Victoria Derbyshire says beating breast cancer has ‘changed her life’
Victoria Derbyshire says beating breast cancer “changed her life” after she thought she was “going to die” of the disease.
The journalist, 53, announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, undergoing a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery soon after.
After 301 days of treatment that included six sessions of chemotherapy and 30 sessions of radiotherapy, the mother-of-two was given the green light with an 11% chance of the cancer recurring.
In a new interview with Stella Magazine, Victoria, who lives in Surrey with her husband Mark and two sons, opened up about how her diagnosis inspired her to finally marry her partner.
Victoria Derbyshire, pictured in London last year, said beating breast cancer ‘changed her life’ after she thought she was ‘going to die’ of the disease
In January 2020, it was announced that the broadcaster’s eponymous show was being canceled by the BBC as the cost of doing it on a ‘linear channel’ was too high.
“It changed my life,” Victoria said.
“The joy and happiness I felt to be alive was incredible. I say yes to so many things now.
The presenter added that beating the disease encouraged her to strip naked in front of an audience two years after her mastectomy for ITV’s The Real Full Monty and to perform on I’m A Celebrity in 2020.
It was her illness that spurred her decision to marry Mark after 17 years together in 2018. He had proposed before she was pregnant with her first child – but the two never married.
“After my diagnosis, I said, ‘If we get through this, I’d like to get married, but I don’t want you to if it’s just because you feel sorry for me.’ she explained.
Victoria, who lives in Surrey with husband Mark and two sons, explained how her diagnosis inspired her to finally marry her partner (pictured)
“It was weird to finally start calling him my husband, but amazing to get married at 49. I feel more complete now.”
Victoria was 46 when she noticed an abnormality in one of her nipples as she was getting ready for bed one night, quickly making an emergency GP appointment.
She underwent grueling treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation, before doctors told her she was in remission five years ago.
In January 2020, it was announced that the broadcaster’s eponymous show was being canceled by the BBC because the cost of showing it on a ‘linear channel’ was too high.
Victoria says that while she was ‘gutted’ the show was axed, her battle with breast cancer gave her a ‘different perspective’ and allowed her to come to terms with the loss of her show.
The broadcaster opened up about losing his show last year in an interview with Woman & Home magazine, insisting: “It was disgusting when I was told I was losing my TV show but after going through cancer breast, I was able to put it in perspective,” she said.
Mother-of-two Victoria, pictured in 2018, announced she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, undergoing a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery shortly after
“I was lucky to still have a job during a pandemic and I went through something where I could have died.”
Immediately after being diagnosed, Victoria says she didn’t want to tell Mark or his sons, who were 11 and 8 at the time, saying she instantly went into “practice mode”.
“I thought early on I was going to die. Mark and I went to a little park and really cried and we hugged. Saying I might die is such a strange thing to say out loud. We don’t I had no idea then if it was treatable. Once the tears passed, we went into practical mode, recounting work, friends and family.
One of the hardest things in Victoria’s battle with cancer was losing her hair to chemotherapy, which she says was harder than losing her breast.
The broadcaster had a wig made because she “didn’t want people to feel sorry for her.”
Her treatment lasted 301 days and on the same day she left hospital, Victoria traveled to Glasgow to present a debate for BBC One.
This weekend, she celebrated by throwing a party with loved ones – complete with a “Victorious Victoria” greeting cake baked by her husband.