The former ‘Loose Women’ star, who is fronting a new Cancer Research campaign, spoke candidly about the painful moment her she realised it was time to say goodbye to her beloved mum, Annie.
Denise’s mother died in 2012, after being diagnosed with mouth cancer over 20 years before.
She was told she could have just 12 months to live when she was first diagnosed in 1991, but underwent surgery to successfully remove the tumours .
After being cancer-free for 10 years, she received a second mouth cancer diagnosis in 2001 when her doctors found new tumours at a regular check-up.
Having lived for another 11 years, Denise said her family was “lucky” to have so much time with her, as she opened up in the video.
Getting tearful when she recalled Annie’s death, she said: “I think I got a little complacent - we all did - because we had her for so long after her first diagnosis.
“I remember going to see her a few weeks before she left us and she looked like a different woman. It was then that it hit me that she didn’t have long left.”
She continued: “Mum passed away surrounded by her family. Matthew and Louis [Denise’s sons] had time on their own with her to say goodbye. They were incredibly close so needed that.
She kind of went into a 24-hour-long sleep with moments of lucidity, so she was peaceful and knew we were all there – kids, grandkids, and our partners.
“After she died Matthew had her name tattooed on his chest, so he carries her everywhere with him,” she said of The 1975 frontman.
Saying she was “grateful” to have had so many extra years with her mum, Denise added: “She was diagnosed when Matthew was a toddler and she lived to see four more grandchildren.
“She also saw me overcome my problems with alcohol and met Lincoln, my husband, which means a huge amount to me. I’m so happy that when she passed she knew we were all OK.
“Doctors, scientists and research gave us that time and for that I’m eternally grateful.”
Watch the interview with Denise in the video above...
Denise is calling on people to opt in to hear from Cancer Research UK about its life-saving work, following its decision to only contact supporters who have given their permission for the charity to do so from 1 July 2017.
To opt in to hear about all the work Cancer Research UK is doing, its research progress, appeals and ways people can support, visit cruk.org/justatick.