COVID-19

COVID-19 Resource Centre

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and we understand these times brings special challenges for Canadians affected by a blood cancer. Serving the blood cancer community remains our top priority.

As we navigate this new normal, we continue to work with leading medical experts to bring you the information you need to stay healthy and informed.

We have excellent resources on COVID-19 available that you can access from home like Frequently Asked Questions, a webcast with one of Canada’s leading experts on infectious diseases, and more. We also encourage you to access the First Connection peer support program, if you’re interested in speaking with someone who has been through a blood cancer experience.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada is proud to rally with other Canadian cancer organizations to help people affected by cancer with COVID-19 specific challenges. Visit the COVID-19 Cancer Patient Support Hub for support with immediate, practical needs. 

It’s hard to navigate the unknown, but we’re here for you every step of the way. If you need support, our community support teams are available to take your calls. You can call us at 1-833-222-4884 or email us at CanadaInfo@lls.org.

 

This COVID-19 resource centre was made available to you thanks to the support of our partners:


 

COVID-19 Resources

My rituals before and during the pandemic

My rituals before and during the pandemic Stéphanie Jarry In October 2019, I was told that I had stage II Hodgkin lymphoma. When I started my treatments, I decided to start writing in a journal that I had gotten several years ago. On the cover, it said, “The best way to get something done is to begin.” At the time, I had picked up the journal because that sentence really spoke to me. I would have never ...

Covid 19

Surviving a Pandemic Winter

By Erica Botner Article shared by our partner Huddol.com Surviving a pandemic winter may be hard on a lot of people. You are not alone. While this summer was marked by a global pandemic and many of our activities were limited (travel, social life, etc.), we were still able to spend some time outside with friends and family safely, and even for long walks, appreciating the weather and nature. With the ...

Covid 19

Keep your children busy and healthy during the pandemic

Keep your children busy and healthy during the pandemic You can find on the Government of Canada website: Activities for children, You and your family's mental health, Returning to school, Staying connected, Information for parents Use these activities to teach your child about what they can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19: Hand washing heroes (video) Colour and learn (colouring pages...

Covid 19

Managing Family and Work Obligations While Social Distancing at H...

Article shared by LLS (U.S.) Many people who have undergone cancer treatment understand what’s it’s like to have to practice social distancing and the importance of isolating themselves to safeguard their compromised immune system. And now amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, many of us are doing the same to protect our own health as well as the health of our loved-ones and our communities. Tho...

BLOOD CANCER RESEARCHERS UNITE TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES OF COVID-19

BLOOD CANCER RESEARCHERS UNITE TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES OF COVI...

Toronto, Ontario (September 1, 2020) – Leading experts from across the country are putting on a united front to help restart the stalled momentum of cancer research in Canada.   Dr. Florian Kuchenbauer, a clinician and blood cancer researcher in British Columbia is leading a newly formed Researcher Super Team – a group of scientists that have come together to help raise funds and advocate for the cri...

Covid 19

Overcoming isolation with virtual socializing

In these difficult times, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada is here for you. You may be alone in your home, but you are not alone in facing blood cancer during a pandemic. Being part of a community can help us to feel less alone by reminding us that we’re not the only ones facing these struggles. It’s also a chance to give back to others. Reach out today. The LLSC offers two ways to give and get su...

Managing you Stress and anxiety during the 2nd wave of the pandemic

Managing you Stress and anxiety during the 2nd wave of the pandem...

By: Margo Kennedy
Oncology Social Worker
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
What are some of the hallmark symptoms of stress and anxiety during the pandemic and now that we are preparing for a potential 2nd wave? Some patients I speak to understandably are very concerned about contracting Covid 19, due to their weakened immune system. Living with this stress on top of a blood cancer diagnosis...

Covid 19

My son is going back to school

By Jany Chauvat COVID-19 has brought many changes. Since March, we have had to adjust how we live our lives. As a survivor of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, I had no choice but to adapt to the new health measures. Wearing a mask, limiting visits and all contact, washing my hands every ten minutes—it brought me right back to three years ago. It’s the life of an immunosuppressed person. Mine is a relativel...

Covid 19

The mental health challenges of living with cancer during COVID-1...

Article originally published on September 11 in the Globe & Mail Mayra Husic in the meditation room and “healing space” she built in the back yard of her Montreal home. When the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered borders in March and forced Canadians inside their homes, Mayra Husic felt despondent. Her beloved yellow lab had recently died, and she found herself sleeping on the couch every night with her da...

Staying active during the pandemic: Follow your heart and listen to your body

Staying active during the pandemic: Follow your heart and listen ...

Gabrielle Duhamel
Doctoral student in Kinesiology
Physical Activity Sciences
University of Montréal 
After I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia six years ago, I would often compare myself to the physical abilities I had had before—when I could bike two hours a day to get to work (even in the winter!) and win kayak races. I would also compare myself to those around me: ...

After Lockdown

After Lockdown

While most of the provinces are beginning to lift lockdown, the federal government still considers COVID-19 to be a serious health threat[1] and recommends that Canadians carefully follow all provincial recommendations related to lockdown lifting. As a person living with cancer whose immune system is weakened, you must stay as vigilant as you were during lockdown. You should encourage your loved ones and anyone wi...

COVID-19 and Pediatric Blood Cancer

Having a child with cancer comes with many unique challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic presents added stress. Below are several answers to our most frequently asked questions.    Is my child at a higher risk?  Children with cancer who are undergoing treatment may have weakened immune systems. Your child may be at a higher risk of contracting any infection compare...

Treating and Preventing COVID-19: Research Update

Is there a treatment for COVID-19?  here is currently no approved treatment for COVID-19, the illness caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. It can take years to develop new medications, so for now, researchers are concentrating on existing medications that could fight the virus, specifically antiretrovirals. These treatments act on people already infected with the ...

Mindfully Creating Art in Nature during COVID-19

Earlier this year, Stephanie Thorson reached out to the LLSC about working with the blood cancer community to lead individuals in one-on-one art therapy sessions. She was able to facilitate the project remotely; participants just needed an Internet connection and basic art supplies. In-person programs are not an option right now, and a global pandemic means that stress levels are at an all-time high for a lot of p...

Reflections on Self-Isolation

Linda August, bone marrow transplant and lymphoma survivor 
    "I have been in isolation at home with my partner since March 13.  The only outing since then has been walking, when not too busy out, while maintaining distance.  Others have shopped for me and dropped things on the doorstep. This is not easy for someone used to being independent.  But I am a 68-year-ol...

COVID-19: Conversation with a Hematologist

In this webcast, Dr. Florian Kuchenbauer, clinical scientist and associate professor, provides an overview of our current knowledge on COVID-19 and blood cancers. He answers some questions from the blood cancer community.  Watch Recording    ...

COVID-19: A Challenge for our Immune System

Various coronaviruses can cause respiratory infections in humans, from your average cold to more severe illnesses, like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is spread mainly by respiratory droplets from people with a cough or other symptoms, such as fever or fatigue, OR people with very few symptoms (especially at the start of the disease).   It appears that some asymptomatic people ca...

Caregiving during COVID-19

Taking care of someone who is fighting cancer, while rewarding, can be physically and mentally draining. It may have become more difficult and stressful in the context of COVID-19. To protect your loved one, you have to protect yourself first. It is more important now than ever to follow these recommendations: Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Avoid all unnecessar...

Practical Tips if you are Vulnerable to COVID-19

If you are currently receiving treatment for cancer, you are at a higher risk of having a suppressed immune system. For more information, you can read more in our article about immunosuppression.  Do I have to disinfect my groceries when I get home? What should I do? We recommend that you ask someone you know to do your grocery shopping. You can also use a delivery service and request no-contact delivery s...

COVID-19: Precautions to take at Cancer Centres

How can I protect myself when I have to go to a cancer centre for a follow-up appointment or for treatment?  If your hospital appointment has been confirmed by your physician or nurse, it’s important for you to go to it and take precautions.   If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare team BEFORE going to the hospital:  Fever or temperature of 38.3°C (...

COVID-19 and Immunosuppression

Many of you may be wondering about the impact of COVID-19 on your health as a person with a blood cancer. You’ve probably seen the term IMMUNOSUPPRESSED come up in various articles on the subject, but what does that actually mean? 
The immune system can be compared to an army with various battalions (cells and organs) and weapons (such as antibodies) responsible for defending us against all kinds of...

Staying Well-Nourished While Social Distancing

As we all continue to adjust to a new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to practice good self-care and prioritize our health. Your body’s ability to fight infection and disease depends on your immune system. Although there are no special foods or dietary supplements that can prevent COVID-19, healthy living strategies can help support your immune system now and all year long.  We have the ...

Life in Isolation - Haley Zora

    This article was written by Haley Zora, a blood cancer survivor. 
Life in Isolation   Surviving isolation is a skill I’ve been forced to learn at three separate times in my life, and to be completely honest it wasn’t exactly thrilling at any time. Chemotherapy, a broken leg with a compressed vertebrae, and now COVID-19 have kept me from regular life and mostly ...

Eating Healthy During a Pandemic

Registered Holistic Nutritionist Tara K. Antle discusses how a combination of proper nutrition, regular physical activity, and maintaining a positive attitude are achievable means for Canadians to enhance their health and well-being during times of isolation and social-distancing. Watch Recording   ...

Surviving Quarantine by Rachele Chaar

    This article was written by Rachele Chaar, a bone marrow transplant and Hodgkin lymphoma survivor.    
Surviving Quarantine     Following the surge in COVID-19 cases, many provinces across Canada have declared a state emergency. In order to help contain the pandemic and flatten the curve, we’ve been asked to stay home as much as possible a...

Dealing with PTSD During Isolation by Claudia Martino

This article was written by lymphoma survivor Claudia Martino I wanted to share a part of my story with this community because we obviously have some things in common! I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at four years old and again at 11 years old. I am now seven years in remission. I am writing this article to share with you what I learned from the Kids Write Network (KWN) process t...

More COVID-19 Questions and Answers

The ways we need to live our lives in the midst of this global COVID-19 pandemic is changing daily as federal and provincial governments ask us to hunker down, schools and businesses are shutting down or moving to virtual settings. We continue to hear every day from Canadians affected by blood cancers about how they should navigate their treatment and care in this confusing time.  You asked and we’re respon...

Ten Self-Care Tips to Cope with Isolation and Stress

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 person diagnosed with a blood cancer, 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 l...

Finding Gratitude and Practicing Yoga and Meditation During COVID...

Webcast Details
  Finding Gratitude and Practicing Yoga and Meditation During COVID-19
  Part I -How to Stay Positive in Challenging Times Mayra Husic was diagnosed with stage IV follicular lymphoma back in 2011. Her blood cancer experience consisted of a lengthy treatment, lung surgery, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and a second round in ‘watch-and-wait’, which is where she remain...

COVID-19: Looking After your Mental Health and Wellbeing

Webcast Details
  COVID-19: Looking After your Mental Health and Wellbeing
  It’s a stressful time for everyone right now.  We reached out to Dr. Megan Rodway, clinical psychiatrist, who has agreed to walk you through what you can do right now to help optimize your mental and physical health during self-quarantine.  She offers specific tools to calm your mind and body, ...

COVID-19 and Cancer - What you Need to Know Now

Webcast Details COVID-19 and What you Need to Know Now: Mitigating the Spread and its Impact on Canadians Affected by a Blood Cancer In this webcast, Dr. Vinh provides a brief overview of COVID-19 and factors associated with risk of severe disease. He then answers selected questions from audience members. As the global community navigates this new normal, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada will co...

Helping Canadians Affected By a Blood Cancer Adjust to the New No...

Since we first learned of the rapid global spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) the situation continues to evolve at a dizzying pace. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada has been closely monitoring the fast-changing situation and we understand this is causing confusion and anxiety among the blood cancer community. We all are finding ourselves having to adapt quickly to the new normal. Even here at The Le...

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) and You...

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada is closely monitoring the developments on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and how it might impact Canadians affected by blood cancers. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center Some people in treatment may be worried about the supply of therapeutic drugs (such as Imbruvica or Ibrutinib) produced in China. Its manufacturer Pharmacyclics is closely monitoring the...