Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Sonique describes breast cancer battle

By Jane Elliott
Health reporter, BBC News

Sonique
Sonique was told her cancer had spread

Less than a year ago, DJ and singer Sonique was diagnosed with breast cancer.

For months she had ignored the little lump on her left breast, dismissing it as a cyst.

Speaking for the first time about her cancer battle, Sonique, best known for the number one hit ''It Feels So Good', describes how the disease has changed her attitude to life.

"It has calmed me down," she said. "I am much more considerate and have much more respect for life.

"I won't say my wild days are over - that would take away the whole of me. I am still crazy Son, but I don't drink as much or go out clubbing as much. But I am still having fun."

But the 41-year-old singer said her treatment had been hard - and that one of the hardest parts was accepting her initial diagnosis.

"When the doctor said I needed a biopsy that was when I began to think it was worse than I had thought.

"He did not say it looked like a cyst, he just said 'biopsy'."

Preventative surgery

The biopsy revealed that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes under her arms and they were removed along with the cancer.

A week later she had surgery to remove further tissue before embarking on five months of chemotherapy.

There is a point when you realise you could die and at the hospital where you are, there are people who are not leaving
Sonique

"There is a point when you realise you could die and at the hospital where you are, there are people who are not leaving," she said.

"But you can either cry and say: 'This is the end ', or fight it.

"It was hard when my hair started to fall out. I just cried for half a day. Then I just said to myself 'now I am going to think and be calm', which I never am."

In November doctors said Sonique, whose real name is Sonia Clarke, needed another operation in which even more tissue would be removed as a preventative measure. She started six weeks of radiotherapy.

"I am still doing radiotherapy. I am knackered," she said. "I had no idea what people go through.

"There is no-one in my family has breast cancer so it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but at the same time it has been a positive thing.

"I would never have done a song for cancer before, but I realised how much I had been helped."

Soap stars joined Sonique in recording the charity single. (Video courtesy of Cancer Research UK)

Sonique has joined another 20 celebrities, including Coronation Street's Kym Marsh, singer Liz McClarnon and actress Caroline Quentin to re-make the Cyndi Lauper classic 'Girls just wanna have fun'.

The single, due to be released on 26 April, will raise cash for cancer research.

Natasha Dickinson, head of Race for Life, said the single, which will also include hundreds or ordinary women affected, hopes to raise much needed funds.

"Cancer Research UK has never released a single before and we're really excited that so many female celebrities have picked up the microphone to support us," she said.

"We're delighted that Sonique is featuring on the single and helping us with our launch, despite currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

"Her current battle shows how important it is that we keep raising money to fund Cancer Research UK's life saving work and we hope that her story and involvement in the campaign will encourage women everywhere to sign up for their local Race for Life event and help us raise an incredible £60 million."

The single will be sold exclusively in over 800 Tesco stores and available for online download.



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SEE ALSO
DJ Sonique to start chemotherapy
22 Jun 09 |  Entertainment
DJ Sonique told cancer has spread
19 Jun 09 |  Entertainment

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