After sharing the sad news last August that she is battling breast cancer, Sarah Harding has opened up on the symptoms she initially dismissed before receiving her diagnosis.
In her new book, Hear Me Out, released 18 March, the former Girls Aloud band member writes about her experience of breast cancer, including the pain she felt around her breast but initially wrote off as a cyst, saying she was ‘in denial’.
In an extract of the book published by The Times, Sarah writes: ‘At first I thought it was just a cyst. I’d been playing my guitar a lot, and I thought the strap had probably irritated an area around my breast.
‘The trouble was, the pain was getting worse. It got so bad that I couldn’t sleep in a bed any more. I slept on the sofa, popping painkillers like they were Smarties. I really overdid it, but the pain was overwhelming. Eventually, my skin started to bruise, and by now I was terrified.’
She continues: ‘I’d been staying at my mum’s through lockdown, but Covid wasn’t showing any signs of going away, and it was just getting worse. One day I woke up realising that I’d been in denial. Yes, there was a lockdown, yes, there was a pandemic, but it was almost as if I’d been using that as an excuse not to face up to the fact that something was very wrong.’
‘All through the tests, I was, of course, praying that it wasn’t cancer. I think the fact that what I had was so painful gave me some hope it might not be. I’d read that cancer lumps are often not painful, which is why I was hoping against hope that what I had was just a cyst of some kind,’ Sarah went on to explain.
Sarah Harding first announced her diagnosis back in August 2020, writing on social media: ‘There’s no easy way to say this and actually it doesn’t even feel real writing this, but here goes. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a couple of weeks ago I received the devastating news that the cancer has advanced to other parts of my body. I’m currently undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions and I am fighting as hard as I possibly can.’
Sarah’s story just goes to show how important it is to get any and all irregularities checked out by a doctor, no matter how small you think the matter may be.