Archive for January, 2010

Books are great. For information, escapism and entertainment. For a person with cancer, the top priorities are information, hope and inspiration. But cancer books are extremely numerous, so how do you choose the right ones to read? The choice of books about cancer can be absolutely overwhelming just because there are so many.
I was asked to compile a list for a website called Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations. These are the books that are absolutely not to be missed, so these cancer books cut through the confusion. They are absolutely the best books I have come across so far in my years spent working in this area. Click to see my list of Books for your Cancer Journey
Coming soon will be the companion list of books for those of you in the Cancer Fallout Zone.


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News of a Fundraising Event for Orchid Cancer Charity – Friday 19th February 2009 – Bournemouth, UK

Male cancer isn’t often talked about, but its effects spread far and wide. As I write and talk about the effects of cancer on the family and friends, it made sense that I was talking to Michelle Fischer of Creative Leadership about the effect that her father’s prostate cancer was having on her family. So when she suggested running an event to raise money and awareness targetting male cancers, I was happy to get involved.
Now I’ve said and written before that cancer can be faced without sliding into total doom and gloom, and a dose of humour does us good. That’s why we chose to call our event ‘Love Balls’, hosting it near to Valentine’s day and getting the issue (not the body parts) out into the open. We know it’s a little bit cheeky, but hope that you’ll take it in good spirit.
Michelle told her story as to why we’re running the event so well that it’s best if you read it in her own words. As she describes, there are many ways to get involved. The key ones at this time are

Keep up to date with the latest on the event at the Facebook page, and let’s look after all the Love Balls this Valentine’s day.

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It sometimes seems that cancer treatments are very harsh, and cause ongoing health problems (see my last post), so could there really be help for cancer from the humble pomegranate?

New research published this month has shown that compounds found in pomegranates act to slow tumour growth in breast cancers which are hormone dependant. This is research done in a laboratory (published by the American Association for Cancer Research), but the implication is that this could translate into a real help in people with the disease – or even help with prevention.

If you take this research and put it together with previous studies, which showed that drinking pomegranate juice slowed the progression of prostate cancer (another hormone dependant cancer) it does look as though this could really help some people. (Reported in 2006)

What are your thoughts?

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Even after cancer recovery, ongoing health problems may not be properly addressed, MacMillan Cancer support reported today. These health problems may include physical symptoms caused by either the cancer or the treatment, or mental/emotional issues such as memory loss, depression or anxiety (see this news item at the BBC). Cancer survivorship is not the end of the story. (more…)

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How many people have wished you a Happy New Year? How many have awkwardly avoided the subject, if they know your family is in an unhappy time, facing illness and challenge?

At this time of the year, when a friend or family member is facing cancer (or you have lost someone), the traditional New Year celebrations and resolutions may seem hollow. Who cares if you lose weight or get fit when someone’s life hangs in the balance? Everyone else may seem to be looking ahead with the excitement of unwrapping a final present – a whole fresh year in which anything is possible. Perhaps you just can’t think that far ahead.

But of course there’s no rule that says you have to join in. It’s perfectly fine to have no New Year Resolutions at all. If you want to mark 2010 in some way, you could declare it ‘the year of family’, or ‘emotional regrouping’.

If you do want to set some resolutions, here are a few ideas that might be a bit more helpful:

  • Resolve to look after your own health by eating properly and making time for moderate exercise.
  • Resolve to accept that everyone is under stress and forgive any mistakes or harsh words (yours or other peoples).
  • Resolve to make time for yourself, even if only a little, to do things you enjoy.
  • Resolve to let go of any past disagreements that are still festering.
  • Resolve to find something to laugh about, a new friendship or a sense of peace in the year ahead.

Do any of these resolutions appeal to you? What are your suggestions? Please add them as a reply below.

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