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Last Updated: Friday, 4 August 2006, 23:47 GMT 00:47 UK
Celebrity Health - Diana Moran
Diana Moran
Diana Moran was diagnosed with breast cancer
In a series on celebrities and their health, the BBC News website talks to fitness guru Diana Moran about her struggle with breast cancer.

Television and radio personality Diana, aged 66, is best known for her role as The Green Goddess - named for her trademark green leotards.

As part of the original presentation team of BBC Breakfast Time, from 1983 to 1987 Diana was a symbol for the nation of health and fitness and spearheaded the campaign to 'Get Britain Fit.'

A qualified exercise teacher, Diana - who is supported by Breast Cancer Care - branched out into books focusing on health and fitness, as well as her battle with cancer.

HOW DID YOU FIRST REALISE SOMETHING WAS WRONG?

It came as a total surprise to me that I had breast cancer. I was feeling as right as rain and as fit as a fiddle.

I had no suspicions that there was anything wrong; there was no indication of anything at all.

I was wrong to have kept my diagnosis to myself
Diana Moran

At the time I was diagnosed, at the age of 47, I had a campaign to 'Get Britain Fit', I was at the peak of my fitness.

HOW DID YOU GET DIAGNOSED?

I was at a menopausal clinic to see if I would be suitable to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

As part of a series of checks they carried out a mammogram.

After they had taken it they called me back and said they thought I should go to the Royal Marsden Hospital.

When I got there I saw my mammogram up there, and I said to the consultant 'You are going to tell me that I have breast cancer aren't you?'

He said 'yes you have.'

They told me I was in the early stages of breast cancer and that the cancer was in situ, which means that it was contained in both the breasts.

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE DIAGNOSIS?

It was one of total disbelief and then as the consultant talked to me a bit more it became intense fear and then intense anger and I thought 'what have I done wrong.'

I knew nothing about breast cancer, and back then in 1988 nobody talked about it.

I looked for books about it and information, but it was absolutely desperate. There was nothing available. It is not like it is today.

WHAT WAS YOUR TREATMENT?

I had to have both breasts removed - and that is the cruellest cut for a women.

Although breast cancer patients from the outside look and appear fine, we are all of us somewhat scarred inside. It is an onslaught to our femininity.

They talked to me about reconstruction and I had not got a clue what they were talking about.

All I knew was that they had cut the cancer away and, because they had, there was no need for any further treatment.

HOW DID YOU FEEL DURING TREATMENT?

I hated hospital. I had booked myself into the Cromwell Hospital because I had kept my cancer absolutely secret.

Only my two sons, my former husband and my former partner knew.

I was high profile at the time and I did not want the press finding out. It is not what you want when you are ill. So I booked into the clinic under my maiden name.

Diana Moran
Diana in her trademark green leotard

When I came home, I found that the press had been sniffing around because I had not been on TV. In the end I was off for about four months.

Then I came back in my green leotard and did a three or four minute segment. Nobody knew how I had to steel myself to do that. I had not got all my mobility back, I could never have done a 45 minute session, and could not for about a year.

I kept a diary of what was happening to me because I could not talk to anybody about it.

Eventually I published my diary. When people found out that I had cancer and had not told them, they were very angry.

HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW?

I feel physically very well and fit. If you are going to be hit by a thunderbolt like this, it helps if you are as fit as possible.

I had just thought I would go on for ever and I had not thought I might be popping my clogs at 47.

But then, 14 years ago, I had to face all my demons and I had to go for counselling.

I just had to find somebody that I could talk to about all my anger.

I went to the Cancer Counselling Trust because they can offer help even a long time later and they can help you, your family and friends.

WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO OTHER PEOPLE WITH THE SAME CONDITION?

My message is to share what you are going through with others.

You must not be left feeling that you are alone, because you are not alone. This affects one woman in nine.

I was wrong to have kept my diagnosis to myself.

One of the things that is important to me is that I am still around and I feel that I have been given a second chance.

It gives me some urgency. I have seen my sons get wives and I have been presented with grandchildren and seeing this continuance of your life makes it all worthwhile.


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