Nearly two years after undergoing a mastectomy, Carol McGiffin is clearly in a good place. The 55-year-old looked happy and healthy posing in a bikini after receiving treatment for cancer in 2014.
The former Loose Women presenter was comfortable as she smiled for photos while on holiday with fiancé Mark Cassidy in Phuket, Thailand. She wore a little black bikini with sunglasses and a glass of champagne in hand. "Look at me getting on the Champers @DreamHKT Beach Club! See, us mastectomy girls can still do bikinis! @cassola21," she tweeted.
Carol is enjoying a romantic break with Mark in Phuket
The TV personality rocked a pixie cut while enjoying her romantic break with her fiancé Mark, 33. The pair looked like the perfect couple as they posed for a poolside selfie. "Having a rather nice time @DreamHKT Beach Club with @mcgiff #Phuket," Carol wrote on Twitter.
Carol underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and had a mastectomy after being diagnosed with cancer in 2014 – but despite this, says she doesn't consider her illness as a battle. "I never thought about it in those terms," she told Closer magazine in September 2015. "It can become a fight if you think you might lose it but, for me, it was always just about getting better."
In June 2014, Carol had her left breast removed. "I tried not to think about it," she recalled. "If you think about something too much, it becomes terrifying.
Carol is now cancer-free
"...The chemo was an insurance policy. The first round was a piece of cake, but the effects are cumulative so, by the time you get to the sixth one, you feel absolutely shocking. It knocked me for six, but I tried to carry on as normal. When I absolutely couldn't, I gave into it and in a weird way, I enjoyed giving in to it."
By Carol's side throughout was longterm partner Mark, who she asked to shave her head when she started to lose her hair, two weeks after her first round of chemo. "Mark offered to shave his head too, but I said, 'Don't be daft – it won't make me feel any better seeing you with no hair!'" she revealed. "For me it seemed the natural thing to do because when big chunks of your hair come out, it looks scary."
Carol and Mark will "definitely" tie the knot this year
The TV star finished her treatment in December 2013, and is now cancer-free. But she admits she still has moments when she worries about the disease returning. "It does play on your mind," she admitted. "I've got a cough now, and I'm thinking, 'Is it cancer?'
Carol is now focused on the future, and confirmed that she and Mark will "definitely" tie the knot this year. For the moment though, they are enjoying being a normal couple again.
"It's great to go out and enjoy a meal and a bottle of wine with friends without falling asleep at 9pm," she said. "I don't go out as much as I used to, but I still love a party – I'm not going to start knitting yet!"