Finding out you have blood cancer can bring on a whirlwind of emotions and a plethora of questions. No one expects to get such a diagnosis and there isn’t anything you can do to prepare.
Regardless of how you came to your diagnosis, most people report not having absorbed a lot of information after hearing the word “cancer." The vocabulary may seem like a foreign language, and the need for support can be tremendous.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) can help.
Trained information specialists can help you deal with the challenges of your diagnosis and provide information about treatment options. The master's level oncology social workers, nurses and health educators in our Information Resource Center (IRC) can talk about accurate and up-to-date disease, treatment and support information, and assist with financial and social challenges.
Here are some additional support services you can tap into from home:
Online Chats : Moderated by a social worker, our live, weekly online chats provide a friendly forum to share experiences and chat with others about anything from the initial phase of diagnosis to treatment and survivorship. We offer chat groups for:
Discussion Boards: From financial issues to coping with treatment, there are several discussion boards covering a wide array of topics. Discussion boards are available 24/7 for you to post any questions or share your experiences with others.
Getting the courage to work out is often harder than the workout itself. This is especially true when fitness plans include goals that are hard to measure. Fortunately, through a special partnership with Fitbit, many women in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Moms In Training program are learning to better manage their workouts and track their progress.
LLS teamed up with Fitbit for the second time this year to help Moms In Training participants stay motivated while getting in shape for a local run or walk. Fitbit’s activity trackers automatically track daily steps, calories burned, distance traveled and active minutes. Most also track floors climbed and sleep duration and quality. The more advanced products track heart rate and GPS-based information, and incorporate smartphone integration like text and call notifications.
Rachel Spurrier, a head coach in Brooklyn, New York, is an experienced runner who, until recently, never used a tracking device. She finds the Fitbit Charge HR pretty addictive, even when she’s not training because it tracks her steps when she’s doing errands, going to meetings, etc. During a recent coaching session, the moms were able to track their heart rates during difficult hill repetitions. One woman was feeling particularly nervous, but picking up the pace and heart rate each time – and having the data to prove it - ultimately helped her finish with a smile on her face.
“This mom will probably feel even more motivated about her fundraising efforts this week, she’ll probably have more energy to devote to her kids, and she also realized that by working a little harder, she feels so much better about herself and her outlook on her day,” Spurrier said.
Lois Adelman has been an avid Fitbit user for the past two years. Last year, she created a group for fellow trainers who called themselves “Fitbit Friends” to keep each other on track even when they weren’t training together. This year, they took their training up a notch and formed a group of “Fitbit Fighters” to track their daily goals and keep each other motivated.
Guest blogger Brynne Mulloy talks about her daughter’s milestone birthday. Eevie was given a 17 percent chance of reaching age 2 after being diagnosed with congenital acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but she did it. The fight isn’t over yet but the family is excited to begin a new – and hopefully brighter - chapter alongside their “Life Warrior.”
A second birthday card. Not something anyone really thinks about too much I suppose. I, on the other hand, used to stare at them. I would walk down the card aisle at Target and just stare at them. I had to buy one for my second cousin once. I cried all the way through the checkout line. I guess my brain never let me believe we would get there; my heart told me otherwise.
I guess we should all listen to our hearts more. Eevie has reached "the big two" and we feel dumbfounded, blissful, and very humbled. I thought we were lucky when we reached one (so lucky in fact that after that milestone, I found myself engaging in corny superstitious rituals to generate more luck). It certainly wasn't all luck that brought us to this day. Eevie has irrefutably lived up to the meaning of her name, "life warrior." She tends to do everything opposite of what the doctors say. They said she would not make it to two, she did. They said that the high dose chemotherapy would likely have major effects on her organs, it didn't.