Tv & Show

Debbie McGee: Paul Daniels' famous wife recalls being 'in shock' after cancer diagnosis

Debbie McGee, 60, welcomed two women representing Chemogiftbags charity on to her BBC Radio Berkshire show at the weekend. Following Paul Daniels’ magician’s assistant wife’s breast cancer scare last year, she spoke to the women about the process of being diagnosed, telling listeners: “I’ve recently been encouraging more women to talk about and be more aware about breast cancer.” The women explained how Chemogiftbags provides a gift package to people undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer in the Thames Valley area, the bags including “everything they’ll need for before, during and after chemo”. One guest mentioned how this also includes a notebook to help with “chemo brain”, observing how some people living with cancer struggle with their memory or are often overwhelmed by information during consultations.

“It doesn’t always sink in straight away,” she said.

“If you can make notes while you’re doing it, that will remind you and jog your memory. People don’t always go with somebody else.”

“I totally agree with you on that,” Debbie replied.

Recalling her own experience, the Strictly Come Dancing favourite revealed she had been on her own when she had her first consultation.

“In my situation, the day that I went for the mammogram and I saw a consultant immediately, you’re in such shock it’s really hard to remember things,” she said.

“Every other appointment after that I took a friend or my sister.

“Quite often we were discussing what the consultant had said afterwards and they would remember things that I didn’t,” she added.

Debbie McGee first spoke out about her cancer operation in January.

The former Strictly Come Dancing finalist told The Sun she had undergone surgery to remove two small tumours from her left breast after doctors found cancerous tissue during a routine screening.

She was diagnosed with early-stage cancer in October and given the all-clear following the operation.

Debbie said she would be having regular check-ups to ensure the cancer had not returned.

Earlier this year, she told the publication: “Although I’ve had mammograms every two years, I never thought for a minute I’d ever have it myself.

“It scared me to death,” she added.

“They were talking about full mastectomy, taking flesh from my thighs. That was really scary given my dancing – and I was all on my own.”

She went on to open up about coping with the experience without her late husband Paul Daniels – who died in 2016 – by her side, saying: “I thought, this is a moment when Paul isn’t here with me.  It was much tougher to take.”

Debbie was married to magician Paul for nearly 30 years before his death.

The entertainer died just weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour three years ago.


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