It's been an incredibly difficult year for Jessica Knowles. In eight months, the 28-year-old saw her marriage fall apart, suffered a miscarriage and was diagnosed with cervical cancer – on Wednesday, she bravely appeared in This Morning to talk about her battle.
Asked by hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes what the hardest part had been, Jessica said it was the "accumulation of everything". "I've had a lot of loss of independence," she said. "I've just had two surgeries and I haven't been able to lift my son Eddie for six weeks, he's only two."
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Jessica Knowles opened up about her cancer battle on This Morning
Jessica's three year marriage to TV star Nick Knowles came to an end in January, and "very soon" afterwards she suffered a miscarriage, not knowing she was pregnant. She and Eddie then moved back to the UK from Spain so the little boy could be nearer to his daddy, and just a short time later Jessica started to notice that something was wrong.
Admitting that she initially put off going to the doctor, Jessica decided to go along for an anemia test, convinced that was why she was feeling so run down. During her appointment, she was advised to have a smear test, which came back with abnormal results.
Initially, Jessica wasn't worried. "I'm 28, I don't smoke, I don't drink, I'm really healthy," she explained, adding that abnormal results are "really quite common".
Jessica, 28, with her two-year-old son Eddie
But, after going for a colposcopy examination, she was told by her doctor that she had "severe pre-cancerous cells".
Jessica was asked what her first thought was when she was told the news. With tears in her eyes, she said: "Probably Jade Goody. I think if you hear cervical cancer, you think of Jade. And that's terrifying. I'm 28, I have a young child like Jade."
Jessica first revealed her cancer diagnosis at the start of July in her HELLO! Online blog. A few weeks later, she shared the happy news that she had beaten the disease, posting a heartwarming video of the moment she told son Eddie that "Mummy is better".
Jessica and Nick ended their three year marriage in January
During the interview, Jessica was asked about her relationship with Nick, and how they had worked through those difficult few months as a newly separated couple. "We were so fortunate that Nick's work were really understanding," she said. "So Nick was able to be at home with Eddie and give him a normal, happy home life whilst all this was going on."
And while Nick was looking after their young son, Jessica was being cared for by her "absolutely amazing" mum. "I think one of the hardest things about having cancer, for me personally, was the guilt I felt," Jessica admitted. "When my doctor told me I had cancer, I looked at my mum's face and it was the worst thing I could have done. Because I just know, as a mum myself, I would take it 100 times over Eddie having it. And I think for my mum to have to go through that was really hard."