“My saviour”, is how singer Linda Nolan has described a nurse who helped her through her cancer treatment at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Linda has had a close association with the hospital and its staff since being diagnosed with cancer in 2006.
The former member of The Nolans, who lives in Blackpool, recently told her moving and often traumatic story on ITV’s Loose Women.
Linda said she could not have got through her treatment without Sarah Middleton’s help. The two have become friends over the years and Sarah, who is a Breast Cancer Nurse Specialist for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has been Linda’s rock during the most difficult times.
In the Loose Women special, Sarah is featured supporting Linda through her treatment. Sarah is also mentioned in The Nolan Sisters’ book – ‘Survivors: A powerful story of secrets, betrayal, love and hope’.
Linda’s recent diagnosis came after she fell and had a scan which revealed a cyst.
During an appointment with consultant, Dr Falalu Danwata in the Macmillan Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Sarah was filmed as she supported Linda who was waiting for scans which would reveal the extent of her cancer. It was edge-of-the-seat stuff as Linda waited to hear whether it would be good or bad news.
Thankfully the treatment had been successful and Linda’s cancer had not spread. Although it could not be cured, the cancer in one of the bones of her leg had been controlled.
Linda, 58, said: “Sarah is my saviour. We have become friends. Sarah has been brilliant.
“She was with me in 2006 and stayed with me throughout all of my treatment for breast cancer. She doesn’t give me any bull. She always tells me how it is.
“This time around I asked her to meet me for a coffee and she stayed with me again.
“I’m delighted with my result this time. I’m glad I don’t need to have chemo. I can relax now. I’m so thankful to Sarah and the staff at the hospital. They are wonderful.”
Sarah said she was also delighted with Linda’s result and was very happy for her.
Dr Danwata said: “When Linda came back to see us she had very extensive disease and we were worried about the risk of metastasis (the increased risk of the development of secondary cancers at a distance from the original cancer site).
“Linda has done very well. The cancer is localised to the bone and has been treated with local radiotherapy. She is also receiving hormonal treatment to strengthen her bones.
“We will keep on checking to make sure she doesn’t develop any further issues.”
Linda, who said Sarah had been a support when her husband died of cancer and when her sister Bernie died of the disease, added: “My message to cancer is: ‘You’re dealing with a tough cookie. I’m going to fight you all the way!”