Anne Nolan has opened up her conflicting emotions as she finished chemotherapy, knowing sister Linda Nola’s cancer is incurable.
The two sisters have both been battling different forms of cancer, with Anne having already beaten breast cancer 20 years ago and was told that the grade three lump in her breast was a new cancer and therefore curable.
Linda, however, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, but has been told the secondary cancer found in her pelvis in 2017 has since spread to her liver and is not curable.
Anne told the Daily Mail: ‘Chemo was absolutely horrendous for me and I was so happy it finally was over, but at the same time I felt a terrible melancholy that Linda wasn’t ringing the bell with me.
‘I started my chemo a week before Linda, so she still has one more round to go, but she said to me: “Anne, I will ring the bell, but we all know my cancer is never going away.”’
While Anne is hoping for a full recovery after having more surgery and radiotherapy, Linda’s treatment is only to control the cancer rather than get rid of it entirely.
Anne admitted the difference in their prognosis brings up mixed emotions: ‘It’s desperately sad, but I can’t feel guilty because to feel guilt you have to have done something wrong, and although I’ve been told my prognosis is good, you can never tell with cancer.’
The pair have already lost one of their sisters, Bernie, to secondary breast cancer seven years ago.
Bernie had had a mastectomy three years earlier and had been so determined to beat the cancer she had fought it right to the end.
Anne added: ‘My prognosis may be good, but Bernie was told hers was, too. None of us thought she would die.’
Linda and Anne have been supporting each other as they both underwent chemotherapy at the same time, which Anne says helped her cope.
She has since had a mammogram and the oncologist struggled to find any trace of the tumour, but Anne says she would opt for a double mastectomy if she was told she needed it to improve her chance of survival.
Anne, 69, Linda, 61, and Bernie who died aged 52, found fame as part of the Nolan sisters alongside their other siblings Maureen, 66, and Coleen, 55.
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