Victoria Derbyshire recalls moment she told husband Mark he'd have to raise their kids alone amid cancer battle

She recalled her cancer battle in a moving tribute to the NHS

Victoria Derbyshire

Victoria Derbyshire has spoken of the moment she told husband Mark Sandell that he might have to raise their boys alone.

Victoria Derbyshire has spoken of the devastating moment in which she thought she might not be around to raise her children.

Mum to Oliver and Joe, Victoria was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, at the age of 46.

She appeared on BBC One special Dear NHS Superstars to share her story of diagnosis and chemotherapy.

"When I was 46 I was diagnosed with breast cancer," she started. "The overriding concern was 'Oh my god, am I going to die?'"

Following her diagnosis, Victoria underwent a right-sided mastectomy. She said she wasn't "despairing" about the results because she "just wanted the cancer out". She then had another check to see if there was any cancer in her left breast. It was during this that she told her radiologist that she had suffered some spells of dizziness.

"The atmosphere in the room changed," Victoria recalled of the terrifying moment. "He looked at me and said, 'I think we may need to do a CT scan on your body and brain'. I thought, 'Okay, it’s spread. It’s spread to my brain. That’s it. There is no hope. That’s it'.

"[I] got home, and I said to Mark, 'You might have to bring up the boys on your own'."

A photo posted by on

However it was less than an hour later when her doctor informed her that the cancer had not spread.

"It was like a moment of victory or triumph," she recalled.

"I still had cancer," she added. "It was a moment of joy, in the middle of a really dark time."

Victoria has previously opened up about her struggle with hair loss resulting from her treatment.

"I have to say losing my hair was the worst bit about cancer treatment for me – more so than having a mastectomy," she said in a Facebook video. "Don’t judge me for that, it’s just the way I felt.

"I’m grateful for this wig because it helped me get on with things, go to work, live my life normally without worrying. But it is time for it to go."

It was announced in January that the BBC would be axing the popular presenter's current affairs programme, the eponymous Victoria Derbyshire, leaving her "devastated". Actress Julie Walters had appeared on the programme back in February to discuss her own secret battle with stage three bowel cancer.

Kate McCusker

Kate is a freelance contributor to woman&home, covering everything she loves most: fashion, fiction, and fancy face cream. If she’s not working, she’s probably reading, feeding her online shopping addiction, or judging the taste level of celebrity houses (10/10 for Dakota Johnson, 2/10 for Tan France).

She graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2020 with a BA in fashion journalism, and her byline has also appeared in British VogueThe Times, and Marie Claire.