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Veronica returns to the spotlight after 7 years in the shadow of cancer

Lynn Daly
by Lynn Daly | Personal stories

11 January 2024

1 comment 1 comment

The album artwork for Veronica's new single, Gone
The album artwork for Veronica's new single, Gone


Veronica Mehta, a London-born singer-songwriter and R&B/bhangra artist, decided to tell the world she’d had breast cancer as part of our Stand Up to Cancer campaign in 2018. 

But after speaking out about her cancer experience, she withdrew from her public life to concentrate on her three children and healing herself. 

Now, 7 years after diagnosis, she is returning with a new single, which catalogues her cancer journey and delivers the message there is life after cancer. 

“A rush of emotions”

“I think originally, I felt overwhelmed by everything that had happened, physically, mentally and emotionally, and it has taken seven years to get myself back together,” Veronica said. 

“I knew I wanted to do something to turn that negative into a positive. Music has always been my first love, so I went back into the studio with my producer Rishi Rich, and what came flooding out in a rush of emotions was a song, Gone.” 

Gone, and the AI video that accompanies it, tracks her cancer journey from her home life in London at the prime of her career, to the moment the dark shadows of a cancer diagnosis threaten to envelop her.  

It follows her to iconic places in Mumbai – Bollywood and a special temple – and to New York, where she’d visited as part of a US tour she’d previously embarked on.  

“Those shadows are full of fear, but they also push me to fight,” she said.  

An uncertain time

Before her diagnosis in 2016, Veronica’s career was flying, and she was awaiting the birth of her third child. But the future she had envisaged seemed less certain when just weeks away from giving birth, she was told she had grade 3 breast cancer, which tends to grow and spread more quickly than lower grade cancers. 

“I was devastated,” she said. “I was 35 weeks pregnant. All I could think about was my children, including the one I was about to give birth to. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me, or what would happen to them.” 

Veronica shared the news with her close family, including gently explaining to her daughters, then 6 and 4, that she was going to get very ill, one of the hardest things she has ever had to do, she says. 

Veronica during her treatment
Veronica during her treatment

However, she kept the news from her fans. 

“This wasn’t because of the ‘stigma’ people talk about within the Asian community. But because of my public profile. I didn’t want it to get out the wrong way and I also needed time to deal with the situation myself,” she said. 

Following her cancer treatment, she decided it was time to speak out about the disease. 

A second chance

While she’s finished her treatment, the experience is never far from her mind. She had to have further surgery last September and still has bouts of low energy and a ‘foggy’ mind. 

“It’s hard because cancer strips you of so much positive energy,” she said. “There are still days when I struggle but when I look back, I try to be grateful – it’s part of my reality and acceptance and because of the treatment I’ve had, I do feel like I have been given a second chance at life.” 

Veronica was advised to have a Caesarian section and begin treatment immediately. Surgery revealed the cancer had spread and she needed a mastectomy followed by chemotherapy.  

“I didn’t want chemo but I had to have it. I begged to have some time to bond with my son, and thankfully I had some time to breastfeed him before the treatment began. 

“But chemotherapy was definitely a low point in my life. I was like the living dead. My mum and my sister moved in to help. I took care of Veer but I was like a zombie half the time.” 

Veronica has remained clear of cancer and finished her hormone therapy treatment, including Herceptin, a drug that research funded by us helped to develop. 

“It’s hard because cancer strips you of so much positive energy,” she said. “There are still days when I struggle but when I look back, I try to be grateful – it’s part of my reality and acceptance and because of the treatment I’ve had, I do feel like I have been given a second chance at life.” 

Veronica
Veronica today, 7 years on from her breast cancer diagnosis

A longer, better life

After her own diagnosis and treatment, finding better and kinder treatment for all types of cancer is important to Veronica. 

That’s why she’s backing our Manifesto for Cancer Research and Care, Longer, better lives. Ahead of the next general election, we’ve published an ambitious cancer plan, which if adopted, would help avoid 20,000 cancer deaths a year across the UK by 2040. 

Longer, better lives outlines five key missions to speed up progress in preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. 

Veronica is urging people to sign the open letter to party leaders to show their support for the Manifesto. 

“There are many people going through treatment right now and many, many more who will be diagnosed in the future who will need and benefit from research breakthroughs,” Veronica said. 

“It’s only thanks to research that I’m still here today and I will be forever grateful for that.” 

Lynn

    Comments

  • Kiran Rai
    16 January 2024

    Very heart touching story about Veronica.
    Well done to her for doing such a great job to help many more women.
    Veronica is going to make a vast difference to many cancer patients.
    God bless her 🙏🏼
    Wishing her a very good health and happy future ahead.
    Keep up good work Veronica 🫶

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    Comments

  • Kiran Rai
    16 January 2024

    Very heart touching story about Veronica.
    Well done to her for doing such a great job to help many more women.
    Veronica is going to make a vast difference to many cancer patients.
    God bless her 🙏🏼
    Wishing her a very good health and happy future ahead.
    Keep up good work Veronica 🫶

Tell us what you think

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Read our comment policy.