Let’s be clear about Childhood Cancer and takeaway food

Childhood cancer is NOT caused by lifestyle choices in the way that some adult cancers are. 

Unless you are a paediatric oncology dietician, please do not tell an oncology parent what their child should or should not be eating. 

When a child is on treatment there are some foods which should be avoided due to the risk of infection. The list is similar to the foods that pregnant ladies are advised to avoid. 

What a child on treatment does need is to eat something; anything not on the excluded list, but something with a  high calorific value. Their food of choice is most likely to be a fast food takeaway late at night. It is least likely to be hospital food at a time set by the NHS. An oncology child will eat when he or she wants and not when you think it will be convenient, and if you miss that window of opportunity, it may be a long time before they’re hungry again, and vital calories are missed … calories their fragile bodies need not only to help the healing process, but so they can continue to grow. Don’t forget, these children are fighting for their lives!

Being a child with cancer isn’t much fun either, and often the treat of a takeaway may be the most pleasure they have for a while.

As an oncology parent it is natural to carry a certain amount of guilt. We do not need [well meaning] people to add to it by telling us that our child’s cancer could have been avoided, or will be made worse by our choices for our child. 

Thank you for reading this. I hope it helps if you need reassurance. The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness and offer support. Please feel free to comment and share. 

Happy New Year

This time last year I was at my son’s side while he was having chemo. It seems so hard to believe that so much has happened to him in the last twelve months. He is a survivor though, and for that I’m very grateful. 

Some people have not been so lucky. My thoughts are with their families. Their memories will not be left behind but will be held very close as the coming months will bring anniversaries of everything that has happened. 

I hope that 2016 brings peace and comfort to those who are suffering grief. And strength to those who still have a battle to fight. And to my son, I say, “Stay awesome” …

Fundraising for my son

As well as trying to help others, our family has it’s own ongoing cancer battle.

Please help me to raise awareness of childhood cancer by sharing the link to my son’s page http://www.gofundme.com/help4steven

We need help meeting the additional costs associated with having a child in hospital. It will cost us more than £100 per week to visit the hospital after my son has his operation.

Thank you for your support

The end is just the beginning

I keep in touch with many families of children with cancer, and we all support each other. But, how would you support someone when you have no experience yourself?

There are some very good blog posts on other sites, but I think the two most important things are;

Even if you don’t know what to say, it doesn’t matter if you say just that… “Hi, I don’t know what to say [because I can’t imagine how you feel], but I’m thinking of you” is a comforting message, and it allows the person to then elaborate if they wish.

The second, and possibly most important message to get across is that the end of treatment can be the best and worst time, and some families don’t want to celebrate. No more chemo is the START of a very long road that doesn’t always lead to recovery, and can be very frightening for some, so don’t just expect that the flags will be flying.

Help for others…

An excellent blog post about anxiety:


The last post I wrote was me apologising for not writing and I promised I would write more. I didn’t stick to what I had promised, and I again… apologise. It seems all I’m doing at the moment is apologising.

My anxiety is at a all time high and all I seem to be doing is arguing and worrying. Things have gotten out of hand with my anxiety and I have come to the conclusion that I really do need help. Outside of my friends/ family and boyfriend. They try there best but to be honest it doesn’t help. They may distract me for a couple of hours but its still there nagging in the back of my mind.

Morbid thought.. Anxiety is like the grim reaper… always there, it never leaves, at any one time it could happen. WOW…. Deep.

Anyway I thought I’d make a post about what…

View original post 642 more words

School holidays

School holidays – love them or hate them? Personally, I love them.

For families with a sick child, provided that hospital visits can be avoided, the holidays are an excellent opportunity for days out with the whole family.

There are often free exhibitions and activities planned for school holidays, so it doesn’t have to be expensive. If the weather is nice, pack up a picnic and enjoy the outdoors.

Whatever you do, seize the moment and make it count!

How I try to get a good sleep in hospital

Hospital wards can be noisy places and I’ve found that sometimes night is worse than day.

These are my tips for trying to get some decent rest:

Take your own pillow, blanket and hot water bottle.

My nice snuggly fleecy throw

Wear earplugs or listen to some music. A subscription to Spotify or Deezer is well worth the money. You can listen to a predefined sleep playlist or create your own. Avoid heart-rending ballads and try some instrumentals. Zen or Spa music is great for creating a relaxed atmosphere.

Keep a diary – pen and paper for preference, or most smartphones have notekeeping apps such as Evernote.  You will sleep better if you can clear your mind of any potentially disruptive thoughts.

Consider keeping a journal

Stick to a routine if you can.

If you do have a restless night then make sure you get some rest later in the day.

Sweet dreams

If you have any tips of your own, please share in the comments below, thank you.