Oxo mum Lynda: I'm stopping chemo
Actress Lynda Bellingham has chosen to end chemotherapy treatment within weeks, allowing her to die after spending one more Christmas with her family.
The 66-year-old star, best known for her long-running role as a mum in the Oxo TV adverts, has been battling colon cancer, which later spread to the lungs and liver, since being diagnosed in July last year.
In an autobiography due to be published next month and serialised in the Mail on Sunday, she has revealed how she told doctors and her husband Michael Pattermore she will stop taking chemotherapy in November.
In excerpts printed in the paper, she said: "August 13, 2014. Yesterday was the glorious 12th - a day for us to remember because it is also the day I decided when I will die. I am very dramatic aren't I?
"I know it is not ultimately my decision, but it is my last vestige of control to sit in front of the oncologist and say when I would like to stop having chemo and let the natural way do its thing.
"I sat down with Michael and Professor Stebbing and announced: 'The time has come to cease and desist. I would love to make one more Christmas, if possible, but I want to stop taking chemo around November in order to pass away by the end of January'."
Yesterday she tweeted: "Hi guys back from my holiday. Big weekend serialisation of book in Mail on Sunday. All revealed! I would appreciate your support x."
Earlier this year, the regular Loose Women panellist picked up an OBE from Buckingham Palace, recognition for a career has spanned 40 years.
Highlights included TV series All Creatures Great And Small, competing in Strictly Come Dancing and starring in the touring stage production of Calendar Girls.
Her starring role as the mother in a squabbling family in the long-running Oxo TV adverts was first screened in the 1980s.
Bellingham, whose sister Barbara died from lung cancer, has been a high-profile supporter of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The actress, who was adopted, previously published a best-selling memoir, Lost And Found, which dealt with her search for her birth mother.
Her new autobiography, Memoir, will be published by Coronet on October 9.