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.