In honor of Blood Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Gwen Nichols reflects on our vital work to support blood cancer patients and their families.
As Chief Medical Officer of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), I often speak with patients and survivors about adjusting to their new normal after a cancer diagnosis or treatment. But finding a new normal looks very different in a world where a global pandemic has impacted every aspect of cancer care and daily life as we know it. COVID-19 is reshaping cancer care in real-time – magnifying the issues patients face already and leaving them with more questions than answers.
Here at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), we believe no one should go through cancer alone. For more than two decades, LLS Information Specialists – master’s level oncology professionals – have been guiding blood cancer patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to our trusted education and support. During these trying times, our Information Specialists continue to provide critical one-on-one support, and importantly, answers: from how to navigate changes in health insurance coverage to how to balance caregiving, work, and childcare at home, to how to cope with added distress and more.
What’s more, we’re hearing from patients whose clinical trial has been paused or who are concerned about traveling to their trial site. LLS Clinical Trial Nurse Navigators – registered nurses with expertise in blood cancers – are providing in-depth support, including help with finding options closer to home. We also offer one-on-one nutrition consultations with a registered dietitian to help patients and caregivers stay well-nourished.
The best part is, our help is free! There are so many ways you can find the support you need right from the comfort of your home. Our Information Specialists are ready to help you and your loved ones at 800-955-4572 or by email/chat here. And while your new normal might be anything but, I encourage you to stay on track with your appointments, embrace telemedicine and make time for self-care. Remember, taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do right now.