LINDA Nolan revealed she was suicidal when her late husband Brian Hudson died of cancer in 2007.
The tragic loss took a huge toll on Linda's mental health and came just a year after she was first diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Nolans singer, 62, is currently battling the illness after discovering her cancer had returned last year. It has since spread to her hip and liver, and Linda longs for the support that Brian would have given her.
Speaking to the The Mirror magazine, she said: "I was suicidal. I was assisted by a mental health crisis team. A psychiatrist came to see me, with these two big burly men who were nurses.
“Later, I realised if it hadn’t gone well, they’d have carted me off. My local mental health team were amazing.
“They told me I had nothing to lose and to give them a chance because they felt they could help me.”
Linda and Brian were married for 26 years – tying the knot two years after meeting in 1979 when Brian was The Nolans' tour manager.
Last week Linda and sister Anne's book Stronger Together was released and in it Linda tells of the devastating moment she learnt her incurable cancer had spread – saying her heart "literally missed a beat".
Linda, 62, and her sister Anne, 70, were both diagnosed with cancer again in April last year.
Linda wrote: "Things really went crazy. Just as I was coming to terms with Anne’s devastating news, 30 minutes later my doctor’s secretary from Blackpool Victoria Hospital called.
"With my cancer metastasising (spreading) in my hip three years prior, I was given quarterly scans from my thorax down to my pelvis.
"I was told: 'Mr Danwata saw something on your CT scan on your liver.'
"If my heart was already jittery, it literally missed a beat during that call. I couldn’t tell my family when we were dealing with Anne’s diagnosis."
The sisters found out about their cancer returning following the filming of The Nolans Go Cruising last spring.
Anne has since been given the all clear.
Linda was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and has been treated by the same hard-working consultants who battled to treat her 15 years ago.
She added: "I first met Mr Danwata when he was the registrar in 2006 under Dr Susnerwala, who treated my cancer the first time.
"We patients all love him because he explains everything really clearly.
"I cut to the chase. 'The secretary says you’ve seen something on the CT scan?'
"'Well, the MRI proved it is cancer,' he said. 'It’s secondary. It’s spread from your breast to your hip, but now there is cancer in your liver as well.'"
Linda said the doctor told her exactly what she didn't want to hear – that she would have to have chemo for the rest of her life.
She continued: "I wailed, not looking up.
"I could feel the anger rising in me."
Linda was told she would need palliative chemo that would give her more time, but fear struck as she imagined dying before seeing her children, nieces and nephews and grandchildren grow up.
She said it was then her turn to shock her doctor, who didn't know her sister Anne was also going through chemo.
The star continued: "Mr Danwata did his Mr Positive spiel and when he finished talking, I told him: 'My sister Anne is going through it at the same time – she’s in now having her first chemo session.'
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
"His eyes widened and he said: “Oh boy, that’s difficult.' 'Well,' I said, doing my classic trying to make light of the situation, 'Maybe we could have our chemo together'.
"To my astonishment, he said: 'I will talk to your sister’s consultant.'
- Linda & Anne Nolan: Stronger Together is out now and available to order on Amazon with free delivery.
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