Blog Archives

How can I Help My Grieving Friend/Family Member?


lost love is still love

One of the things that we try to do during Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is to help the grieving parents make some sense of how they are feeling, to encourage them to give themselves permission to grieve according to their own schedule irrespective of what other may feel or think.

Another is to try to help friends and family understand what it is like to lose a child; what the grieving parents are going through and how best to act around them and help them through this tragedy that has overtaken their lives, which is what today’s post will cover.

When a child dies, the parents will be in shock, even if it is a death after a long-fought battle against an illness like cancer. The bottom of their world has just dropped out from under them, and they will be going through a range of emotions such as disbelief, denial, confusion, anger, hysteria, resentment, anxiety, panic, depression, and a lot more besides.

There is generally no shortage of help when a death first occurs, but unfortunately that soon seems to dry up, as though once the funeral has happened it is all over and done with and everything should just go back to normal, and this is just not so – especially with the death of a child! Read the rest of this entry

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The Mourner’s Bill of Rights


Losing a child is the most painful experience that any parent can be asked to go through, especially when it is a young child that they have had to watch go through the devastating, frightening, physically and emotionally crippling battle against cancer.

Losing a child is like losing one’s heart and then being expected to carry on with life as though everything is still the same – and it isn’t.

People expect you to act and behave in a specific manner, and they have no right; they mumble inane well-meaning but awkward, insensitive phrases like “He’s in a better place,” “Everything happens for a reason,” or “You’re lucky to have other children,” and “Time will heal all,” or “You must get on with your life now.”

In our second article in this Bereaved Parents Awareness Month we would like to once again extend our heartfelt sympathies to all parents who have lost a child/children and remind you that NOBODY has the right to tell you how to grieve, how long to grieve, or anything else about YOUR grief!

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Can Spider Silk Boost our Immune Systems?


New research showcases an innovative method of delivering vaccines straight to our white blood cells, strengthening the immune system against cancer and serious infections.

Immunotherapy, which is a widely used form of treatment against cancer, boosts the body’s immune system in the fight against tumors.

Immunotherapy works primarily with T cells, which are a type of white blood cell, or lymphocyte.Largely, our immune systems rely on B lymphocytes, which are active in a variety of infections, and T lymphocytes which must be activated when combating cancer or more serious infections such as tuberculosis.

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Feedspot Influential Blog Rank: #4


The Little Fighters Cancer Trust is proud to announce that our Blog has once again – for the 3rd year running – been ranked among the Top Childhood Cancer Blogs on the internet for 2018!

This blog was started in June 2014, and since then we have been hard at work trying to share the most relevant, most up to date information regarding Childhood Cancer as well as some of the Struggles and the Triumphs & Tragedies that accompany Childhood Cancer, and will continue to do so as often as possible for as long as possible.

We moved up from #57 in 2016 to #5 in 2017, and in 2018 we have moved up to 

Feedspot Influential Blog Rank: #4

#ChildhoodCancer   #LittleFighters   #LFCT   #CancerSUCKS #LittleFightersCancerTrust   #HelpingHands   #LFCTCares

 

Thanks a million to all our Supporters and Followers!

 

Real Food Recipes for your Child with Cancer


Switching from cans of soup or casseroles to fresh, real ingredients can be a fun challenge, and right now is the perfect time to swop processed crackers and snacks for fruit, homemade smoothies and yoghurts.

Not only will you ALL all feel better; your blood sugar will stop plummeting daily, you will all be more regular, and you may even lose a few pounds – your children will also learn to be adventurous eaters, and be SO MUCH HEALTHIER for it!

When your Little Fighter craves comfort-food, have childhood favourites “real-foodified” at the ready and in your freezer. When they have no appetite, make sure you have nutrient-dense soups and smoothies for them to sip all day. Even a Peanut Butter Sandwich with jam or honey is very beneficial.

Make overnight slow-cooker broth, muffins and quick breads, smoothies, and homemade coffee creamer to treat yourself as tired parents/caregivers….

While they may have cupcakes and sweets from friends as well as other “fun food” at numerous parties when they can go back to school – it is what is fed at home that makes the biggest difference in your child’s attitude toward nutrition and that way they won’t be robbed of the learning experiences that come with eating “sometimes foods.”

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Missing Microbes ‘Cause’ Childhood Cancer


Our modern germ-free life is the cause of the most common type of cancer in children, according to one of Britain’s most eminent scientists.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) affects one in 2,000 children.

Prof Mel Greaves, from the Institute of Cancer Research, has amassed 30 years of evidence to show the immune system can become cancerous if it does not “see” enough bugs early in life.

It means it may be possible to prevent the disease.

Combined Events

The type of blood cancer is more common in advanced, affluent societies, suggesting something about our modern lives might be causing the disease.

There have been wild claims linking power cables, electromagnetic waves and chemicals to the cancer.

That has been dismissed in this work published in Nature Reviews Cancer.

Instead, Prof Greaves – who has collaborated with researchers around the world – says there are three stages to the disease.

The first is a seemingly unstoppable genetic mutation that happens inside the womb. Then a lack of exposure to microbes in the first year of life fails to teach the immune system to deal with threats correctly.

This sets the stage for an infection to come along in childhood, cause an immune malfunction and leukaemia.

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Gauteng Cancer Patients ‘Dying Waiting for Treatment’


Cancer patients in Gauteng die while waiting for radiation treatment and the delays mean any intervention already made is rendered useless, reports the Sunday Times.

“It’s bigger than the Esidimeni tragedy,” said one senior oncologist. About half of all cancer patients will need radiation as part of their treatment but can expect to wait up to four months if they are accessing it in state hospitals in Johannesburg and Pretoria – delays described by doctors as “extreme and unacceptable”. Waiting too long for radiation can mean the cancer is much more likely to return, explained the medical director at Campaigning for Cancer, oncologist Devan Moodley in a Sunday Times report.

In December a surgeon at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoriawrote to the hospital manager to ask that the radiation backlog be dealt with. He wrote: “Many (patients) have transport problems and cannot visit again and again. Some die waiting for treatment.” In the letter the doctor describes the impact of the backlog, like the patient in his 20s who had a tumour removed in December. He needed to start radiation within six weeks to try to prevent a recurrence of the disease, but his first appointment with the radiology department was in March and he will likely only start radiation in June. Another patient is described as young and with an “excellent prognosis” – if he receives radiation within six weeks.

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Cancer Services Take Strain as Radiation Oncologists Leave SA State Sector


SA has just 38 state-employed radiation oncologists, of which 16 are in the Western Cape, according to the annual survey conducted by the SA Society of Clinical and Radiation OncologyBhekisisa reports that cancer services are buckling nationwide, with possibly half of the provinces relying on just nine radiation oncologists.

There is not a single radiation oncologist left in Limpopo orMpumalanga, according to Sascro. Half the country’s provinces may be relying on just nine radiation oncologists and, Bhekisisa reports, Johannesburg may no longer be able to pick up the slack.

Only radiation oncologists are qualified to provide the treatment many cancer patients require. This type of treatment is needed in about half of cancer cases. In North West, a lone doctor at Klerksdorp Tshepong Hospital Complex is the last radiation oncologist in that province, provincial health spokesperson Tebogo Llekgethwane admits.

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Thank You “Vlytige Hande”


Once again our wonderful ladies from Klaradyn Retirement Village in Brackenfell, who tirelessly work together in a group called “Vlytige Hande” which loosely translates as “Diligent Hands” or “Industrious Hands” spent their time knitting and crocheting for various schools and organisations in the Brackenfell area.

Although the Little Fighters Cancer Trust is not situated in the area, we do work with Little Fighters and their Families at Tygerberg Hospital, so are also always included in the beneficiaries.

On Friday I spent a lovely time with all the ladies over a cup of coffee and scones, having a few good laughs, listening to all their stories and meeting some of the representatives from other organisations also there to collect goodies.

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Little Miss & Mr Winelands 2018


On Saturday night Lizelma and I were privileged to attend the Little Miss & Mr Winelands 2018 Competition as the Little Fighters Cancer Trust was the beneficiary on the night, and what a wonderful, sparkling, professional, fun evening it was.

Young ladies and gentlemen from all over the Winelands took part and strutted their stuff on the stage – we were just very pleased that we were not asked to be judges as they had an enormous task ahead of them – but they acquitted themselves very well.

It was such fun to watch the little ones, the young ladies were all decked out in their finest gowns and the gentlemen were decked out in their fines too, bow ties and all [ Lizelma wanted to take one or two home with her…. 😉 ]

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