Sam Womack worried she’d ’embarrass’ boyfriend and he’d find her ‘ugly’ amid cancer battle

Samantha Womack has much to celebrate after recently turning 50 and becoming cancer-free, following a successful lumpectomy and lymph node removal procedure.

And the former EastEnders star, who announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer with a heartfelt tribute to late acting icon Olivia Newton-John in August, decided to share her experiences and alert people to the harsh realities that going through cancer can affect you mentally as well as physically.

She shares with OK! her feelings throughout her treatment with surgery and chemo and admits she worried how the changes to her looks would affect her relationship with boyfriend Oliver Farnworth.

“I kept saying, ‘I don’t want you to find me ugly. I don’t want to be an embarrassment to you.’ Just silly things that you say, but they are feelings," she says.

"And also, for me saying, ‘I don’t want to put you through this, why on God’s earth would you want to be with someone that’s going to be in and out of hospitals?!’ I didn’t know at the beginning how bad it was going to be."

She continues: “He [Oliver] kept saying to me, ‘You idiot, this is what I want, I want to be here with you. This is a privilege for me to be near you and you’re beautiful and I don’t give a s**t about your hair.’"

Sam explains that his words really took her "breath away" and she found it "very emotional."

"I didn’t expect to feel such gratitude for someone for loving me just for me, rather than all the bits you think are important," she explains.

Sam, who tells us she has lost some of her hair throughout her treatment, also says: “The thing with breast cancer, as a woman, it’s such a brutal attack on your femininity.

“Your breasts and your hair and all of those things they represent, the things that you hold on to as feeling attractive, but also make you feel feminine as a woman… It feels very brutal."

And Oliver has been a tower of strength for Sam and been there for her during her treatment and appointments every step of the way.

“I love the human,” Oliver adds with a smile. “I just love her for who she is. She’s gorgeous.”

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre until 8 January 2023. For tickets visit for details


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