Sharron's Story: From Fear to Reassurance

M-W-ONC22423-SharonHallHSA self-described introvert, Sharron Hall came out of her shell during breast cancer treatment, something she’d never quite done before. The experience left her with a desire to help others and to find out what else she could accomplish.

When Sharron began to lose her hair during her chemotherapy treatments, it wasn’t vanity that was the source of her pain.

Sharon, of Dayton, never fussed over her appearance. Before her diagnosis, she’d never even worn makeup.

“When my hair started falling out, it reminded me of why it was coming out. It was coming out because of the chemo, and I was having the chemo because of the cancer,” Sharron remembers. “Finally, I just shaved it all off so I wouldn’t have to watch it fall out anymore.”

Sharron’s fight with cancer began when she discovered a lump in her breast. Sharron was reluctant to seek care because she didn’t have medical insurance. 

“Then somebody told me there was a clinic that took people without insurance, so I made an appointment,” Sharron says.

That check-up led Sharron to Miami Valley Hospital for a biopsy the day after her 40th birthday, July 2, 2010.

“When the doctor said ‘cancer,’ that’s the last thing I heard. She was talking, but I wasn’t hearing anything. It’s like I was in a zone,” Sharron recalls.

“I thought about my grandmother and my mother who died of cancer. I was thinking I was going to die. I was thinking of my kids, how I was going to tell them, and how they could live without me.”

Her treatment team scheduled Sharron for a mastectomy the next week. The unfamiliar journey ahead frightened her.

“I didn’t know anything about cancer; I didn’t know what was going to happen,” she says.

Then, Sharron attended a class recommended to her by the staff at Miami Valley Hospital’s Breast Center. The class gave Sharron much-needed reassurance.

“I learned what cancer was, what to expect, what my emotions would be. I left knowing more about cancer, knowing that I could survive.”

Throughout treatment, Sharron said the Miami Valley Hospital staff encouraged and comforted her.

“They were a really big part of overcoming this. They made me feel good, they could answer questions that my friends and family couldn’t,” she says. “I looked forward to chemo because of the nurses. I looked forward to seeing them. I began to feel better by being around them.”

The staff referred Sharron to Look Good, Feel Better, where she learned to wear a wig and apply makeup.

“I felt better doing things like that, things I’d never done before,” she says.  “I had been feeling ugly and self-conscious about what the cancer was doing to me.”

By the middle of 2011, Sharron had finished her treatment. A self-described introvert, Sharron came out her shell during treatment. The experience left her with a desire to help others and to find out what else she could accomplish.

“I thought if I could overcome this disease, I could do other things I never thought I could do.”

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