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Brave mum is facing up to cancer by sharing beauty secrets in online diary

This is the courageous cancer sufferer who has started a no-holds barred online diary in an effort to provide comfort to other women with the disease.

Pretty mum-of-two Jacinta Geraghty, from Arklow, Co Wicklow, started the blog -- a one-stop shop for cancer sufferers on how to look good when battling the illness -- last year after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The brave 30-year-old, a self-confessed make-up fanatic, has posted videos, pictures and diaries online documenting her ordeal and gives top tips to other women, not just cancer suffers, on how to pull off that perfect look.

"I decided to start the page to share some of my make up-tips and tricks and show people with or without cancer how to make yourself look and feel good," she told the Herald yesterday.

"I'm not an expert or anything, I just love make-up -- I especially rely on it now that I'm bald and it just helps me face the day and the challenges ahead."

Brave Jacinta told yesterday how after giving birth to Ryan in January last year, she found a lump in her right breast -- just days before her dream wedding to Gerry in June at Manchester United's Old Trafford football ground.



Tears

"I really wasn't concerned when I found the lump because I had so much on with trying to organise the wedding I didn't really have the time to worry," she said.

But months into wedded bliss, the life-long United fan says her life fell apart.

"I'll never forget October 1, 2010, the day I was diagnosed -- tears were rolling down both mine and Gerry's faces when we were told the bad news.

"I really can't remember a whole lot about it now because somehow it really doesn't feel that real but I do remember thinking 'what have I done to deserve this?'."

After having a full mastectomy and reconstruction of her breast in November -- following countless tests -- Jacinta started the online diary as she prepared to face chemotherapy.

She has posted videos and pictures charting her progress after losing her hair as she continues her battle with the disease.

"There's no point trying to hide anything, I've always been like that," she said. "I've got absolutely nothing to lose, you only have one life so you might as well enjoy it."

Thankfully, things are beginning to look up for the mum of two and after finishing chemotherapy early this year, she is now on the mend.

She hopes documenting her illness will give hope to others and provide assistance to young women faced with the dangerous disease.

And she says she is heartened by the outpouring of support she has received.

"It's nice for people to appreciate what you are doing -- if people don't like the pictures of the before treatment and after treatment shots they don't have to look at it if they don't want to," she said.

"When I was diagnosed I found it hard to find literature on the disease detailing what I would go through that was really helpful.

"So I hope the website, pictures and videos give people a bit of hope and information on what they might face and give them tips on how to look good."

She added: "I still forget I'm bald sometimes -- in fact I frighten myself when I catch my eye in the mirror -- but to be honest, I really couldn't give a monkeys, I really don't care -- it's part of me now."

Speaking candidly about how son Aaron reacted to the illness, she concluded: "I remember when I first told Aaron about my illness, the first thing he said to me was, 'Mammy don't come to school and pick me up bald'.

"But now every morning I always say to him, 'How do I look?', and he always says 'beautiful'."

Jacinta's website can be viewed at: www.makeuptomakeyoufeelgood.blogspot.com

hnews@herald.ie


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