Michelle Heaton has opened up about her fears that her children may inherit the same cancer gene she has, admitting the thought of it ‘kills her’.
The mum-of-two revealed that she is still ‘struggling’ following her elective double mastectomy in 2012 after discovering that she carries the mutated BRCA2 gene and had a high risk of developing cancer.
Speaking during an emotional interview on ITV’s Lorraine, Michelle said: ‘Moments like this where I get to dress up…I get a little bit of me back on the outside. But what’s going on underneath is far from it and I’m struggling.
‘It’s not easy. And obviously knowing that my children could potentially have to go through what I went through just kills me. I’ve had some really dark times – I’m still not over it.’
She has now written a book about her experiences, Hot Flush: Motherhood, The Menopause and Me, which she says made her feel ‘ashamed’ as she recalled her behaviour following her operation.
‘My rage makes my kids cry… I’m really ashamed of what I’ve had to write. There are moments in there when I’m ashamed,’ she said.
‘There are moments in there where I have been such a horrible person to my husband, to my kids, to my mum. I don’t like me. I’ve never gone through counselling but I wish I did – this has been my form of counselling.’
Michelle has previously spoken about her struggle with depression caused by the early menopause.
‘I’m lucky that I haven’t suffered the physical symptoms so many women going through the menopause get – such as hot flushes and night sweats.
‘[But] for me, it’s had a big emotional impact. You don’t fully realise how depressed you are at the time until you’ve been able to pick yourself up eventually and you look back at it.’