Update: Rachael Bland passed away on Wednesday 5 September, surrounded by her family.
BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Rachael Bland has revealed she has just days to live, in a farewell tweet to her followers.
On 3 September, Bland, who has secondary breast cancer, tweeted: “In the words of the legendary Frank S - I’m afraid the time has come my friends. And suddenly. I’m told I’ve only got days. It’s very surreal.”
The 40-year-old thanked her listeners and followers for the support she has received, before ending the tweet with: “Au revoir my friends.”
Bland presents the ‘You, Me & The Big C’ podcast, described as a candid look at cancer, alongside co-hosts Deborah James and Lauren Mahon. She confirmed they will continue the podcast without her.
In a separate post on Instagram, Rachael said she would do her best to read all of the messages sent to her.
After seeing her co-host’s farewell post, Deborah tweeted: “No words right now - just heartbreak.” She later took to Instagram, writing: “I love you and I’m proud to call you a friend. Right now all I ask is that you go and do something that makes you feel alive. That reminds you how lucky you are to just wake up and breathe. Cancer you can go fuck yourself.”
Meanwhile Lauren tweeted: “Could not be more grateful to have you in my life. So proud of you my fabulous friend. Love you more than words can say. We’ve got you bubba.”
Rachael was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016. She underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, before having surgery at the start of 2018. However in April she was informed the disease was incurable as it had spread to other parts of the body.
Recalling the moment she received the phone call with the news while with her young son Freddie, Rachael wrote in her blog: “My heart raced as I answered it, knowing a phone call did not bode well. 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.’
“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 [husband] Steve’s heart with the news that my cancer was now metastatic and therefore incurable.”
Metastatic, or secondary, cancer is where cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. Rachael started taking trial drugs for immunotherapy treatment, which works by using the immune system to destroy cancer cells.
“If it doesn’t help me then I hope the data I provide will at some point in the future help others in the same position,” she said back in May. “I feel a bit like a grenade with the pin out… just waiting for some odd sensations to appear. Tick tock.”