Thursday, 2 January 2014

Survival kit, Diet and Exercise

The sudden diagnosis of cancer doesn't come cheap, that's for sure. This is the stuff no one tells you about and to be honest if someone was struggling financially, this would seriously push anyone to their limit at an already fraught and stressful time.  You can get an NHS medical exemption card  by asking your GP to fill out the appropriate forms and send these off for you. Prescriptions are free to cancer patients in England. My exemption card is valid for five years. However saying that its not always feasible to be sitting in a waiting room with lots of ill people waiting to discuss with your GP all the side effects your experiencing and what medications you need.  However what is evident is the increase in day to day living and the costs incurred. 

Macmillan's new research report reveals the sheer scale of the financial burden faced by people living with cancer*

  • Four out of five cancer patients lose £570 a month
The cost of cancer is calculated as the loss of income and the additional costs experienced as a result of a person's diagnosis
  • One in three lose £860 a month in earnings because they are unable to work or have to cut down their hours
  • Six in seven see their monthly expenses increase by £270 a month
*Figures shown are averages

All advice suggests a change of diet (mainly fresh and organic) and then there is the cosmetic side of things, headscarves, cotton hat and wig paraphernalia.

I have included some frivolous items of choice to make me feel better, the candles and nice notebook. Because lets face it for two weeks out of every three you feel like you've done ten rounds with Mike Tyson and then been hit by a bus. 

 My work colleagues gave me an amazon voucher so I used it wisely and purchased a mannequin head and some music, which I have been constantly playing - positive vibes.

Here is a list of all the things I have needed so far and I'm sure I will probably be adding to it at a later date.

Cotton PJ's - for menopausal sweats hot vs cold
Candles for bath time/relaxation
Sleeping tablets (GP) & Nytol
Childrens soft toothbrush (change each chemo cycle)
Difflam oral rinse mouthwash for mouth ulcers (GP)  and Bicarbonate of soda/salt water (good for mouth ulcers)
Nice notebook to keep track of appointments, conversations at oncologist appointments, diet, medication, telephone numbers and side effects. 
Wig shampoo
Wide tooth comb to comb wig.
Mannequin head
Baby wipes
Headband - to cover your ears and back of head and pop on under a woolly hat
A cotton hat to wear in bed to keep your head warm and helps when shedding hair
Jersey sleep caps
Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser
Anusol  haemorrhoids cream- chemotherapy does give you piles and for this I hate you.
Gaviscon for heartburn
Senokot for constipation 
Ibuprofen for headaches
Sudocrem for dry soles of feet
Dermol 500 (GP)
Dermol 600 Bath Emollient (GP)
Fake eyelashes + glue
Eyebrow pencil
Eyebrow stencil kit
Pink blusher/bronzer
Tissues for the constant runny nose when you no longer have nasal hairs (
Cough sweets for cold like symptoms and sniffles and sore throats, nasal spray.
Moroccan Argan Oil - to hydrate your scalp and massage into your scalp to stimulate hair follicles 

Clippers - for shaving your head 


Try and cut out meat and dairy products or at least only makes up 20% of your diet

Drink plenty of water - at least 2 litres per day
Dried apricots/pumpkin seeds
Green tea/fruit tea
100% orange fruit juice lollies for sore throats (but not great when your taste buds have gone, I felt like I was chowing down on a cows tongue)
Manuka honey 25+  (tastes vile)
Wheatgrass powder 

Exercise/Complementary therapies

Walking to feed the ducks (my favourite)
Rebounding/mini trampoline (haven't managed to do this as yet, but its low impact on the knees and when I feel well enough will bounce like an uncontrollable bouncy person).

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