• “When you push off from the dock … we’re all in the same boat. 
    This isn’t about cancer anymore. It’s about exercise and health and the rest of your life. 
    When we push off we’re paddling away from breast cancer.” 

    - Dr. Don McKenzie, Founder, Abreast In A Boat 
  • “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain!” 

    - Vivian Greene 
  • “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” 

    - T.H. Thompson & John Watson 
  • “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. 
    The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’ 

    - Nelson Mandela 
Training
Venue:
Behind the Cape Grace Hotel, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
Time:
Mondays 17h30 for 18h00 and Saturdays 07h30 for 08h00

Belles Stories » Sharon Kidd

Sharon Kidd

After getting divorced in 1999 I took up cycling as I had started a full time job and no longer went to gym 5 days a week. It was the Wednesday before the 2000 Argus cycle tour, when I went to my GP to get a painkiller for my ankle, as I had twisted it and was determined to cycle. While I was there I asked him to take a look at my left breast, as there was a slight indentation in the nipple, as well as some dimpling of the surrounding skin. He examined me and without hesitation told me I should see a surgeon immediately. The surgeon did an aspiration. The following day I went back to the surgery to get the results. The verdict was cancer and that the best way of treating it was to remove the breast. I was offered a time for the following day, Friday.

My first question was, would I live until Monday because as I had trained so hard for the Argus cycle tour I’d like to do that and have the mastectomy on Monday. The other thing that went through my mind was that if I were to die soon I wouldn’t see either of my daughters become brides. I remember leaving the surgery and crying all the way home. With hindsight I wished that I had taken someone with me to hear the results.

I completed the cycle tour, not as fast as I would have liked, but as it was the first time, I was pleased to finish.

I decided against having a reconstruction straight away. My family and new boyfriend (now my husband, we got married in March 2003) were incredibly supportive, but I think what helped the most was that somehow we all made a point of getting on with our lives.

After the operation I was so groggy that I didn’t really dwell on what had been done, though there were times in the early days when I felt sad as I had always enjoyed doing the topless thing. On completion of surgery I was referred to Groote Schuur Hospital for six months of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiation therapy. My hair fell out after the first month of treatment. This posed a bit of a challenge, but eventually I opted not to use a wig or a turban. I have subsequently had breast reconstruction, and now have been clear of cancer for 6 years. I was on Tamoxifen for 5 years and that together with very little exercise has resulted in me putting on a few extra lovable curves. I have survived!

The whole experience has been one of growth for me. Now, here I am, a member of The Amabele Belles with a whole lot of new friends and a new sport.

Birthday: 17/02/54
Occupation: Tourguide
Sport: Cycling, Gym
Surgery: 2000, chemo 2000