Thursday, 7 January 2016

Chemo Cakes

I always say, “Life is better with CAKE!”

One day while I was having my chemo, we all had a welcome surprise in the form of cake! According to the receptionist, they have a breast cancer survivor who had her treatment at the Ricky Grant Unit, and every now and then she comes in with cakes for the chemo-ites. I thought this was such a lovely idea and decided to do the same on an occasional basis, because people having chemo really do need treats! There’s nothing like being made to feel special and being spoilt a bit – I know this from experience. It is a small way in which I can say a big thank you for all the excellent care I have had, and to keep my bond with a very special place alive and well. Some people, if they’d experienced what I went through last year, might want to forget all about the hospital and especially the chemo unit, which was the focus of feeling so poorly and being confronted with one’s own mortality, but I don’t feel this way – despite the chemo making me feel extremely unwell, the whole experience was a very positive one for me, and I met some amazing people, patients and staff alike, and I never want to forget what I went through, but remember with gratitude, because it saved my life.

Today we attended the funeral of a lady who did not have such a happy outcome of her cancer, and this makes me doubly thankful. A humbling experience.

Yesterday evening I started making my first batch of cakes for the them. I wanted to provide a treat for whoever happens to be in having their chemo tomorrow, when I have to return to have my port flushed. (One day they will get round to removing my port – not sure when!) I also have some cards to take in for them to sell to raise funds.

I have made a total of 27 buns, which I hope will be enough – 12 lemon ones and 15 chocolate ones. I didn’t have enough ingredients to make more! The chocolate cake recipe is an old one of my mum’s, and in addition to the normal fat (I use Stork block margarine which makes nice light cakes), sugar, flour and eggs, it also includes golden syrup, hot water and cocoa powder. This makes a really gooey and delicious cake! Before adding the flour, the mix has the consistency of batter.

Here are the lemon buns, straight out of the oven, and the chocolate mix ready to go in the bun cases.

01 Lemon Buns and Chocolate Mix

These are all the buns, cooling.

02 Lemon and Choclate Buns

I thought it was easier to make buns – easier to transport, and easier to distribute at the other end, rather than having to find suitable tins and boxes for full-sized cakes, and then having to slice them at the unit. We were out this morning until early afternoon, and on our return, I was able to ice the buns ready for tomorrow.

03 Lemon and Chocolate Buns Iced

Like most of my baking, they won’t win any beauty contests! Other people seem to be able to make stuff that isn’t lopsided or bursting lol! Any cake shop would sell these as misshapes at half price. Oh well, at least they should taste OK!

When the weather starts to improve in the spring, I am going to do a test run to the hospital on my buggy to see how long it takes me, and if it is feasible. I think it should take me about half an hour. If it works, this will give me a lot more independence – at the moment I have to depend on my hubby to take me (and when I was ill I couldn’t have managed on the buggy anyway). I would love to be able to get there whenever I like. Buns will be a lot easier to pack in the buggy bag than full-sized cakes!

I love baking. It’s soooo long since I did any, and it’s really nice to be doing some again. One of the things that put me off doing it in recent years (apart from not having the energy) was that if you bake cakes, you do tend to eat them! I adore cake, but there is no way I’m sticking to my diet if there is cake in the house!

I hope my partners in crime – my fellow chemo-ites – really enjoy their little treat. If I’ve made too many, the nurses can fight over what’s left.


  1. I just want to say what a lovely idea that is! I am glad to hear you're through your chemo.

  2. I've found putting double patty pans helps keep the cakes in shape. Oh how kind, and what a treat for the patients and nurses in the Unit! I hope you can get there ok.The weather might be against you though.hearing of the rain, rain, rain!! If only it could blow over here.Our street trees look like Autumn as they are so stressed by lack of rain.Baking is wonderful isn't it? Have a great weekend!


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