“I WAS never going to die from cancer. But from the beginning, I never planned simply to survive it. Oh no. I was going to say a great big Bah! to it.”
That was the brave outlook of Stephanie Butland after she was diagnosed with the disease in 2008, having felt a lump in her breast.
Three years on, and the 40-year-old from Broomhill is cancer-free.
But her ordeal has inspired her to write a heartwarming book, documenting her battle with the disease.
However, the mother-of-two hopes that her work, titled How I Said Bah! To Cancer, will not only give an insight into the disease, but will also show readers that cancer can be viewed in a different light.
“What I have tried to do is write a book for people to understand cancer better,” said Stephanie, who grew up in Amble.
“My day job motivated me to write the book. I train in thinking skills so I understand that it can help us if we approach things in a more constructive way.
“I wanted to write a book giving people an insight at how they can look at cancer differently.”
The book tells the personal story of how Stephanie battled the disease through thinking strategies, a proactive approach to treatment, and a determination to keep the rest of her life going and retain a sense of humour – most of the time.
It shares everything she learned along the way, from the nature of cancer cells and chemotherapy drugs, to how she was able to help her friends and family to help her.
The book takes an unflinching yet funny look at some of the highs and lows of her dance with cancer, and shares some of the tips and tricks that got her through.
She speaks honestly and movingly about what it’s like to tell your teenage children you have a cancer and how to keep your sense of self when being churned through the cancer treatment cycle over and over again.
It looks at how to view cancer in a different light and to use powerful thinking techniques to help readers work through their recovery process with a more positive and open attitude.
Stephanie, a former Coquet High School pupil, was living in London at the time of her diagnosis but moved back to her native Northumberland with husband Alan.
l The book, published by Hay House, is now available from book shops as well as online.