Marie Louise McConville: Sarah Harding's heartbreaking journey reminds us how precious life really is

Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud has spoken about her breast cancer journey
Marie Louise McConville

It can be so easy to take things for granted in life - even during a pandemic.

For the past year, we have been living a strange kind of `new normal' while always looking to the future, longing for better days.

In a way, it means that many of us are missing out on the here and now - especially the bonus time we have been given with our families.

I've been thinking a lot about living in the present this week after reading about the sad circumstances of former Girls Aloud singer, Sarah Harding.

Diagnosed with breast cancer last August, the 39-year-old withdrew from the limelight for treatment.

In recent days, however, she has revealed that last Christmas was probably her last as the cancer has now spread to her spine.

It was absolutely devastating reading the news.

I had hoped the fact that we had not seen or heard from her in a while meant she was having treatment and could maybe be on the road to recovery.

It was just heartbreaking to learn it is not the case.

I think it is the fact that she is only a few years younger than me and has not even lived half a life.

It got me thinking about all the things she may never get to experience like getting married, having children or travelling the world.

It was revealed this week that while she had initially wanted to keep her diagnosis private, she then decided to

go public as a warning to others who may be delaying a visit to their GP due to Covid-19.

Sarah said she had initially thought she had "just a cyst", however one day "woke up realising I'd been in denial.

"Yes there was a pandemic but it was almost as if I'd been using that as an excuse not to face up to the fact that something was very wrong."

The singer said she is now "just grateful to wake up every day" and "try and live my best life because now I know just how precious it is . . . nothing is certain any more.

"Comfort and being as pain-free as possible is what's important to me now. I'm trying to live and enjoy every second of my life, however long it might be."

Reading about her experience really made me think about how life really is so precious and here we are in a pandemic wishing time away, certain we will eventually get back to normal, go on holiday or have dinner with our pals.

But the truth is, none of this is certain and what a waste it is to be wishing away the here and now.

We should all be taking a leaf out of Sarah Harding's book and living each and every day to its fullest.

We should grasp every opportunity to live and breathe and laugh and smile because who knows if we will ever get the chance again.


This week has brought great news about our favourite aristocratic family - the second Downton Abbey movie is due to start filming this summer.

And, if all goes according to plan with the Covid-19 road map, it will be due for release in December as a `festive treat' for us fans.

The news comes a month after Hugh Bonneville, who plays Earl of Grantham in the drama series, revealed he had seen the script.

Now, if that's not enough to lift your spirits this weekend, I don't know what is.


Big Bang Theory actress, Kaley Cuoco is heading for a classy new acting job.

Following the success of her critically acclaimed show The Flight Attendant, she is now to play legendary actress, Doris Day.

The 35-year-old television star is to take on the role of the screen icon in a new limited series.

The untitled show is based on A E Hotchner's 1976 biography, Doris Day: Her Own Story, which was written based on a series of interviews with the actress.

This is great news as I absolutely adore Doris Day, a beautiful and classic actress, who rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s

After 39 films in 20 years, she stepped back in the seventies to focus on animal rights work.

She passed away at her California home at the age of 97 in 2019 as a result of pneumonia.

The star's classic films include Pillow Talk, Love Me or Leave Me, Romance on the High Seas and Calamity Jane.

It is likely that Cuoco's role as the actress will also cover some of Day's darker times including her struggle with her mental health.

This sounds like a great project.

That reminds me, have I ever told you about the time I was in a school production of Calamity Jane?

On second thoughts, maybe not.

**Competitions will return in the coming weeks

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