Former Nolans singer Linda admits ‘I don’t know how long I’ve got’ as she shares an update on her incurable diagnosis
Brave sisters Linda and Anne Nolan have shared an update on their cancer journey with Good Morning Britain presenters Kate Garraway and Richard Bacon and said it has brought them closer.
The siblings, who grew up in Blackpool, underwent chemotherapy at the town’s Victoria Hospital after being diagnosed within days of each other. Linda, 63, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and in 2017 was told she had a form of incurable secondary breast cancer on her pelvis.
Mum-of-two Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time after beating the disease 20 years ago. The 71-year-old is now cancer free.
The pair, who were part of the famous Irish girl singing group The Nolans, appeared on today’s GMB. Linda opened up about her ongoing cancer treatment and said weekly chemo sessions leaves her with neuropathic pain in her feet and fingers.
Mum-of-two Kate asked Linda and Anne: “Has it made you stronger together do you think?”
Anne replied: “It’s made us stronger while we were having our chemotherapy. We’ve always been close, our whole family, but I think because we went through the chemo together and during the pandemic as well when nobody could have anybody with them it brought us much closer.”
Kate then asked “Where are you now on the journey?” before Linda replied : “Well my cancer isn’t curable, it’s treatable. So I’m having palliative treatment. It’s chemo once a week.”
Anne then said: “She actually had it yesterday.” Richard then asked how Linda was feeling today and she replied: “Fine, yeah. Because it’s once a week it’s not as harsh as Anne had it every three weeks and they batter you with it. It’s really aggressive.
“For me, because it’s palliative, it’s not as full on so I feel okay. My legs are still a bit wobbly and I have neuropathic pain in my feet and my fingers. It’s like really bad pins and needles all the time.”
Richard continued: “Knowing that it isn’t curable, tell us how it’s made you look at life differently.” Linda answered first saying: “I think it’s made me, and it sounds silly, in a way it’s given me a little sense of freedom really. Now I go ‘you know what, I’m not gonna do that because I’m gonna do this’.
“Like you’ve got to go to Ireland or whatever to do a TV show but I’ve got my nieces seventh birthday party. Now I’ll go ‘I can’t do that, I’m going to a birthday party’.
“It puts a new perspective on life for me because I don’t know how long I’ve got but whatever time I’ve got left I just want to make memories and have a great time.”
Anne then gave an update on her cancer condition. She said: “My cancer had gone really after I had my last mammogram. I don’t have any more treatment but you never know what the future holds.”
Kate said it was “wonderful” news but that it “must be such a dilemma” and “such a complicated thing”. Anne agreed, saying: “It is really strange; I don’t feel guilty because it’s not my fault that Linda’s cancer hasn’t gone and mine has.
“But I feel empathy towards her as well because I know what she’s going through. I’ve been there and had the chemo and lost my hair and all of that. I can relate to how she’s feeling and I’m just so thrilled that I’m not in that position really.
“People say you’re really brave but when you have cancer you’re not brave, you don’t have a choice. You do what the doctors tell you or you don’t.”
Kate disagreed, saying: “Well I would argue that you’re showing incredible bravery in the way you handle it and that spirit is wonderful and inspirational.”