Whether you are self-quarantining or practicing social distancing, we all are adjusting to a new normal amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. As a patient or survivor, you might be experiencing feelings of isolation, uncertainty and anxiety. As a caregiver, you might be feeling overwhelmed with navigating your loved one’s care while looking after your own needs. And as a family member, you might be feeling unsure of how you can help. This is understandable, and you are not alone.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is here to help. I encourage blood cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and families to contact our Information Specialists for free, one-on-one support. LLS Information Specialists – master’s level oncology professionals – are available by phone at 800-955-4572 or by email or chat at this link. I also urge you to speak with your healthcare team.
While this is a stressful time, there are a few things we can do to tend to our physical and emotional needs. Not only can these self-care practices help us cope with isolation and stress, but also keep us feeling our best all year long.
*A quick note on terminology: you might be hearing two terms in the news, SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 refers to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which is the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Learn more here.
Since we first learned of the rapid global spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) the situation continues to evolve at a dizzying pace. LLS has been closely monitoring the fast-changing situation and we understand this is causing confusion and anxiety among our patients and caregivers. We previously shared some important information that blood cancer patients should know about coronavirus which you can read here. You can also visit the CDC website where you can find frequently asked questions.
We all are finding ourselves having to adapt quickly to the new normal. Even here at LLS to protect our staff, blood cancer patients and other constituents in our communities across the country we have made the difficult decision to postpone our in-person fundraising events, and postpone in-person events for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. But please know that LLS remains open for business, although our offices are closed, our staff is working from home. Patients and caregivers should continue to contact our Information Specialists by phone at 800-955-4572 by email or chat by clicking here.
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is shining a light on our community of women trailblazers who are leading the way to cancer cures. Malathy Shanmugam, PhD, MS, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, is at the forefront of finding new treatments and cures for myeloma. With support from LLS, Dr. Shanmugam is researching an innovative targeted therapy called venetoclax, which is showing promise in multiple myeloma and has proven to be a game changer for some patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia. As March is also Myeloma Awareness Month, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to learn more about Dr. Shanmugam, her cutting edge research and what inspires her.