Jade: The Next Chapter – A sad insight

by Lynn Connolly

I was moved to tears watching the latest fly-on-the-wall in a series of shows that follow Jade Goody as she copes – admirably – with cancer, work and the demands of her two gorgeous little boys. For a girl who didn’t have the best of role models – or the easiest of childhoods – as she grew up, she’s turned out to be an amazing mother who clearly loves her children more than anything else.

In previous shows, we’ve seen how the devastating news that Jade has cervical cancer affected her life and again last night we saw how she’s battling on with amazing courage and fortitude as the realities of her illness and the effects of the treatment have rocked her life.

Jade is a young woman with a keen sense of her own image; she’s always been conscious of her weight for example and has battled with it over the years but last night, we saw how losing her hair – due to the chemotherapy – brought her probably as low as she’s been so far.

She wept as her mother Jackiey taught her how to tie a headscarf so that she wouldn’t have to see the hair loss all the time. I was very moved when Jade cried, “Oh no Mummy, no. I look like I’ve got cancer.”

In the past, Jackiey has been far from a ‘textbook’ mother to Jade but I have to say, since Jade’s had cancer, Jackiey seems to have been doing as much as she can to help her daughter. And god knows she needs it.

Here’s a clip of that sad moment when Jade seemed like a little girl lost.

We saw too how Jade bravely continued to work doing photo shoots and taking on a role in pantomime but her illness and gruelling treatment was to mean that ultimately, she had to pull out of the show.

Kevin Kennedy, her co-star in the panto, said: “I think she’s doing remarkably well considering. She’s an inspiration really, because some people just give up, but she wants to prove that you can still do things when you’re poorly, so good luck to her.”

However, Jade just couldn’t cope with the demands of the role but despite feeling very unwell and exhausted, she was determined that her boys, Jack and Bobby wouldn’t know how ill she was and would have a wonderful Christmas. She also didn’t want them to know how much she was dreading having chemo again.

We also watched as Jade took the time to meet her fans at a book signing to promote her autobiography, Catch A Falling Star, as well as getting a new tattoo on her wrist of boyfriend Jack’s name, and she’s counting the days now until his release from prison.

It was touching that she was flinching and wriggling all the while the tattoo was done yet she can face having chemo and radiotherapies without any grumbles at all. However, she did say how she fears – and gets upset by – having injections into her chest as part of her treatments.

You can see a clip of her having the tattoo done here.

But, showing what has become her trademark resilience, Jade said,

“I’ve got every single reason in the world to survive, I’ve got two beautiful kids and the world ain’t ready to be parted with Jade Goody!”

Jade added that she doesn’t want to know the details of her disease; “That probably sounds really naive and might offend some people. But I don’t want to know anything about cancer.”

I think she’s absolutely right; a little knowledge can be a dangerous and frightening thing and yet again, I admire her resolve to do what’s best for her and fight the natural instinct to learn all the scary statistics and facts about her illness.

The only thing that worried me about that sentence though is that Jade’s had to become aware of not ‘offending’ people.

This brave young woman shouldn’t have to give a stuff what other people think but it seems that every time she speaks, she does in fact offend someone. She caused a furore in the last episode of her series which I felt was contrived and taken deliberately the wrong way simply because of Jade’s history of open-mouth-insert-foot moments.

Yes, in the past, she’s been a lot of the things people have accused her of being – me included, I couldn’t stand her for years – but the fact is, she deserves nothing but support for not just curling up into a self-pitying ball and shrivelling away in the face of this daunting challenge.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for her now and will continue to do so and carry on hoping that she is one of the 40% of sufferers who do survive this terrible illness.

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Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.