There are many challenges we are all facing with the current 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 only 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 support groups are small, usually with 5-7 people. We ask if you are ill with a fever, any respiratory symptoms or if you have been exposed to anyone with these symptoms, or exposed to anyone who has travelled to China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, or any other country outlined by the CDC in the last 2 weeks prior to the group meeting, that you do not come to that group. Please contact us if you feel that you need some individual support that month and we will do our best to accommodate you remotely. We may have to abruptly cancel support groups if the locations where these are held, close their doors. WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO INFORM YOU OF ANY CHANGES THROUGH CONSTANT CONTACT, FACEBOOK, AND OUR WEBSITE. (SEE BELOW) IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT A GROUP PLEASE CALL 413-276-6100 OR EMAIL US AT SURVIVORSHIPPROGRAM@GMAIL.COM

******THE AGAWAM SENIOR CENTER AND ENFIELD SENIOR CENTER HAVE ANNOUNCED CLOSURE OF THEIR FACILITIES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. WE WILL ALSO BE CANCELING ALL IN PERSON SUPPORT GROUPS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE FOLLOW OUR ABOVE PLATFORMS FOR UPCOMING SUPPORT INFORMATION****** This might be the best time to enter into our mentoring program to be able to gain support remotely by phone, email, or FaceTime from someone who has been through what you are going through currently.

Our pet therapy program can be held in a small indoor or outdoor setting if that makes you feel comfortable.

At this time, Cancer Survivorship 101 is still scheduled for Saturday June 13, 2020 at the Baystate Medical Center Chestnut Conference Center. We will continue to monitor the local medical environment over the next 3 months and make the most prudent and healthy decisions about this event.

I want to share personally my 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, with lack of supplies of masks and gloves, I believe these types of close quartered interactions should be postponed until further notice if you are immunocompromised (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. Social distancing by at least 6 feet makes sense indoors and outdoors. 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 or new respiratory symptoms to your treating physicians immediately. 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. 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. Small meetings with others who are well can occur as long as we all are looking out for each other and take precautions as outlined above. If you are unsure, then postpone until you feel more comfortable with your health status and the person you will be with. Keep necessary medical visits and if unsure about this, call your physician office to be sure.

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

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