Carol McGiffin has revealed that her younger sister has been diagnosed with terminal cancer – less than a year after the former Loose Women star managed to beat the disease. The 56-year-old presenter spoke of her heartache after Tracy was told she has an incurable cancer after finding found a lump in her breast three months ago.
Carol - who was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2014, and given the all-clear in September 2015 after six rounds of chemotherapy and a mastectomy - told Best magazine that the family are unsure how long Tracy, 53, has left, but that they are determined to stay positive by focusing on a bucket list.
Carol McGiffin has shared the sad news that her younger sister Tracy has terminal cancer
"Cancer is scary, but I don't see the point of getting emotional about it," she said. "So when my sister, Tracy, found a lump in her left breast – just like mine – three month ago, I said, 'Right, we'll find out what the treatment is, deal with it, and you'll be fine.'
"But she wasn't fine. I think, deep down, Tracy knew it was bad news. She'd been having massive headaches, and her co-ordination was off – she kept bumping into things. It was all very odd.
"So our eldest sister Kim and I went with her to get the results at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, and it turned out Tracy didn't have the same cancer as me." Sadly, the family were told that Tracy's cancer was metastatic, meaning that it had already spread from her lung to her spine, liver, brain and finally to her breast.
Look at me getting on the Champers @DreamHKT Beach Club! See, us mastectomy girls can still do bikinis! @cassola21 pic.twitter.com/X9UBKc6Z7G
— Carol McGiffin (@McGiff) 7 January 2016
Carol was given the all-clear in September 2015 after battling breast cancer
"All chemotherapy could do was hold back time," Carol explained, "I remember thinking, 'Oh god, it's just like when our mum died of lung cancer 13 years ago.' Tracy is a lot like mum… She'll probably just deal with it right up to the last day without ever really wanting to talk about it.
"That's our family, really. Unemotional, Practical. Tough. I don't think Tracy wants to know how long she has left, although the doctors could probably say. We are in unchartered waters, but she's trying to be positive. We all are."
Of Tracy's bucket list, Carol admitted she laughed when she read it. "Because most of the items on it are impossible – if not physically then financially." But she said the family were all pulling together to give Tracy the best possible Christmas.
"We'll have a family Christmas this year – not necessarily on the day – and it would be really nice if it was just us, the four of us – me, Kim, Tracy and our brother Mark. Let's just say that my Christmas wish is for my sister to have the best time ever, and to really make the most of the time she has eft, because, above all, I don't want her to have any regrets."