Sarah Harding was "really nervous" about going public with her breast cancer diagnosis.
The former Girls Aloud singer told her fans that she was living with cancer in August 2020 but she was reluctant to make her diagnosis public, and only did so as people began recognising her at hospital.
Writing in her memoir 'Hear Me Out', Sarah explained: "I was really nervous. But people were noticing me at the hospital and writing about it on social media.
"I wanted to explain things in my own words. Once I did go public, the support was totally overwhelming and a real source of strength for me."
Sarah, 39, initially thought that her cancer – which has now been revealed to be terminal and spread to other parts of her body – was a cyst caused by her guitar strap irritating her breast.
The 'Call The Shots' hitmaker put off getting the lump checked because of her fears it could be cancer, and she used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse not to go to hospital.
She shared: "At first I thought it was just a cyst. I'd been playing my guitar a lot, and I thought the strap had probably irritated an area around my breast.
"The trouble was, the pain was getting worse. It got so bad that I couldn't sleep in a bed any more. I slept on the sofa, popping painkillers like they were Smarties. I really overdid it, but the pain was overwhelming."
Sarah continued: "I'd been staying at my mum's throughout lockdown, but COVID wasn't showing any signs of going away, and it was just getting worse.
"One day I woke up realising that I'd been in denial. Yes, there was a lockdown, yes, there was a pandemic, but it was almost as if I'd been using that as an excuse not to face up to the fact that something was very wrong."