showbiz exclusive Linda Nolan: I went public with my latest cancer battle to help other women
LINDA Nolan of legendary group The Nolans reveals that she went public on her latest cancer battle to help other women facing a similar trauma.
In August, Linda (61) and her sister Anne (70) announced that they are both fighting cancer that killed their sister Bernie seven years ago at the age of 52.
Linda was treated for breast cancer and had a mastectomy in 2006 and secondary cancer in her pelvis in 2017, which is treatable but not curable. In August this year, she revealed the cancer has since spread to her liver.
Anne has stage three breast cancer, the most serious being stage four. Linda last night told the Sunday World: “We decided to go public because we were being recognised at the hospital, and eventually we had to have our heads shaved, so we thought we would control how it came out.
“Our family had been so open generally with our lives and we always felt that we owe a lot to the public. Sometimes we talk about our illnesses because it might help others in a similar situation.
“I hate to think of a woman at home who is going through this on her own because she had no family, and then she’s embarrassed because her hair is falling out. She’s more worried about that than the chemo.
"I just want to go, ‘That’s alright because that was me. ’I was more traumatised by the fact that I had to lose my hair than having breast cancer (in 2006).
“You think it’s just ridiculous, ’that’s so vain’. But it’s not, apparently. When men are told they’ve got cancer, the first thing a man says is, ‘Will I die?’ And the first thing a woman says is, ‘Am I going to lose my hair?’, because it’s such a massive part of your identity being taken.
“In the group I was known as the Nolan sister with the blonde hair and the big boobs, and all of a sudden it was being taken away from me.
”Recalling her 2017 diagnosis of cancer in her pelvis, Linda says that it was discovered after she fell on the stairs at home.
“I tripped on the stairs and the crack I heard was my hip and my pelvis,the cancer had been eating through there,” she reveals.
“The crack I heard was the top of the bone that just came off.”
The siblings had just returned from filming their hit show, The Nolans Go Cruising, when Linda and Anne were diagnosed with their latest cancers.
However, the showbiz troupers haven’t allowed illness to hold them back, and Linda says they’re working on a new secret TV production.
And they use their humour to cope with the challenges in their lives.
“Anne said when we both lost our hair that we looked like a tribute act to Right Said Fred,” Linda laughs.
• Read the full interview with Linda Nolan in this week’s Sunday World. On October 23, they’ll release The Nolans: Gold, 3-CD compilation package, celebrating their 40 years of hits.