herald

Monday 11 December 2017

I quit chemo for family's sake says 'relieved' TV star Lynda

Lynda Bellingham has said she is relieved to have finished chemotherapy.

The 66-year-old star, best known for her long-running role as a mother in the Oxo TV adverts, has been battling colon cancer, which later spread to her lungs and liver, since being diagnosed in July last year.

The actress said she decided to end her treatment on August 13 to limit the amount of suffering her family would witness.

control "The decision to give up chemo was a huge relief because I took back some control of myself. It's there on the table if I want it," she told BBC Breakfast.

"I don't want the boys or my husband to see me die a little sad old lady. I want to go out there as I am."

Bellingham discussed ending chemotherapy with her doctor, who advised her that she can resume taking the drugs at any time.

"I said to the oncologist 'Is it defeatist of me?' and he said 'No, no, no, make a decision but don't stick to it'," she said.

"That is what I did so I've got it there on the side and if it's like it is now then I won't do it."

Her decision to end her treatment was revealed in a newspaper serialisation of her forthcoming autobiography There's Something I've Been Dying To Tell You.

She has said she would like to see one last Christmas.

"I wrote the book for everybody out there. It's supposed to be uplifting," Bellingham said.

"It's not supposed to be an embarrassing account of me having terminal cancer.

"I wanted to write it for everybody who is given that curveball and say of course there are no answers but, if you can, take it and make it positive and talk about dying."

"If two people read this book and think 'Actually, that's how I feel and I'm not on my own', then I'll have done something half decent," she added.

hnews@herald.ie

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