Joan Collins ‘nagged sister about mammograms’, tribute reveals

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

“Her relief at the end of that short-lived marriage was palpable – we celebrated wildly with a big party at my house,” Dame Joan explained..

doesn’t think she’ll “ever recover” from the sadness of losing her “baby sister,” author Jackie Collins, to breast cancer last week after a secret six-and-a-half year battle. Jackie Collins, whose novels sold more than 500 million copies during an illustrious career spanning four decades, had known for seven years of her cancer diagnosis.

And not just because she carried on so valiantly, writing five books since her Stage Four diagnosis, or because she was busy promoting her latest just days before she died. In an emotional new essay for the Mail on Sunday, Joan wrote that she’s focused on celebrating the way the best-selling British novelist lived her life in the wake of her death. “In her inimitable way she had more concern for others than for herself to the end, and anyone who knew Jackie well will tell you how courageous and selfless she was,” Joan, 82, wrote. “This was one of the reasons for her great success in both her personal and professional life, and why she was loved and admired by so many.” Jackie was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2009, and chose to mainly keep her illness to herself – she only revealed her health problems to Joan just two weeks before her passing. The 82-year-old actress has written a 2,000-word tribute to Jackie, who died aged 77 earlier this month following a six-year battle with breast cancer, on her official website, on which she praised her “courage” and “selflessness”.

The ‘Dynasty’ star revealed that she got to know about her sister’s stage four breast cancer when just a day before her death she called the actress and disclosed about her disease. Despite being diagnosed six-and-a-half years ago, British author Jackie, who lived in Beverley Hills, told few people about her illness, saying she did not want to “burden” others with it.

It was a gloomy afternoon in France and Percy [Joan’s husband] and I were bunkering down to watch a movie.” “My voice was so choked, I could hardly speak. Joan called her sibling “strong, independent, loyal, caring,” among other things, and said “she wasn’t just a star – to me she was an entire galaxy.” Joan wrote: “I used to nag my sister about getting mammograms, as our darling mother Elsa had succumbed to the disease in 1962 when she was only in her early 50s. Dame Joan also candidly revealed how her fourth husband, David Holm, was “hated” by Jackie – so much so that she had begged the actress not to marry him. She’s very positive and social but I’m not sure how strong she is so I didn’t want to burden her.” Having had breast cancer myself, I did almost the same and decided only to tell most people after I had completed all my treatment and was on the road to recovery, which sometimes didn’t go down too well.

The 82-year-old recalled how Jackie had shown her approval by handing out T-shirts with slogans such as “Holm-less” and “Holm is not where the heart is”. People were genuinely cross with me and although they didn’t say why, I know it was because they cared and would have loved the opportunity to show me that they did. She added: “Jackie will live on in the wonderful memories I have of her from our childhood and particularly from the last fifteen years, during which we were closer than ever.

And if they treated me differently, knowing I was going to get better, I expect Jackie knew she wouldn’t be able to enjoy what time she had left if everybody knew – because everything and everyone would have changed. Jackie and I didn’t see each other so much during that period. “Unfortunately, a couple of years later another relationship I had came between us and, having moved back to Europe, we couldn’t be as close as we wanted to be. The actor has requested that people who read her tribute make donations to Penny Brohn Cancer Care in the UK and the Susan G Komen breast cancer organisation in the US.

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