Sharon Dinu From Killough Fights Stage 4 Lung Cancer

Sharon Dinu tells her inspiring story about her journey with lung cancer

Sharon Dinu tells her inspiring story about her journey with lung cancer

Killough woman Sharon Dinu is fighting lung cancer and is determined to win. She has taken to sea swimming and says it is part of her way to fight this illness.

She said: “When you go into the sea for a swim, you think of nothing else, only you. You don’t think about the cancer, your mind just clears.” These are Sharon’s inspiring thoughts as she lives stage four lung cancer.

Diagnosed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Sharon spoke of how when she received the news. “I didn’t want to know anything else. I have this, the cancer, but I’m going to come out the other side, I have too much to live for.

“I started my treatment at the Ulster Hospital. I never had an appointment cancelled throughout Covid.

Sharon Dinu from Killough is fighting stage 4 lung cancer and enjoys sea swimming almost every day. (Photos courtesy of SEHSCT).

“I have never let the diagnosis stop me, I have got on with my life and I know that that can be a different story for everybody, for me I just wanted to make the best of it.

“From the beginning, I said from day one the cancer wasn’t taking me. I know you’ve only got one life and you’ve got to give the best you can, to grab everything you can with both hands and enjoy that time with your family.”

Sharon received her last treatment in March and a scan in August of this year showed that her condition was now ‘static’.

Since March of this year, Sharon has pulled on her dry robe and taken to her local beach with her “Daily Dose of Sanity” cold water swimming group to immerse body and head space in the seawater.

“I used to go down and watch the group. At the time I couldn’t take part as I had a PICC line in,” she said. “The girls would have told me how much they got out of being in the water.

Sharon Dinu with the Daily Doze of Sanity sea swimmers in Killough.

“I got the pickline out on a Wednesday and I was cold water swimming on Saturday and I haven’t looked back since. I try to swim everyday.

“When you go into the water you think of nothing else, you don’t think about the cancer. Your mind just clears.”

“I said to not fight it, if you fight something it fights back. I have cancer, I live with cancer, I know I’ll never be free of it, it’s treatable, it’s not curable! I am so lucky to have the support of my family around me.”

When asked if she could offer one piece of advice to anyone going through or living with a cancer diagnosis, Sharon simply replied: “I try to be positive and try to be strong.

Sharon’s sister-in-law, Elena Gracey, left, joins her on a sea swim in Killough.

Sharon and the group have been braving the sea temperatures ahead of their planned Christmas Day swim to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. She added: “We have started a Just Giving page ahead of Christmas Day when we will do our swim for MacMillan.”

Clinical Lead for Lung Cancer and Consultant Respiratory Physician, Dr Stephen Rowan highlighted the importance of recognising the symptoms to look out for.

Dr Rowan said: “Lung Cancer frequently presents at a late stage, so it is vital that we pick up Lung Cancer early to maximise the best opportunity for treatment and care. Worldwide, Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. 

“Common symptoms to look out for are a persistent or new cough (usually for more than three weeks), a change in a chronic cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or some blood in your sputum. 

“Less common symptoms are a loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.  If you have any of these symptoms, you should attend your GP and do not be afraid to ask for a chest x-ray.

Smoking is the most important risk factor for Lung Cancer. If you are a smoker, this is a good opportunity to try and stop. There are a range of resources that you can take advantage of.

“It is most important to remember that not everyone who gets Lung Cancer is a smoker. If you have lungs, you can get Lung Cancer.

“If you have any worries or concerns, make sure you get checked out.”