A BBC newsreader has told friends and fans that “the time has come.” Rachael Bland, who works for BBC Radio 5Live, quoted Frank Sinatra as she shared that she has just days left to live. “In the words of the legendary Frank [Sinatra] – I’m afraid the time has come my friends. And suddenly. I’m told I’ve only got days. It’s very surreal. Thank you so much for all the support I’ve received.” The 40-year-old says she plans to spend her finals days with husband Steve and their two-year-old son Freddie.
Bland was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 and told her cancer was incurable in May of this year. Two months later scans revealed the cancer had spread and she was informed over the phone that she did not have long left to live.
Then came the words, ‘I am so sorry, it’s bad news. The biopsies have come back showing the same cancer is back and is in the skin’,” she said. “I watched my little Freddie innocently playing away in a tyre in the barn and my heart broke for him. “I scooped him up and dashed home and then had to break Steve’s heart with the news that my cancer was now metastatic and therefore incurable.” Bland immediately began writing a memoir of her life to leave behind for her son.
The presenter has spoken bravely about her cancer diagnosis on the podcast ‘You, Me and the Big C’, alongside two other women with cancer.
She asked that Lauren Mahon and Deborah James, her co-presenters, continue with the podcast after she has gone. Steph McGovern, host of BBC Breakfast, wrote on Twitter: “The podcast has clearly helped so many people and you did it with such style, humour and bloody brilliance. Thank you for everything you have done.” Former colleague Richard Bacon said that she had changed the way people talk about cancer.