Marina Wheeler, the estranged wife of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has revealed how she was diagnosed with cervical cancer three months ago and thanked her children for supporting her.
The 54-year-old has spoken of her cervical cancer diagnosis and urged women to make time for tests after medics removed her tumour.
Ms Wheeler, a QC who married Mr Johnson in 1993 and separated from him in 2018, told the Sunday Times she underwent surgery twice after being given the news in May.
Ms Wheeler (pictured) has spoken of her struggle against cervical cancer and how important it is for women to get tested regularly
She told the paper that her sister, Shirin, and four children were ‘wonderful’ as she battled the illness.
Boris is now living with girlfriend Carrie Symonds (pictured with the prime minister in south-west London following a meal at an Italian restaurant)
She was the second wife of the current resident of 10 Downing Street, and the couple share four children.
Ms Wheelher has spoken of the importance of regular cervical screening, or smear tests, after a routine check in January revealed the problem which led to procedures in June and July.
‘I know the take-up of smear tests is way down,’ she said. ‘I know they can save your life.
‘If people are willing to listen – as they seem to be – why not say so? Why be afraid? I would urge other women to make the time and do the tests.’
Speaking of her reaction when she was given the diagnosis, she said: ‘I left thinking, “That’s absurd. I have no time for this. Quite apart from everything else I have a book to write”.’
The QC said that she had no symptoms but found out she had the illness at Whittington Hospital in north London.
Ms Wheeler split from Johnson last year (the couple are pictured at the opening ceremony of 2012’s London Olympic Games
Pictured: Boris Johnson and Marina Wheeler at a polling station at the conclusion of the EU Referendum on June 23 2016
She was immediately sent to University College Hospital’s gynae-oncology unit. The London hospital is the same one at which she gave birth to one of her children.
Timeline: Ms Wheeler’s diagnosis as Boris battles for Number 10
September 2018 – Boris Johnson and Marina Wheeler announce that they are separated
January 2019 – Ms Wheeler goes for the smear test
May 2019 – Johnson’s estranged wife is diagnosed with cervical cancer at Whittington Hospital in north London.
The Tory MP announces he will run for PM on May 16.
June 2019 – Johnson is recorded having a blazing argument with girlfriend Carrie Symonds by one of their neighbours.
Days later it emerges that the couple have had four rows in the lats six weeks and almost split up at the start of the month.
July 2019 – Doctors tell Ms Wheeler that her cancer has not spread and she requires no further chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Johnson becomes the prime minister on July 24.
Ms Wheeler added she considers herself to be free of cancer, saying the experience made her appreciate ‘the incalculable value of holding close those who you love and trust’.
The writer had to delay the publication of The Lost Homestead, a family memoir about her mother and the partition of India which will be released in early 2020.
Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds had been living together at her flat in Camberwell, south London, until a well-publicised row recorded by neighbours who claimed she yelled ‘get off me’ and ‘get out of my flat’.
They had already put the offer in on a new £1.3 million four bedroom home at the time of the argument in June, when Johnson was campaigning to become Tory leader.
Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds are the first unmarried couple to live in Downing Street.
They are living in a spacious four-bedroom flat as Sajid Javid and his family take the smaller quarters above Number 10.
The apartment above the finance minister’s office has been home to PMs and their families since 1997, when Tony and Cherie Blair chose it over the two-bedroom flat above the more famous black door.