Along with two more contributors who have experienced cancer first hand, we also spoke with Stacey Heale. Stacey’s husband Greg died very recently, so Stacey comes from the perspective of a partner of someone diagnosed with cancer.
Meet Rosamund Dean
In her own words, Rosamund Dean is ‘currently blitzing breast cancer’ after being diagnosed at the end of 2020. She is a journalist and author, a columnist for the Sunday Times Style magazine and a contributing editor of Grazia. She is also the author of ‘Mindful Drinking: how cutting down can change your life’, a simple practical guide for those who want to have a healthy relationship with alcohol. Rosamund lives in London with husband Jonathan Dean, and their two children.
Her Instagram account offers a wealth of first hand information about what going through breast cancer treatment can look like as Rosamund is determined to demystify the whole process and encourage women to be breast cancer aware.
Pantherella cashmere socks as they are ‘one of life’s true luxuries’.
Similar to other contributors, Rosamund chose a @spacemasks self-heating eye mask as a friend once gave one to Rosamund and she, ‘felt like a spa had come to her bedroom’.
The Marjorie Minnie lambswool blanket is an original suggestion from 2017 and when Rosamund chose it she gave exactly the same reason: ‘If you decide to wear the cold cap to reduce hair loss, then a cosy blanket is vital to keep the rest of your body warm.’
Reading screens during chemo made Rosamund feel queasy so she added a copy of Red Magazine to her package and cast another vote for the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Cook Kitchen vouchers.
Rosamund also suggested we add a silk pillowcase and gentle nail care to our product range so we are delighted to welcome The Silk Collection and Zoo Makeup to our suppliers.
Meet Dr Anisha Patel
Dr Anisha Patel is a mum, GP and bowel cancer survivor. She uses her platform to spread awareness and educate people about cancer with a mixture of medical insights and personal experience. She regularly appears on Lorraine sharing info, and also just ran the London Marathon!
Montezumas chocolate buttons ‘because everyone needs chocolate and great treat to take on the way to treatment!’
Nursem hand cream ‘because treatments can be harsh to skin and this is so moisturising, works well and is easy to take in a bag in and out of hospital.’
Kemi Telford love/strength necklace ‘because as much as practicalities are important, it would feel wonderful to have a piece of jewellery that gives you strength from a loved one at a time of need.’
London Cashmere Company hand warmers ‘as a few chemo drugs can cause neuropathy from the cold and I never had enough gloves.’
Anisha also added Teapigs Lemon and Ginger teabags and was the third contributor to add Cook Kitchen vouchers.
Anisha made a number of product suggestions that we have been able to source from UK based small businesses including a gentle shampoo bar from Nuddy and a wheat bag to combat the relentless coldness from The Wheatbag Company.
Last week Anisha shared a video recorded for Stand Up To Cancer in which she explained what standing up to cancer means to her. We think these are the perfect word to end the week with:
‘Standing up to cancer meant being able to look after my family and spend time with them once more. It meant taking my children to school when I could during treatment and taking part in activities once again with them. Standing up to cancer means making memories with my friends and family. Standing up to cancer means turning a negative into a positive.It means raising awareness breaking taboos, and educating. It meant using my platform as a doctor to help others. And working with charities. I’m standing up to cancer for those past, present and future. After all, one in two of us will get cancer. It’s imperative we get more funding to make further advances in the world of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Whether or not you’ve had cancer, I’m sure somewhere along the line, your life has been touched by cancer.’
You can follow Anisha on Instagram.
Meet Stacey Heale
Stacey Heale is a writer, TED x speaker, curator, and pre-covid was the creator and host of the Silver Boots Supper Club where she encouraged her guests to talk about what they would do if they weren’t afraid. Her husband Greg was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and on her social media since then she has talked with (occasionally gut wrenching, but always beautiful) honesty about his treatment, what cancer does to people and families, and her life with Greg and their two children, Dali and Bay.
Sadly, Greg died three weeks ago. Since then Stacey has been sharing her grief in the same breath-taking way with which she shared their love story over the last few years. We know from reading her posts and the comments beneath them that she is a source of comfort and support for so many. She has the most beautiful and unusual gift of being able to put into words what so many of us cannot. We asked Stacey to give us a partner’s perspective – what would a partner of someone with cancer like to receive in a package that was just for them – and this is the package she put together.
Spacemasks Self Heating Eye Mask – because naps save lives and these help
Black Oud Candle – because any opportunity to enliven the senses should be taken
Untamed by Glennon Doyle – because every woman needs other women cheering them on from the sidelines
Luxury Lined Notebook – because writing is essential for me, for journalling and understanding my emotions
Pantherella Cashmere Socks – because luxury is always an essential
COOK Voucher – because cooking is the last thing on my mind
We thank her for her contribution. Like everyone else though, we wish it was a contribution that was not needed. We wish cancer had not taken Greg, or anyone else, too soon. We wish this package did not need to exist. But until that wish comes true we will continue to support the work that Stand Up To Cancer does in funding groundbreaking research to find a way to tell cancer to f*ck off for good.
We would like to send Stacey, her two children, and all of Greg’s family all the love and warmth we can muster. We are thinking of you.
You can follow Stacey on Instagram.
As well as offering thoughtful gifts for Cancer patients and their loved ones, we also make an annual donation to support the work of Stand Up To Cancer. Last year, we found ourselves in the privileged position of being able to make an extra donation to Cancer Research when they contacted us and let us know how the pandemic had affected their fundraising. We made a donation of £10,000 on top of our usual annual donation, and we’ll be honest, it felt good to be in a position to help.
‘Cancer is a shit’ as Steph so eloquently put it (!) and we are proud to be part of the effort to end this brutal disease’s impact on so many lives.
Take a look at the New and Improved Stand Up To Cancer Care Package.