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Rachael Bland’s poignant final podcast released

Rachael Bland died after being diagnosed with incurable cancer (Claire Wood/BBC)
Rachael Bland died after being diagnosed with incurable cancer (Claire Wood/BBC)

Rachael Bland’s poignant final recording has been released, with the podcaster discussing how her future was taken away.

The BBC Radio 5 Live broadcaster died aged 40 after suffering from breast cancer, which she documented on You, Me and the Big C.

Recorded before her death on September 5, the final podcast with mother-of-one Bland features frank conversation about restraining herself from “weeping” over her young son Freddie.

The presenter also describes tearfully looking into her husband Steve’s eyes, and losing the prospect of a future with him.

Bland, with friends and fellow presenters Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, discussed the “new normal” in the final show as a trio.

This “new normal”, with Bland’s metastasised and untreatable cancer, robbed the presenter of her future.

She said: “I know I’m probably not going to be living for much longer, but I don’t think about it too deeply because I wouldn’t be able to look at Freddie without weeping all over him.

“I want to spend valuable time with him – whatever time I have left – I want it to be good time.”

Bland began preparing material to leave behind for her young son after her death, compiling a memoir of stories and advice she wished to impart, and planning years of birthday gifts for him to receive as he grows up.

She planned for one of these gifts to be a collection of notebooks, so he could see his mother’s handwriting.

Bland could not make the plans for the future she once imagined with her husband.

She said on the podcast: “When Steve and I met we would have these sweet conversations about when we grow old.

“We’re going to sit there and we will be 70 years old, sat on a bench by the coast eating our fish and chips.

“That was something that was always there to look forward.  But the new normal kind of took that away.

“You weren’t able to have those conversations and those innocent thoughts.

“If I was crying all the time it would make it harder for him, and we wouldn’t be having a nice time.

“But that’s not to say there aren’t nights where we kind of look each other in the eye and have a good old cry about it.”

Singing off from the final podcast, recorded in the month before her death, Bland says they will be back next week.

In an addendum to the recording, friend Mahon says: “Unfortunately as you are all aware Rachael will not be back next week.  Her wish was for the podcast for continue.  We will grant her that wish.”

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