Helping a friend with cancer through baking

THAT dreaded C- word seems to have been bandied around a little too often in my mum's little ex-pat community in Cyprus lately.

Probably because of their age - most of my mum's friends are in their 60's and 70's-  in the past few months alone more than one of the lovely men in her village have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.
The community has rallied round - the support network out in Mandria is awesome. Neighbours offer lifts to hospitals, DIY and gardening help, airport pick ups for worried relatives visiting from the UK.
My mum and her husband have done what they can in these areas but one of the extra things my mum came up with I thought merited a blog post.

She bakes to help her friend fight cancer.

Let me explain. Apparently (and I apologise if the detail is not spot on) if you are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, one of the treatments involves medication having to be given in regular doses. One of the conditions of being able to have this treatment, and here I have to be blunt, is that the patient has to have been to the toilet. Winnie the Pooh, Number 2, whatever you want to call it. Without that crucial regular dump the treatment cannot happen.

My mum's friend was struggling with this so mum offered to make Malt Loaf.
Containing copious amounts of sugar, dried fruit and Kellogg's All Bran it has been a long standing staple bowel-fix food of hers for feeding us as kids when we weren't too regular. Not that I minded because Mum's Malt Loaf, topped with lashings of butter, was my favourite snack!

She actually got the recipe decades ago off a box of All Bran and despite there being a typo in the recipe, mum figured it out and for the past few weeks has been delivering a freshly baked 2lb loaf weekly for her friend to consume. Whether it's the recipe, good luck or mind over matter, her friend has managed to use the loo and therefore complete 20 of his required 39 doses of treatment.

Mum was keen for me to pass this tip on. She admits it's probably a fluke but I'm sure folks out there with this particular type of cancer will be willing to try anything to keep regular - and this is a particularly tasty way of achieving "movement"

To be honest even if you are fit and healthy and regular as clockwork I recommend the recipe - it's a tasty treat for anyone and I used to love finding mum had put a slice or two in my lunchbox when I was at school.

In the meantime think about those suffering from this embarrassing illness - and keep your fingers crossed for those in my mum's community who are battling with it.

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