You’ve been diagnosed with a blood cancer, and there are a million questions going through your mind.
- You may feel overwhelmed and anxious
- Have doubts about your ability to cope with or overcome the disease
- Worry about your job, financial security and your loved ones
- Feel confused about your treatment options and what comes next
AT THIS STAGE, YOU CAN
- Learn about your type of blood cancer/treatment option
- Become informed about your treatment options, its risks, benefits and side effects
- Get a second opinion in order to explore all treatment and care options available to you
- Undergo additional testing to find out more about your cancer
- Create a support system to help you through treatment and recovery
- Be admitted to hospital in order to begin treatment right away
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN LEARN MORE
A cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming, but there are lots of resources available to help you every step of the way. We can help you get started on what to do next.
Understanding your diagnosis
- Do you have an ACUTE or a chronic BLOOD CANCER?
- Acute blood cancers are fast-growing and progress quickly when untreated. This is because the cancer cells multiply fast.
- Chronic or indolent blood cancers develop slowly, and the early symptoms may be mild and go unnoticed.
- Information on specific blood cancer type
- What does staging mean – what are the implications?
- How to tell children (parent with young children especially feel guilty and anxious about the future)
- How to explain the type of blood cancer so others can understand
- How to ask for help or additional resources from health care providers
- Caring for yourself
- Type of blood cancer or complexities of cancer type may require a referral to another hospital or cancer center
- How to make the transition go more smoothly
- How to cope with living a distance from the cancer center – implications for treatment
- When to request a referral to a center of excellence
Suggestions from Other People Living With Cancer
- Get information about choosing a cancer specialist or treatment center.
- Find out about financial matters: What does your insurance cover? What financial assistance is available to you?
- Learn about the most current tests and treatments for your type of blood cancer.
- Keep all appointments with the doctor and talk openly about your fears or concerns or any side effects you experience.
- Talk with family and friends about how you feel and how they can help.
- Contact your doctor if you have fatigue, fever, pain or sleep problems so that any issues can be addressed early on. Get medical advice if you have experienced changes in mood, feelings of sadness or depression
Tips to talk to your employer, insurance
- Tips for talking with your employer about cancer and your rights
- Employment rights of cancer survivors and caregivers
- Finances and insurance Coverage
- Managing insurance and expenses during illness
If you are on sick leave, review your budget – when and how?
Find information and support
- You are not alone. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC) offers the most comprehensive array of services to patients and families affected by blood cancers.
- National and International Resources
- Peer Support Program: Are you interested in speaking with someone who has been through it before?