. From the first time I heard this five-year survival figure mentioned, I decided it wasn’t enough. I figured that when I reached 85 years of age, then I’d be happy to say I’d survived. I have a long way to go.
Following a mastectomy, I chose not to have any of the traditional treatments. Instead I started to read and research all things health and wellbeing. I began making small, but important changes to my diet and my lifestyle. I worked on not being the stress head I had been, and I stopped being too busy.
One of my close friends told me she didn’t have time to do all the reading I was and asked for the bullet points of what she should and shouldn’t be doing. That is a very good idea for a book I thought to myself. I spent the next five years designing a little wellness book called You Got This – Your Health in Your Hands. It’s one succinct health tip per page illustrated with a flower photo I took in my mum’s garden. I have always loved photography.
I also spent all those years writing to book agents and publishers both here in Ireland and further afield. No-one was interested. Then one afternoon, just as I was about to go for a walk on the beach, I got the news that a lady I knew had passed away from what had started as breast cancer. She was the most beautiful woman. I picked up pebbles from the beach, which sit on my windowsill, and determined to publish the book myself, no matter how much it cost. There was too much important information in it that could maybe help prevent people from getting seriously ill. This June, 500 copies of the book arrived in my street, on the back of a lorry! “What are you going to do with all those books?” my dad mused. “Well. Sell them,” I laughed.
I am currently on a career break from my job as a secondary teacher to give wellness talks and workshops and hopefully encourage people to make some small but significant changes to their lives to help them protect their health and wellbeing.
Sharon will be giving two talks in the Station House Hotel, Letterkenny on the 29th October and the 5th November. She will be running a wellness workshop upstairs in the Moonshine Café, Letterkenny on the 2nd November.
Details on her book and talks can be found on the Facebook page: @yougotthishealththing, Instagram: @__just_be_u or email at firstname.lastname@example.org