Sarah Harding: doctor said Christmas would probably be my last

Former member of Girls Aloud, who has cancer, says she is focusing on comfort and being as pain-free as possible

Sarah Harding, a former member of girl group Girls Aloud, has said she was told by a doctor she would probably not be alive next Christmas.

The star revealed last August that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which had spread to other parts of her body.

In an extract of her memoir, Hear Me Out, which was published in the Times, Harding wrote: “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.”

Harding said she is “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,” she added.

“I’m sure some people might think that’s not a great idea, but I want to try to enjoy myself. I’m at a stage now where I don’t know how many months I have left.

“Who knows, maybe I’ll surprise everyone, but that’s how I’m looking at things.”

Harding also revealed she had sepsis while she was being treated for cancer in hospital. She said she was put into an induced coma and was put on a ventilator.

“Even once I was off the ventilator, I couldn’t speak properly,” she said. “All I could do was make noises that sounded like a chimpanzee trying to communicate.”

Harding said publicly revealing her diagnosis was “scary” but was also “the right thing to do”. She said the support she has received has been incredible, adding: “I’ve been inundated with lovely messages from my fans. I’m grateful beyond words for that.”

Harding, 38, shot to fame in 2002 as part of ITV talent show Popstars: the Rivals, where she formed Girls Aloud with four others: Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh. Their debut single, Sound of the Underground, was the Christmas No 1 that year, and the first of four chart-topping singles during their career.

The band split in 2013. Harding released a solo EP, took a short-term role in Coronation Street, and appeared in reality TV shows including the gymnastics talent show Tumble, and won the 20th series of Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.

Guardian staff and agency

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