Former Stevenage resident aiming for the stars after successful release of Chemo Chat Show
- Credit: Archant
A former Stevenage resident has shot, edited and started releasing a viral chat show, featuring famous guests such as Dara Ó Briain and Amelia Womack, that focuses on her battle with cancer.
When Sarah Mills was diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer in 2018, she remembers feeling terrified and overwhelmed as she grappled with mortality.
There was an anxious eight week wait to hear about how far the cancer had spread, knowing it could already be too late for her.
She said: “It was a massive surprise to get bowel cancer at 34, you think that only old people get it.
“Bowel cancer is deadly. It’s vicious once it gets past a certain stage.
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“Mine was caught literally just in time, it was stage 3C. It hadn’t yet spread to other organs but if it had been left much longer it could have been a different story.”
Sarah, who grew up in Letchmore Road and attended Barclay School, wanted to do things differently during her chemotherapy sessions at the Macmillan Cancer Centre in London.
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She describes coming up with the idea for the Chemo Chat Show as the classic lightbulb moment – and insists she has always been “an ideas person”.
“It seems like you have to record your cancer experience, it’s what everybody does,” Sarah says.
“Everyone Youtubes about it, everyone blogs about it. For me, the Chemo Chat Show and a slightly more entertaining format was the way I wanted to do it.”
Having worked in the television industry, she put a call out to friends and family to persuade comedians, celebrities and public figures to chat with her as she was receiving treatment.
Over her 12 sessions of chemo in 2018, Sarah had eight guests visit and share stories with her – with Phil Wang, Dara Ó Briain, Amelia Womack and more all appearing on the show.
“One of the best things to come out of this was how kind my guests were to come and spend an hour just chatting with me.”
Now, after long months of editing and fine-tuning, Sarah is releasing weekly episodes of the Chemo Chat Show and sharing her health journey with the wider world.
“And what might be next for the comedian?
“It’s quite a dark thing to say, but the fact of the matter is I can’t do a follow-up to the Chemo Chat Show unless I’ve got cancer.
“On the plus side, my scans have been clear. On the downside, I have no more opportuntiies to do follow-up episodes.
“Saying that, I do want to do another chat show that commemorates the NHS, because without them I wouldn’t be here today.”
The Chemo Chat Show can be watched on Youtube or Facebook, and episodes will be released weekly.