My name is Stephanie Butland and I am thriving after breast cancer. (I used to say I was a survivor, but that was a bit, well, lacking in joi de vivre, somehow.)
Since diagnosis in November 2008 I have taken everything that the medical profession can throw at me: surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and ongoing drug therapy. And I’ve tried to do it with a good heart and a strong mind. Sometimes I’ve succeeded. Always, I’ve blogged.
The Bah! approach
In trying to encapsulate my approach to cancer, I’ve come up with 4 pointers:
1. Be informed: Ask questions. Read books. Talk to other people. Read blogs.
2. Be sensible: Eat good food. Sleep as well as you are able. Try to do some exercise. Keep doing things that are not cancer related. The walk from cancer diagnosis to professional cancer patient is, sadly, not a long one. Try to keep a toehold in the world.
3. Use your mind: Make choices about what you think, when you think it, the language you use. Do not stop being yourself.
4. Be positive: By which I don’t mean, ‘put your head in the sand’. I mean, expect the best; choose what makes you feel good; seek out people, places, experiences that nourish you; avoid people who look at you as though they are measuring you up for a coffin.
Bah! in the media
I’ve been featured on Radio 4’s IPM, being interviewed by Eddie Mair on the language of cancer.
I’ve modeled for the 2010 Race for Life shop.
I’m working with Cancer Research UK to promote Race for Life.
I’ve written a book, ‘How I Said Bah! To cancer’. It’s published by Hay House in October this year.
I’ve been a guest on the Jonathan Miles show at BBC Newcastle, talking about cancer.
Have just been diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, my prognosis is good, but I am experiencing the coffin thing… doing my head in – some one recommended your blog as I was having a rant on mine. You have cheered my soul. xxx
Happy Birthday xxxx
Wow, I’m so pleased I’ve found you! I am a one tit wonder (We’ve all heard of a one hit wonder.) I got rid of the bit that had the cancer and now I don’t have it. I have to keep a sense of humour or it could feel like it’s something serious!!!! I have a life to get on with for goodness sake. This is dedicated to Selina my Breast Care Nurse at the Jane Ashley Centre, Churchill Hospital, Oxford and everyone else who has helped me say BAH to Cancer. Thank you I am forever GRATEFUL xxxxx
Welcome to Bah!, Mags! It’s so good to hear from people who are doing well after cancer. X
Thanks Stephanie. I have some up times and some down times. I’ve cried for no obvious reason other than I’m adjusting to a changed life. Not a planned change but a change non the less. I think it could be a good change and it’ll make me focus on the important bits in my life and I can finally chuck out the bits I don’t want. I had my op in April, I’m back at work and enjoying it and waiting to find a tablet to take for 5 years that will suit me without too many side effects. Any others out there who have been at the Jane Ashley Womens Centre in Oxford. They are just superb there. Can’t praise them enough. Well, I’m looking forward to coming back here and keeping my sense of humour and balance in life. Take care and thank you for listening. xx
hi ,your articals are preety good ,and a brave woman ,i got breast cancer last november ,got all clear after my mastestony,but finding things still hard to live with i turned to food ,put 5 stone on ,now dont no wat to do as im not fit as i was ,keep the good work up ,just seen you on tv thats why i googled you to find out more julie xx
Thanks, Julie, for getting in touch, and welcome to Bah!. x
Just been given a copy of your book to review for Macmillan and although I’m only a few chapters in I am already recommending it to friends. I wish it had been available when I was newly diagnosed and am sure that it will prove to be a valuable resource for those who are learning to dance with cancer! xx
I’m so glad you like the book and I’m really grateful for your recommendations. XX
I stumbled along and found your book. I am part of a cancer organization… helping to support those just diagnoised with cancer… with funds, prayers… and being a neighbor…helping a neighbor. We deliver a bag we call The Bread Of Life… on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Everything is home made.. by volunteers… no one gets mentioned………..it’s just to be there saying prayers and to help give back.
I am on a journey to help used the correct words, positive ones.. and try and set a good example to others to avoid describing someone with cancer…. as a victim,
A cancer sufferer. I have upset quite a few people …. while I was hoping to be helpful, start public awareness of how we can also be a neighbor helping a neighbor… by using positive words and NEVER using the dreadful ones that put us down. Victim to me is describing someone murdered…or raped… and worse. I hate hearing that word used by those challenged with cancer. Where in the world did it get connected to labeling someone with that challenge… someone affected with cancer.
I am hoping . . . this blog will help me in my journey… trying to improve healing in this world by using more accurate, lifting, empowering words…. the ones that heal.
I would appreaciate any suggestions.
This is a book I must read… and then pass on to others.
In the meantime…. please let me know if I’m on the wrong road… and also suggest how I can make these changes happen… without hurting those already thinking they are victims.
Bless you… every one that is dancing. What tune is your favorite…. … do you waltz, jitterbug, two step, what? Ballet???? All of a sudden I am completely captured by the idea of dancing with cancer. BLAH…….. YES… BLAH TO IT… !
I am so thankful I stumbled into this blog… and find out about you… and the book.
God pushed into your direction…. I clicked on the door knocker…and here I am.
And you’re very, very welcome here, Louise.
Diagnosed with invasive lobular cancer one week after my daughter’s wedding. Had mastectomy and home Xmas day! Now waiting for the rest of this journey! My daughter bought me this book and it is helping more than I can say! Will keep reading and gaining support from it!
Lesley, welcome to Bah! – I’m so glad to be helpful x