There are many challenges we are all facing with the current Covid-19 (Corona virus) pandemic and we, at Survivor Journeys™, are monitoring this very closely as it pertains to our support services and activities. Our main goal is safety and education for the people we support and hope to support. This includes cancer survivors, caregivers, and their families.

Decreasing fear and uncertainty comes from education. Please read information that comes from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) as this is the most up to date, and based on the most real time scientific information. Our Massachusetts, Connecticut and hospital officials have been taking their leads from the CDC and carefully adapting these protocols to our states and communities.

ALL OF OUR IN PERSON SUPPORT GROUPS HAVE BEEN CONVERTED TO THE ZOOM ONLINE PLATFORM. IF YOU DO NOT DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE USING A COMPUTER OR A SMART PHONE WE CAN HELP YOU CONNECT TO THE GROUP. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A COMPUTER OR A SMART PHONE, YOU CAN CALL INTO THE GROUP. FIRST TIME ATTENDEES TO A GROUP MUST REGISTER BY EMAIL AT SURVIVORSHIPPROGRAM@GMAIL.COM OR CALL 413-276-6100.

WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO INFORM YOU OF ANY CHANGES TO OUR SUPPORT PROGRAMS THROUGH CONSTANT CONTACT, FACEBOOK, AND OUR WEBSITE (WWW.SURVIVORJOURNEYS.ORG). IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT A GROUP OR AN IDEA ABOUT A NEW PROGRAM, PLEASE CALL 413-276-6100 OR EMAIL US AT SURVIVORSHIPPROGRAM@GMAIL.COM

This continues to be a good time to enter into our mentoring program to be able to gain support remotely by phone, email, FaceTime, or Zoom from someone who has been through what you are going through currently.

Our pet therapy program can be held in an outdoor setting if that makes you feel comfortable.

The Survivor Journeys™ Board has made the decision to cancel Cancer Survivorship 101 that was scheduled for Saturday June 13, 2020 at the Baystate Medical Center Chestnut Conference Center due to the Covid-19 (Corona virus) pandemic and the need to shelter in place to minimize the spread of infection. We are excited to report that we are in the process of creating a monthly series of these presentations that will be able to be viewed on our website. There will be more details about this in the coming weeks.

I again want to share my personal experience as an immunocompromised patient and how I have lived and currently live my life in our current world. After my stem cell transplant in October 2010, my immune system was negligible. If someone came into my home they wore a mask and gloves and so did I. Today, our current guidelines involve sheltering in place and social distancing of at least 6 feet indoors and outdoors. There is still a lack of supplies of masks and gloves, but this is improving. Immunocompromised conditions include chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, people taking chemotherapy and radiation treatment, people with rheumatological and gastrointestinal diseases taking immunosuppressant medications, diabetes, and people taking chronic steroids, among others). If you have questions, please speak to your oncologist, primary care physician, or other treating physician to clarify your particular circumstances.

No handshaking. Elbow bumps should suffice and bring smiles to all who do this. No kissing or close hugging. Do not accept fresh flowers. Wash fruits and vegetables in warm water for at least 30 seconds.

Washing hands with soap and water for at least 25 seconds after touching common surfaces or using hand sanitizer solution is paramount. Try to use Chlorox wipes on common home surfaces (refrigerator handles, faucets, door knobs, pull drawer knobs, toilet handles, etc) at least twice a day.

Report any fevers, new respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms, or loss of taste and smell to your treating physicians immediately. These may be symptoms of Corona virus. Your physician will determine if you should be tested for Corona virus and will guide you if your test result is positive. Also discuss possible exposures to anyone found to be positive to Corona virus with your physicians.

Hydrate with at least 1.5 liters of water daily unless otherwise directed. Maintain good nutrition. Get adequate rest. Have at least a month of your medications on hand. Keep necessary medical visits and if unsure about this, call your physician to confirm. Many physicians now do virtual and telephone visits. Arrange for necessary transportation at least a week in advance.

Don’t forget to communicate with friends and loved ones by phone, email and waving. Don’t let the human element suffer during this time.

Best regards and be well,
Jay Burton, DO
President and Founder,
Survivor Journeys™

survivorshipprogram@gmail.com
413-276-6100
www.survivorjourneys.org