Aurelie - Macmillan

Macmillan's cancer information

This blog will give you regular, high-quality information about cancer. We hope you find it useful. And if there's any topic you'd like us to blog about, just let us know.

Latest Entries
  • Bored of switching between fruit juice and water? Try these fun and tasty non-alcoholic cocktails!

    Having cancer treatment does not mean that you should draw a line on festivities. There’s always going to be a birthday or an anniversary to celebrate. When you’re not too tired you may want to have friends around for dinner or for a party.

    If you’ve had enough of alternating between fruit juice and water and want something a little more festive, there are some fun and delicious alcohol-free cocktails you can mix.

    Full of flavours, fresh fruits and bubbles (lemonade or soda water!), they can be truly delicious and offer a healthy and fun alternative to regular soft drinks.

    Our very conscientious team of editors agreed that we could not possibly write a blog about mocktails without sampling them first. Research is essential. So last week, armed with a blender, some ice and a bag full of fresh fruits, we set out for our alcohol-free cocktail evening. Abi was kind enough to let us invade her kitchen and hosted a great, vitamin-filled party.

    We tried 4 types of mocktails, all very different but all extremely successful amongst our team.

    Here are the recipes. The proportions are for 4 glasses.

     

    Lemon and Ginger Fizz

    • 5 teaspoons of (fine) caster sugar
    • Juice of 4 lemons
    • 16 slices of fresh ginger
    • Soda water
    • Ice
    • Fresh mint to sprinkle

     

    A photos of Sarah, Abi and Debbie drinking Lemon and ginger fizz

    Mix the sugar, the lemon juice and the ginger in a blender. Pour the mix in a jug and add soda water and ice cubes. Sprinkle with fresh mint and serve.

    We thought this was a light, zesty and very refreshing cocktail. Ideal to open your appetite. I’ve made it again since and served it to friends last weekend. They just loved it.

     

    Rum-free Mojito

    • Juice of 2 or 3 limes depending on how juicy they are
    • A small bunch of fresh mint
    • 8 tablespoons of brown (Demerara) sugar
    • Soda water
    • Ice
    • Slices of cucumber


    Mix the lime juice, the sugar and the mint in the blender. Pour the mix in glasses and top up with soda water and ice. Add some slices of cucumber to decorate.

     A photo of rum-free mojitos

    Easy and incredibly tasty!  It was probably our favourite that night.

     

    Virgin Colada

    • 16cl (160ml) of coconut milk
    • 36cl (360ml) of pineapple juice
    • Ice cubes


    Mix all ingredients in the blender including the ice cubes until you obtain a smooth mixture.

    This is a very exotic drink and definitely tastes of holiday. We had it at the end of our evening and it was almost like a dessert!

     

    Strawberry and beetroot (yes,  indeed!)

    • 100g of cooked beetroot
    • 20cl (200ml) apple juice
    • A pack of strawberries
    • Lemonade


    Mix the beetroot and the strawberries in the blender. Add the apple juice and blend again. Pour into a glass and top up with cold lemonade.

    A photo of Sarah and Abi drinking a strawberry and beetroot cocktail

    By far the most surprising beverage of the night and Sarah’s favourite, this deep pink drink is definitely on the sweet side.

    The fun thing about all those alcohol free cocktails is that you can experiment and be creative. Use the fruits that you love and add your own touch.

    And of course, if you are taking part in the Go Sober October campaign, don't hesitate to try those delicious recipes!

    So to your blenders... ready, steady, mix!

    Comments? Feel free to add them below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

     Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo

     The recipes are adapted from virgincucumber.com 

  • Accessible information about cancer from Macmillan

    Did you know...

    Infographic - learning needs in the UK

    With the ambition to reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer, it’s important for Macmillan to develop cancer information for people with different needs. After all, cancer doesn’t discriminate. This week, we’ve added some new easy read booklets and British Sign Language videos to our website – visit macmillan.org.uk/otherformats

    We hope these new formats will go some way towards helping more people than ever before.

    Easy read PDFs

    Our 52 easy read PDFs use simple words and pictures to tell people about cancer. They were produced by CHANGE, a national human rights organisation.

    Topics include breast cancer screening, healthy eating and having chemotherapy.

    On the web page, we’ve also included links to easy read information produced by other
    organisations.

    Image of front covers of some easy read booklets about cancer

    British Sign Language videos

    We’ve launched two new videos in British Sign Language (BSL) about chemotherapy and surgery. Produced with Ramon Woolf, a BSL user and cancer patient, they were reviewed by BSL users with a cancer experience.

    Macmillan now has eight BSL videos covering the following topics:

    • Radiotherapy
    • Coping with hair loss
    • Diet and cancer
    • Financial support
    • Advanced cancer
    • Living with colon cancer
    • Chemotherapy
    • Surgery

    Still image from a BSL video about chemotherapy

    What do you think about our new accessible information? Please contact Abi Delderfield at adelderfield@macmillan.org.uk with any questions or comments.

    Sources

    1 British Institute for Learning difficulties. Learning difficulties. http://www.bild.org.uk/information/factsheets/

    2 http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/supporting-you/policy-research-and-influencing/research/access-all-areas.aspx

    3 http://www.rnib.org.uk/aboutus/research/statistics/Pages/statistics.aspx

    4 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/key-statistics-and-quick-statistics-for-wards-and-output-areas-in-england-and-wales/STB-2011-census--quick-statistics-for-england-and-wales--march-2011.html

    We're with you every step of the way

    The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

    Comments? Feel free to add them below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

    Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo

  • The cancer info team support World’s Biggest Coffee Morning!

    Drinking coffee and eating cake whilst raising lots of money for Macmillan – what’s not to love?!

    The Cancer Information Development team has been out and about in various locations to support coffee mornings this year. Have a look at what some of our team got up to...

    Cancer Content Developer Debbie went along to Streatham Ice Rink and Leisure Centre. There was also a jumble sale and raffle there. Plus a guess-the-weight-of-the-cake.

    An image of Debbie at Streatham Ice Rink coffee morning

    Selina, our Editorial Manager, was asked to judge the best cake at the Minet Library in Myatt’s Fields. Watch out Mary Berry!

    An image of Selina judging the best cake at the Minet Library

    The judges chose this rather tasty looking lemon drizzle cake as the winner – yum!

    An image of the winning lemon drizzle cake

    Also asked to judge cakes was Senior Information Development Nurse Sue. Here she is at Bluecoats Sports Health and Fitness Club with a selection of delicious cakes – it’s a hard job but somebody had to do it...

    An image of Sue with lots of cakes at her local sports centre

    Abi, Editor, had a busy evening of baking prior to her coffee morning. She was up past midnight and her kitchen suffered a bit...

    An image of Abi's messy kitchen after a night of baking

    But it was all worth it, as the coffee morning raised £356.72!

    Here’s Abi and her sister with some pictures from the coffee morning:

    An image of Abi and her sister's coffee morning

    “Seeing someone put a £20 note in the donation box certainly brought back to me how much people value Macmillan’s support. I was proud to be there wearing a Macmillan T-shirt and telling people I work for Macmillan. Knowing that all around the country, people were doing what I was doing, enjoying a sociable morning and raising money for an important cause, was a brilliant start to the day. The food was great too!” Abi

    Managing Editor Emma attended a coffee morning at Bracknell Leisure Centre. The Centre is also home to a preschool, so there were lots of young supporters there on the day keen to sample the cake.

    An image of the young supporters at Bracknell Leisure Centre

    Emma’s daughter Poppy was also very chuffed with the Macmillan balloon that she picked up from the coffee morning.

    An image of Poppy and a Macmillan balloon

    One keen baker produced some impressive Macmillan logo cakes!

    An image of Macmillan branded butterfly cakes

    And BBC Berkshire even turned up to report on the event! The coffee morning raised around £350 – that’s £100 more than last year.

    Our Editorial Assistants Elissia and Imogen, and Senior Information Development Nurse Tracy headed to Language Connect, who translate our information into different languages. They had lots of fun with masks, while Language Connect hoped to beat their £80 target from last year.

    An image of some of the cancer info team wearing masks at the coffee morning

    Saj, Cancer Information Manager, headed to the M&S in Hemel Hempstead and even did a bit of cycling to attract potential donators and work off that cake!

    An image of Saj holding a bucket in the shopping centre

    Meanwhile, Senior Editor Sarah and Editors Marilisa and Emma went along to a coffee morning hosted by The Ritzy in Brixton.

    An image of some editors at the Ritzy cinema coffee morning

    There were lots of delicious homemade cakes, onion bhajis, quiche and brownies. They even had Macmillan’s cancer information on display.

    An image of some of the information Macmillan produce

    It’s always great to see the fruits of our labour being given out in public. We’re proud of all of our booklets and leaflets, and we hope they help those who use them.

    We had a great time at Coffee Morning this year, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s! In 2013, the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning raised over £20 million for Macmillan – let’s see how we do this year!

    The money raised will help Macmillan be there for everyone affected by cancer. It will fund nurses, the Macmillan support line, cancer support centres in hospitals, and much more. It will make sure people have the support they desperately need when they’re going through the toughest time of their life. So pats on the back all round for everyone who attended or hosted a Coffee Morning this year!

    Did you go to a Macmillan Coffee Morning or host one yourself?

    We’d love to hear what you did. Please share your stories and pictures in the comments below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

    We're with you every step of the way

    The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

    Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo

  • Changing seasons

    Written by Debbie, one of our Living with cancer editors.

    There’s a brisk chill in the morning air, a kaleidoscope of leaves on the ground and the evenings are gradually shuffling in. Some of us here in the office (myself included) are still clinging stubbornly to our summer sandals. Others have relinquished and embraced their autumn boots with gusto. At the very least, chances are your diary has cleared of BBQs, weddings, festivals and fairs.

    Many people love autumn – the colours, the nip in the air and the chance to wrap up warm and hibernate in their homes. But others may greet the cooler weather, diminishing sunlight and inevitable countdown to winter with dread.

    For people affected by cancer, particularly people who live alone, it is especially important you don’t let the change of season get you down. In fact, a change in season can often be a good time to assess your current lifestyle and instil some new healthier routines.

    Try out these tips to keep the end-of-summer blues at bay:

    Stay connected

    Don’t hide away. The end of summer shouldn’t mean the end of your social calendar. There may be fewer events organised and the weather may not be as inviting, but it is important to stay in touch with family and friends. If left unchecked, feelings of loneliness and isolation can quickly lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.

    If you are finding the change of season difficult, talk to someone about it. You can visit our online community to connect with other people affected by cancer or call the Macmillan Support Line.


    Keep active

    Being physically active is a natural mood-booster. It has also been shown to reduce symptoms and side effects, aid recovery after cancer treatment and, in some studies, reduce the chances of cancer coming back. And there is no reason why we can’t enjoy physical activity outdoors once summer is over. Autumn can be one of the most beautiful times of year and the cooler weather can make activity more pleasant.

    Walking for Health, run by Macmillan and the Ramblers, lead organised walks throughout England. Paths for All in Scotland and Let’s Walk Cymru in Wales run similar schemes. In Northern Ireland, you can contact the Physical Activity Co-ordinator in your local health trust to find out about health walks.



    Eat well

    Eating well will help you maintain or regain your strength during and after cancer treatment. Though it’s tempting to indulge in hearty, comfort foods in the colder weather, a healthy balanced diet will give you more energy and increase your sense of well-being. It can also help reduce the risk of new cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.


    Plan something to look forward to

    Whether it’s a dinner with friends, a day out or a longer holiday, having something to look forward to can help to motivate us and keep us feeling positive. If you want to do something a little different, check out the Macmillan events happening near you this autumn. There is everything from challenge events to arts exhibitions. And don’t forget it’s the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning this Friday 26th September. So make sure you find a slice of cake to enjoy near you.

    Our booklet How are you feeling? discusses more ways to manage difficult feelings when you have been diagnosed with cancer.

     

    We're with you every step of the way

    The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

    Comments? Feel free to add them below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

    Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo

  • The Sound of Support – Have you heard about our audiobooks?

    Would you find listening to our cancer information easier than reading it? We want everyone affected by cancer to be able to access our information, so we produce a wide range of audiobooks to support you. Our audiobooks come in clearly designed and easy-to-read packaging (see below). And better still they contain the information that you might need!



    Why try audio?

    Listening to an audiobook could be helpful if:

    • You feel very tired (fatigued) and might find it difficult to look through a booklet
    • You have a learning disability that might make reading our information more tricky
    • You have a visual impairment
    • English isn’t your first language
    • You’d simply prefer to listen than read

    Our audiobooks are very easy to navigate. They’re split into chunks (called tracks) so you can skip between them and listen to the parts you need most. They also provide all of the information that you’d find in one of our booklets, so you won’t miss out. Many of our audiobooks contain quotes from real people affected by cancer, and some even include clips of them talking about their personal experiences. As well as all this, they offer a convenient way of finding out what you need to know. You can listen wherever and whenever it suits you, whether you’re cooking or sat in the car.

    What titles can you get as an audiobook?

    Over 60 of our booklets are now available in audio format, offering you information about different types of cancer, treatments and living with and after cancer. Among our collection, you’ll find titles such as:

     

    We also have information that is exclusive to audio, like our Relax and Breathe CD.


    And if you’d like informationabout a particular cancer topic or type that we don’t already produce as an audiobook, you can request it and we’ll have it made for you. Simply call us on 0808 808 00 00 and ask for the information you’d like, or email us at cancerinformationteam@macmillan.org.uk

    We also have information available in other formats including large print, other languages and videos in British Sign Language


    We're with you every step of the way

    The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

    Comments? Feel free to add them below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

    Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo


     

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