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Amy Dowden’s countdown to Strictly return and emotional cancer journey: ‘Finish line is in sight’

The star has said how much she is looking forward to getting back on the BBC show

Amy Dowden is undergoing chemo. (BBC)
Amy Dowden is undergoing chemo. (BBC)

Strictly star Amy Dowden has said the “finish line is in sight” as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer.

The dancer, who has been a pro on the BBC ballroom show since 2017, announced in May that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and in July said she been given a second cancer diagnosis.

She has made it clear every step of the way that she is determined to get back on Strictly, saying on Instagram that she was "dreaming every night of dancing on that floor again".

The star even confessed that she initially didn’t want to have chemotherapy because she knew it would rule her out of the contest for this year, saying on Loose Women: "I was just really scared and I didn't want to lose my hair. And I just didn't want to miss out on Strictly."

Amy Dowden has had to sit out Strictly this year. (ITV screengrab)
Amy Dowden has had to sit out Strictly this year. (ITV screengrab)

Dowden has now updated fans with a snap of her and a friend who is also going through treatment, saying she could see the end.

She wrote: "Yayyyyy my blood platelets were all good to go for chemo 7 and it was lovely @kiimmbo.6 7th too (a fellow pink sister on a similar journey) for us both next session we should be ringing that chemo bell and I simply cannot wait!"

"The finish line is in sight for us lovely," added the star.

We have a look at the star’s journey so far.

Sepsis battle

The TV star underwent a mastectomy and has been having chemo. But in August, she shared that she also battled sepsis while she was going through treatment.

Dowden ended up in hospital and was seriously unwell.

"The doctors and nurses were telling me I had sepsis and that it was life-threatening, but I wasn’t taking it in," she told Hello!

"I didn’t become properly aware until later. I told my dad, 'I’ve got sepsis' and he said, 'I know!’"

Shaving her hair

Dowden regularly updates fans on her journey and was open about how traumatic it was when she started losing her hair amid treatment.

In the end, she made the decision to shave her own hair off and shared a poignant video that showed her clipping it off surrounded by loved ones.

"Taking control," she wrote on social media. "The hardest step so far."

She said taking control and shaving her head had been a real "hurdle" but that after doing so she felt "empowered and positive".

Strictly Come Dancing 2022,24-09-2022,1,James Bye & Amy Dowden,++LIVE SHOW++,BBC,Guy Levy
Amy Dowden on the show in 2022. (BBC)

Strictly appearances

While Dowden has not been able to take part in this year’s competition she has made several appearances on the programme.

As the series got under way, she shared on social media that she had felt involved in the process.

"I’ve felt part of the whole journey so far!" she said.

"I’ve seen all the group numbers and the process by videos, then again watching yesterday and WOW honestly the best yet!"

Two weeks ago she stopped by spin-off It Takes Two and said she "loved being back on the sofa".

“Tonight was the perfect distraction ahead of chemo 6!” she said on Instagram.

Then earlier in October, Dowden returned to the main show and won praise for appearing without a wig.

The star has had a wig made but decided to leave it off when she went on the segment where viewers get the voting details.

She was called an "inspiration" by fans for being so brave, and her old Strictly partner Tom Fletcher – who was paired with Dowden on the show two years ago – said she was an "amazing role model".

"Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how proud I am," he said on ITV’s Lorraine.

What have Dowden’s Strictly co-stars said?

Dowden has said how much her Strictly co-stars have supported her throughout her illness.

"So grateful for my @bbcstrictly family," she said in a recent Instagram post, adding that she was “so proud to part of such a talented team."

Head judge Shirley Ballas has also vowed that Dowden will be back on the Strictly dancefloor for the next series.

Ballas, who taught Dowden for years, told the Mirror that the pro was a “superstar”, adding: “And I know her fight having known her as a little girl and she will be back on that show by next year. We love her, we miss her.”

Read more: Amy Dowden