Sarah Harding reveals she and her Girls Aloud bandmates had a secret reunion after she told them about her breast cancer diagnosis
- In an extract from her book Hear Me Out, Sarah said she had ‘reservations’ about seeing the quartet at first because of her appearance following her treatment
- Sarah said she was bloated because of steroids and didn’t have eyelashes after her chemo, and she was worried they’d look ‘glamorous’ and she wouldn’t
- Of seeing them for the first time in eight years, She said: ‘That in itself was nerve-wracking enough, but the fact that I felt and looked the way I did made it worse’
- Despite her concerns, Sarah said they had a good time and after their meal they watched all the episodes of their docu-series Girls Aloud: Off the Record
- In another extract from the upcoming book, Sarah penned: ‘In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last’
- Sarah told fans she’d been battling the disease for several months in August last year and recently revealed her cancer has spread to her spine
- If you have been affected by this story, call Macmillan Cancer Support on 0808 808 00 00
Sarah Harding had a secret reunion with her Girls Aloud bandmates Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh, and Nicola Roberts.
The singer, 39, met with her fellow musicians at Soho Farmhouse last year for a meal and catch-up after telling them of her breast cancer diagnosis.
In an extract from her new book Hear Me Out, which was shared by Glamour on Tuesday, she admitted that she initially had ‘reservations’ about seeing the quartet because of her appearance following her treatment.
Back: Sarah Harding revealed on Tuesday she and her Girls Aloud bandmates had a secret reunion after she told them about her breast cancer diagnosis (L-R: Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Sarah, Cheryl and Nadine Coyle in 2012)
Sarah reflected: ‘It was going to be the first time we’d all seen one another in about eight years. That in itself was nerve-wracking enough, but the fact that I felt and looked the way I did made it worse.
‘Going through cancer is bad enough, but the side effects of all the stuff that’s supposed to make you better can sometimes be as difficult to deal with as the disease itself.’
Sarah said she looked bloated because of the steroids she was taking and didn’t have eyelashes after her chemotherapy, and was concerned Cheryl, Nadine, Kimberley and Nicola would look ‘glamorous’ while she did not.
Candid: In an extract from her book Hear Me Out, Sarah said she had ‘reservations’ about seeing them at first because of her appearance following her treatment (pictured in 2018)
Struggle: Of meeting for first time in eight years, Sarah said: ‘That in itself was nerve-wracking enough, but the fact that I felt and looked the way I did made it worse’ (pictured in 2007)
Sarah clarified that she didn’t think her bandmates would be ‘judgemental’ of how she looked, but she felt there was a level of ‘glamorousness’ she couldn’t rise to.
She went on: ‘On the day, I arrived at Soho Farmhouse just as Nicola, Nadine and Kimberley pulled up, so actually, the reunion moment was mainly in the car park.’
Despite her reservations, Sarah said they had a good time and after enjoying a meal together they watched all the episodes of their documentary series Girls Aloud: Off the Record, from 2006, which left them in hysterics.
Worry: Sarah said she looked bloated because of steroids and didn’t have eyelashes after her chemotherapy, and she thought they’d look ‘glamorous’ while she did not (pictured in 2003)
Fun: Despite her concerns, Sarah said they had a good time and after their meal they watched all the episodes of their documentary series Girls Aloud: Off the Record (pictured in 2009)
On Monday, Cheryl said her Girls Aloud bandmate and friend Sarah has been on her ‘brain every waking hour’ since her breast cancer diagnosis.
The singer, 37, reflected on how she reacted to her pal’s illness and admitted she at first felt ‘hopeless’ after learning the news in an excerpt from Sarah’s book Hear Me Out, which was published by Glamour.
Although being ‘hit so hard’ by the news, Cheryl said she now just wants to be there for Sarah whether she wants to ‘cry or rant’ and said they FaceTime lots as lockdown has made it ‘impossible’ to be together in person.
Cheryl wrote: ‘The news of Sarah’s illness hit me so hard. Since that day, she’s been on my brain every waking hour – so much so that I feel like I want to be with her.
Devastating: Sarah told fans she’d been battling the disease for several months in August last year and recently revealed her cancer has spread to her spine
Candid: On Monday, Cheryl said her Girls Aloud bandmate and friend Sarah has been on her ‘brain every waking hour’ since her breast cancer diagnosis
The singer added that at first she felt ‘hopeless’ and didn’t know what the right thing was to say, however now she just wants to ensure she’s there to support her friend.
‘Now I just want to be there for her in any way I can. She might want to cry or rant or even have a laugh, but wherever it is, just be there,’ Cheryl said.
She continued: ‘To hear her talk about what might have been in her life, and what should have been, destroys me. It’s broken me now, just thinking about it.’
Cheryl added that she doesn’t want her pal to have any ‘regrets’, saying her illness is just one of those ‘awful things that life deals a person sometimes’.
Support: Cheryl said she wants to always be there for Sarah whether she wants to ‘cry or rant’ and said they’ve been FaceTiming lots in lockdown
Cheryl previously revealed in another book extract shared with The Times, that she ‘lost it and started crying’ when Sarah told her of her diagnosis , saying her bandmate ended up ‘comforting [her].’
Looking back at being told about Sarah’s health battle, Cheryl admitted she burst into tears during one of their video calls.
Cheryl said her friend supported her when she was overcome with emotion, revealing: ‘The mad thing is, it ended up with Sarah comforting me.’
It comes after Sarah revealed she does not know how many months she has left to live after her cancer spread to her spine.
Hear Me Out: Cheryl and Sarah have written about Sarah’s ongoing cancer battle in an extract from her new book Hear Me Out, which was shared by Glamour on Monday
In the latest tragic update from her upcoming book, she penned: ‘In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last. I don’t want an exact prognosis. I don’t know why anyone would want that.
‘Comfort and being as pain-free as possible is what’s important to me now. I’m trying to live and enjoy every second of my life, however long it might be. I am having a glass of wine or two during all this, because it helps me relax.’
The singer added that she now wants to try and ‘enjoy’ herself as she doesn’t know ‘how many months I’ve got left’.
At present, the Call The Shots hitmaker is considering her options for treatment of the secondary tumour at the base of her spine, which may now have spread to her brain.
Sad: In another extract from the upcoming book, Sarah penned: ‘In December my doctor told me that the upcoming Christmas would probably be my last’ (pictured in 2018)
However, she’s adamant that she doesn’t want to undergo radiotherapy and risk losing her hair, with Sarah noting that although this may sound ‘vain’, she feels that if she only has months left to live then it’s not worth it.
The star explained how after facing the agony of losing her breast, she doesn’t want to lose her signature blonde locks as well.
Sarah went to to say that her priority now is to spend as much time as possible with her mother and friends before she dies, while the star is also hoping to throw a huge party to say ‘goodbye’ to her loved ones.
It comes after she revealed she almost died of sepsis and had to be put in a coma for two weeks following her breast cancer diagnosis.
As Sarah looked back at the start of her journey, she revealed she first thought she had a cyst but then the pain got so bad she couldn’t sleep properly and her skin started to bruise.
Honest: Sarah wrote that before being diagnosed she thought she had a cyst but then the pain got so bad she couldn’t sleep properly and her skin started to bruise (pictured in 2015)
She admitted she’d been ‘in denial’ and it was as if she’d been ‘using the pandemic as an excuse’ not to face the problem.
Sarah went on to detail her experience of being put into a coma for an extended period of time, and added that she struggled to form speech even when she was taken out of it.
Sarah explained: ‘With both my lungs and kidneys failing, doctors decided to put me into an induced coma. Even once I was off the ventilator I couldn’t speak properly. All I could do was make noises like a chimpanzee trying to communicate.’
Adding to Sarah’s own words, a source told The Sun how she delayed being seen by doctors because she was ‘scared’ of going to hospital amid the global pandemic.
Illness: It comes after Sarah revealed that she nearly died of sepsis and was in a coma for two weeks following her breast cancer diagnosis (pictured in 2017)
The source said: ‘Sarah held back from speaking to her doctors about how much pain she was in because of the pandemic and because she was scared. Sarah is now living with advanced cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy.
‘Along with telling her life story, Sarah wanted to use her book Hear Me Out to urge her fans not to wait to speak to their GP under any circumstances. She doesn’t want anyone to make that mistake.’
Sarah’s representatives declined to comment when approached by MailOnline.
It comes after Sarah broke her social media silence last month to thank fans for their ongoing support amid her breast cancer battle.
The singer, who hadn’t posted on her Instagram or Twitter accounts since the start of December, took to the image-sharing app to discuss her hospital treatments, as well as to reveal that she had completed work on her autobiography.
Sharing an update: Last month, the singer told her Instagram followers that she had a ‘lovely but quiet’ Christmas with her mother and their dogs, rounding out a ‘strange’ year
She wrote: ‘I know I’m not really that present on here which I promise I’ll try to get a bit better at, as honestly it means the world to me when I come on and see all your well wishes. Thank you for the love and support, on bad days it helps me so much.
‘So here’s a little update from me… Mum, the dogs and I had a really lovely but quiet Christmas together, which was different to my usual, but seemed a fitting way to end such a strange year.
‘And since then, in between treatments and hospital visits I’ve managed to finish my book! I can’t believe I’ve actually gone and done it and it’s now at the printers!
‘I’m so excited for it to come out: ‘I can’t rewrite history; all I can do is be honest and wear my heart on my sleeve. It’s really the only way I know. I want to show people the real me. Or perhaps remind them.
‘Because, somewhere – amongst the nightclubs, the frocks and hairdos, the big chart hits, and the glamour of being a popstar – the other Sarah Harding got utterly lost. She’s the one who’s been forgotten. And all I want is for you to hear her out.
Book: She also shared further details about her book, which is set to be released on March 18
‘I called the book Hear Me Out because it’s the title of the song I wrote on the second Girls Aloud album and I’ve always really loved it.
‘The lyrics have always meant a lot to me. It’s been lovely revisiting our songs, looking back over photos and writing down memories from my last 39 years. I really hope you might enjoy reading about them too.
She concluded the lengthy post: ‘There’s a link in my biog if you’d like to order a copy. There are some signed ones available too. It’s coming out on March 18 and I can’t wait… argh!!! Sending you all lots of love, S x.’
The singer previously admitted she was finding things difficult, but assured her followers she was ‘fighting hard’ and ‘being brave’, while posting a throwback photograph of herself as a child.
She wrote: ‘I can’t deny that things are tough right now but I’m fighting as hard as I possibly can and being as brave as I know how.’
The post marked the first time Sarah had spoken about her diagnosis since she made the announcement about having advanced-stage cancer in August.
Taking to Instagram, she wrote: ‘Hi everyone. Thank you so much for all the messages of love and support that I’ve received since my last post.
Update: Back in December, Sarah spoke about her ‘tough’ breast cancer battle and revealed she was writing the book about her life (pictured as a young girl)
‘Hope you’re all keeping well’: Sarah thanked fans for their support when she shared an update on her condition and announced she was in the process of writing a book
‘Everyone has been so kind and reading your comments and DMs has been such a huge source of strength to me.
‘I can’t deny that things are tough right now but I’m fighting as hard as I possibly can and being as brave as I know how.’
Sarah went on to reveal she had been asked to write a book about her life, which gave her something ‘positive’ to focus on throughout her hospital treatment.
Sarah’s devastated Girls Aloud bandmates rallied round her after the singer revealed she had been diagnosed with ‘advanced’ breast cancer earlier this year.
She shared her shocking diagnosis with fans on Instagram, leading to an outpouring of support from an array of stars, including her former bandmates.
Sarah disappeared from the public eye two years ago after achieving notoriety through her wild antics, explosive love affairs and a rehab stint in 2011.
After Sarah announced her diagnosis, pop stars Cheryl, Nicola, Kimberley and Nadine – who enjoyed more than decade of chart-topping success with Sarah in the band – reached out to their former bandmate.
Moving: Sarah’s bandmates Cheryl, Nicola, Kimberley Walsh and Nadine all shared their support for the star on Twitter following her shocking news
Meanwhile, Sarah’s bandmate Nadine Coyle recently revealed that plans for a Girls Aloud reunion have been put on hold while they support Sarah through her breast cancer battle.
The singer, 35, insisted Sarah remains ‘their priority’ following her devastating diagnosis last year, despite questions from fans around whether the band will be reuniting for their 20th Anniversary.
Nadine also said that she and her bandmates have put their differences aside to show their support for Sarah after she revealed she was battling breast cancer.
Speaking on an Instagram Live, Nadine said she and band haven’t discussed how they’re going to celebrate their 20th Anniversary next year, despite questions from her followers.
She said: ‘I would love to be like ”yes, this is what we are doing” – at the minute it is very much thinking about Sarah, very much being there for Sarah.
‘It is a really unfortunate time for her and the whole thing is like ‘come on, come on’ because that could be the priory talking about ‘shall we go do a tour’ or ‘should we do something’?”
‘Instead we are worried about Sarah, so we are focusing everything. That is the main priority.’
If you have been affected by this story, call Macmillan Cancer Support on 0808 808 00 00.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer develops from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.
When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue it is called an ‘invasive’ breast cancer. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.
Most cases develop in women over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men though this is rare.
Staging means how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.
The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast growing. High grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.
What causes breast cancer?
A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.
Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance of developing breast cancer, such as genetics.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most breast lumps are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign.
The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
- Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under the microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.
If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest x-ray.
How is breast cancer treated?
Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.
- Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
- Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focussed on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops cancer cells from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
- Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying
- Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.
How successful is treatment?
The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.
The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 mean more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
For more information visit breastcancercare.org.uk, breastcancernow.org or www.cancerhelp.org.uk
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