Now that we have all had some time to adjust to the “new normal”, our lives look a little different than before COVID-19. The pandemic has left many people feeling more anxious or depressed than before; isolation from friends and family removes a large element of social support that many of us rely on.[KCL20]
Finding ways to keep in touch either online or within your support bubble (if local restrictions allow) can help to fight any feelings of loneliness and boost positivity. Practicing mindfulness using the free podcasts found here can teach you to treat yourself with kindness and compassion when you are experiencing difficult times. Exercise is also a quick and easy way to feel better – it not only has many physical benefits but can help with mental wellbeing too. To feel the benefits, try finding ways to exercise around the home with free programmes available online or by going out early in the morning so you can distance more easily.
Even as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, keeping up-to-date with reliable information and keeping in touch with your healthcare team is key to your physical and mental wellbeing. By now, you may have been contacted by your healthcare team to make arrangements regarding your CML treatment. Diagnosis, treatment and care are all continuing but the way it is delivered may have changed.[BCUK] You may find that some appointments are offered by phone or video call or from a different location. This is to reduce the number of visits to hospital where you may be exposed to the virus. You may also be asked not to bring anyone with you to your appointments – this can be hard but it’s another important way of protecting people by limiting contact.[BCUK] Take the time to prepare for your appointment with the person who normally comes with you so you can still benefit from their advice, and they can still feel involved in your care.
There is currently no evidence to suggest that your CML treatment will pose any increased risk of COVID-19 infection or of having a worse outcome.[ASH20] Nonetheless, your treatment plan might change in a number of ways depending on your individual health and circumstances.[BCUK] Your healthcare team’s first concern is your health, and they will discuss their recommendations with you and explain the reasons behind them.[BCUK]
It is understandable if you have felt anxious about the disrupted access to your healthcare appointments, or fear that your condition may worsen in this time. Remember, your healthcare team are still there for you and will make sure your care is managed safely in or out of hospital.[BCUK] So if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment, or notice any changes to your health, contact your healthcare team to talk it through – there is no need to delay if you are feeling worried.
[ASH20] American Society of Hematology. COVID-19 and CML – frequently-asked questions. Available at: https://www.hematology.org/covid-19/covid-19-and-cml. Last accessed: July 2021.
[BCUK] Blood Cancer UK. Blood cancer and coronavirus. Available at: https://bloodcancer.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-blood-cancer/your-blood-cancer-treatment/. Last accessed: July 2021.
[KCL20] King’s College London. Life under lockdown: coronavirus in the UK. 9 April 2020. Available at: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/life-under-lockdown-coronavirus-in-the-uk. Last accessed: July 2021