7/12/02 - Beating Breast Cancer, Without Missing A Beat

A diagnosis of breast cancer changes everything in a woman's life, but one heartland woman is determined to beat the disease, without missing a beat. Sharon Naughton's last chemotherapy treatment was Thursday. Radiation and medication follows, but Sharon says she's not going to let that stop her from doing what she loves.

"I was probably one of those people who didn't want to find anything so I hadn't found anything," Sharon says. But in February, Sharon's doctor did find something; a small, cancerous lump in one of her breasts. "I'm very thankful for early detection, it should have been me, but I'm very thankful that my doctor examined me closely to alert me," Sharon says.

Sharon was determined her diagnosis would not change her life. An occupational therapist, she found comfort in going to work. "I've had a few times when I had to figure out how I was feeling and that it was okay to talk about it," Sharon says.

She talked about it to her family, co-workers, and her patients. Sharon found that several other people she talked to were affected by breast cancer in some way. Hearing their stories let her know that things would be okay. "I don't consider this like an illness," Sharon says. "It's just like when you have dental work, you don't quit working, or if you're on crutches. I work with people who are more disabled than I've ever been." And not changing her everyday routine, has been the best thing for Sharon. "Having others who are around you and so supportive, you can't miss out on that."