Image result for daffodils imagesNew start-ups will benefit cancer survivors

Before the event, my big worry was – would anyone turn up? 

Macmillan had printed lots of lovely flyers.  Friends had put these up all over the village and surroundings, and Hannah at Macmillan had sent these out to support groups all over the area.  Then publicity for the big Festival in Dorchester started up, and the company putting up their posters sometimes obscured ours.  It happens!

But – and this was an extraordinary consequence of organising the Day – even before we opened the doors,there were start-ups to benefit cancer survivors.  Two local massage therapists decided, as there was obvious local interest, they had looked into courses. Both had decide to invest in specialist training for dealing with people recovering from cancer. Several others said they were interested in offering services tailored for survivors.  So there was a lovely feeling the Day was going to be useful, even if no-one  came through the doors!

Copying Europe

Much of European cancer treatment includes massage.  So here were private companies prepared to invest in the type of training that is common there, where they have a better survival rate.

  1. Isabelle Brough Oncology Massage – just in time, Isabelle’s Diploma  qualified as an oncology massage practitioner, trained at the Middlesex School of Complementary Medicine.  “I decided to study oncology massage when a young client I helped walk again after brain cancer surgery had a relapse”.  Based in a quiet, rural location in Harpsden (RG9 4HH), near Henley-on-Thames, Isabel offers a taster seated massage or movement coaching session (10 minutes – £5). www.isabellebrough.weebly.com   07806 792880
  2. Georgie at Hair of Dorchester.  Now offers massages simlar to the ones I was treated with at Cancer hospitals in Austria, France, Italy etc. where massage is a recognised part of treatment for oncology patients.  Super moisturising facials, ideal for sorting out the horrible ‘Brillo pad’ skin that treatment leaves us with as a side effect of drugs.  Incidentally, since local hospital transport no longer covers podiatry, I find it is cheaper to go to Georgie for a Pedicure, than pay for a taxi to take me to hospital.  And Georgie paints my nails as well!  01865-340194
Lymphoedema
As if having swollen limbs from Lymphoedema wasn’t bad enough, compression garments to support our heavy. painful limbs often come in what can only be described as ‘Granny greige’. (anyone remember Nora Barry?)  Not an attractive sight.  But Marisa Ladogana has come up with an idea – attractive floaty tops to waft around our bodies, and cover up clumpy clothing. Lots of people were interested in what she had to offer, and afterward she commented ” I received a lot of positive feedback on my tops for arm lymphoedema and met some lovely people”.  Watch this space, as I shall certainly be featuring her ideas when the clothes are available. mladogana@googlemail.com
Skincare
I am passionate about skincare, and my idea behind running the Day was to show others (men and women) what is available for survivors that is medically-approved, especially for skin conditions.  In the UK it seems that some doctors overlook skin probems, even though skin is our biggest organ.  During cancer treatment I came out in blisters all over my body, but was arrogantly told by a so-called Dermatologist “it’s your age”; even though  I knew enough to know this was completely untrue,
Eventually I was told to go to France;  where the centre of La Roche Posay (LRP) produced competent doctors who carried out tests that confirmed the blisters were definitely a side effect of cancer drugs.  I have since found out LRP products are recommended by hospitals all over the world. NICE has approved Anthelios, their anti-sun cream – which you can get on prescription in some areas if you are entitled to free prescriptions.
Before the event, Flexitol sent me a parcel of samples of their foot cream, so if anyone was housebound and unable to come to the Day, I could hand out a fistful.  Incidentally Podiatrists recommend Flexitol for diabetics, cancer survivors and anyone who suffers from ‘cracked feet’ and it can be obtained on prescription (not many people know this!)
And finally – most exciting – Amanda with the pinky-red hair was gathering information for her start-up idea of a Beauty Bus to go round the area, to your doorstep  She had met up with someone at the Day who is going to help with funding – so again, Watch This Space!

What else?

LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) – I certainly benefitted from their advice  After cancer, like many I suffer from cold.  LEAP, working in partnership with Local Authorities and Housing Associations across the country offer eligible residents a completely FREE energy and money saving service. For me it was lovely free lightbulbs and Radiator Reflectors.  They offer a free of charge in-home advice visitnif you couldn’t make it on the day. https://applyforleap.org.uk

And Look Good Feel Better has given me an interesting propoal.  After the evnt they got in touch to say as the organisations at the Day were mostly part of nationwide networks, they would very much like a booklet listing these, which they could hand out with their luxury Goodie Bags whenever they run a demonstration.  This would fit a company that wants to spend a charity budget in helping cancer survivors.  So if anyone knows of such a company that has a charity budget, contact me  at verite@grenbee.net

And many many thanks to those who helped ensure the Day was successful.  I set out to give a Fun Day to cancer survivors, but it looks like the whole event is a catalyst for providing Thames Valley-wide services for them all.

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