Leah Bracknell has opened up about her gruelling cancer treatment in a heartbreaking account on her blog, Something Beginning with C. The former Emmerdale actress wrote about going to the hospital to have drain fluid drained from her lungs, "not for the first time this month," a process which took 40 minutes. Reflecting, she wrote: "The lungs, according to Chinese medicine represent grief, and as the sea of sickness seeps from my body drop by drop I feel the release of decades of grief held vice-close, of sadness, of fear, of shame, of guilt, of secrets, of abuse, of self blame, wrong choices, missed opportunities, isolation and silence."
The actress added that as she lay in hospital she was "looking out upon the life I want to have that lies beyond my reach. Out of my grasp. On the other side of the glass. Slipping through my fingers." Leah went on to praise her doctor, who she referred to only as Dr H, saying that he was "endlessly reassuring," and that despite trying hard not to, she has ended up meeting him several times over the last year.
Leah Bracknell was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2016
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In October 2016, Leah was told the devastating news that she had terminal lung cancer after a hospital check-up related to her heart. She was with her partner Jez Hughes at the time, and admitted that the diagnosis has come as a "shock" as she hadn’t smoked for years and was relatively fit for her age. The actress shot to fame as Zoe Tate in Emmerdale, playing the feisty character from 1986 to 2005. Leah regularly keeps her fans updated with her cancer treatment, and recently thanked them for all their "good wishes and messages". Taking to her Facebook page, she said: " "I can't get around to thanking you all, but I continued to be so deeply moved and touched by your concern."
The actress has been praised for her positive outlook on her diagnosis
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During an appearance on Loose Women last February, Leah revealed that she was refusing to let the cancer get the better of her, and instead was living life to the fullest. "I don't wake up every morning feeling fearful, I wake up feeling grateful and excited about life," she told the panel. Discussing her positive attitude towards her outlook, Leah added: "I feel positive about life… I think a lot of the work I've done in the past as a yoga teacher I have a head start – I have tools I can call upon, and a way of looking at the world that makes me less fearful of it. I've built a relationship with the cancer asking why is it here, what is it trying to tell me? It's about taking back control and working with people to empower yourself."