Welcome to the April 2020 edition of our nbmtLINK
We hope this issue finds you well. We know it is a tough time and we are hard at work developing regular and pandemic specific programs. We're also making sure our Facebook posts are often and inspiring. Please LIKE our page. It would mean so much to us. Hang in there and know you are virtually loved and supported.
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Jennifer Gillette Shares Her Professional Perspective Regarding Isolation and Staying the Course.

Are you beyond done?
As you talk with people, scroll social media, or listen to the news, you're likely to witness people feeling discontent with the current restrictions and squirrelly from being home for so long. Many are trying to find ways to battle loneliness and for others, there is also the loss of life and jobs.

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, most people miss connecting with others in their normal daily routines. Many of us are being called to stay home and perhaps are starting to get on each other’s nerves a bit with the increase in time together. Others are in a health crisis and completely overwhelmed by their journey through such a trying time. Whatever your experience is, it is certainly normal to be feeling done with this pandemic. Unfortunately, it is not over yet, so developing perseverance is key to staying healthy through this process.

Ways to develop perseverance:
1)     Try to adjust your attitude . Consider things you wish you had time to do before this pandemic. Most people have more time to do some of those things now. What gifts have come from this extra time at home? Have you had more quality time with loved ones? Have you seen the impact on the environment? As Anne Frank said, “Don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” 
2)     Find your purpose during this time.  I read   an interesting article recently on how astronauts survived isolation in space. One of the tips: they focused on what their higher purpose was in being there. When times gets rough, remember what your goals are or why we are doing all of this.  Click here to read this article:
3)     Practice self-care.  It is so important to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Our routines ground us, and healthy habits give us the best versions of ourselves to cope. Stay up-to-date through reputable sources on protections recommended to avoid the virus and specific instructions from your provider, if you are at a higher risk or immunocompromised.
4)     Exercise compassion towards others . Thinking outside of your needs not only helps others, but it helps you get your focus off your own struggles for a while.
5)     Take it a moment at a time . Thinking about more weeks or months of this pandemic is overwhelming. Focus on getting through today, this afternoon, or even just this hour.
6)     Develop a new passion such as a hobby or adopt a pet.  Being able to refocus on something other than your frustrations will allow you to find more joy in your day.
7)     Reach out if you need help.  There are many tele-health options for counseling even if offices are still closed. Your insurance can give you referrals to participating providers.
8)     Feed your faith daily.  That which YOU feed grows!
9)     Be aware of resources to get through this, including the nbmtLINK.  Many organizations have assistance for food, finances, support, and more. Here is one great site with a compiled resource listing that is specifically helpful for cancer patients during this COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for these mentioned resources.
10) Make time for down time and time to laugh . Plan a Zoom call with friends to play a game, FaceTime a loved one, or watch some funny shows or movies.

Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. This pandemic has put “more weight on the bar” for everyone in some way. However, we can choose to persevere, to invest in better tomorrows for ourselves and those we love. Once we can treat the most severe symptoms effectively, this virus will not have the power it currently has. We need to be strong as the world experts lead this charge. Then, we can work to reclaim what we can from all this virus took from us.

Note:  The National Bone Marrow Transplant Link is providing additional pandemic programming. See our next article for more information on our upcoming May 7 Lunch & Learn on COVID-19. We also have our April 2 COVID-19 program available as a podcast available through our Marrow Masters series. 

 As the LINK’s licensed staff social worker, I am also available to provide a mentor (buddy) for you or one-on-one time to chat. I can be reached at jennifergillette@nbmtlink.org. Be well.

Moving Forward:
How to Live, Thrive and Stay Safe with

Thursday, May 7 at NOON EST
(Please adjust your time zone.)
12 pm (Noon) to 1 pm: Eastern Time
11 am to 12:00 pm: Central Time
10 am to 11 am: Mountain Time
9 am to 10 am: Pacific Time

To register, please click below:

This special free one-hour audio call-in program will address the angst and fear present as we adjust to the constantly changing COVID-19 situation. What do cancer patients and their families need to know NOW as we move through the pandemic and prepare to slowly ease restrictions? Join Dr. Laura Connelly-Smith, Associate Professor of Medicine and the Assistant Medical Director of Apheresis and Cellular Therapy at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, who will share her expertise and wisdom. Jennifer Gillette, our LINK licensed staff social worker, will provide coping skills and tips to instill calm. There will be time for live questions and you may also submit questions when you register.

To register for this Lunch & Learn, please click below on the link. If you have any technical issues related to registering, please contact peggyburkhard@nbmtlink.org or call (248) 770-5172.The call in information is contained in the form you use to register. Note: YOU call in to participate.
(We do not call you.)
Looking Forward

Lunch & Learn
Wednesday, May 20
(Please adjust your time zone.)

  Managing Oral Health Issues Before, During and After a Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant with a Focus on GVHD
This free one hour audio call in program will cover many oral issues, including the special needs of Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) patients post transplant. Jacqueline W. Mays, DDS, MHSc, PhD, Chief, Oral Immunobiology Unit, National Institutes of Health will address the oral to dos pre-transplant, special care of the mouth needed as a cancer patient, signs you need to see a doctor and more. As well, Cathy Spence, a patient will share her personal experience. There will also be plenty of time for questions. 
To register for this Lunch & Learn, please click below on the link. If you have any technical issues related to registering, please contact peggyburkhard@nbmtlink.org or call (248) 770-5172.The call in information is contained in the form you use to register. Note: YOU call in to participate. (We do not call you.)

Do you Have an Upcoming
Birthday or
Transplant Anniversary/
Second Birthday?
(If you would like to receive a fun Second Birthday card, please email cindyburke@nbmtlink.org. We will be happy to add you to our list.)

Want to support our efforts to help other patients and caregivers navigate this journey?

Our mission to provide you with free online resources remains strong.
As we comply and integrate social distancing, we invite you to check out the following resources.

How We Help Others!
We are a phone call away for patients and their loved ones. From one on one peer support to scheduled call series and webinars, we are ready to ease your burden.
Patients, caregivers and health care professionals are amongst those we aim to help through our valued resource books, programs and one on one calls.
We simply cannot do it without the support of corporations, foundations and individuals willing to make a difference in the lives of others.
We Invite You to Become an nbmtLINK Partner!
Link Partners include cancer centers and allied partners who annually support our mission of providing psychosocial support to patients, caregivers, their families and health care professionals dedicated to helping people navigate a bone marrow transplant. If you would like to learn more about the many benefits (books, programs, hyperlink on our website, bookmark inclusion) to being a Link Partner, please do not hesitate to contact us at (248) 358-1886. Want a free bookmark which lists our many Link Partners? Let us know and we will send you one!

We acknowledge and thank the following Link Partners for their ongoing support

American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT)
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Northside Hospital
Blood & Marrow Transplant Program, The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR)
City of Hope
Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center
Duke Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program
Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Network
Henry Ford Cancer Institute
Incyte Corporation
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Meredith A. Cowden Foundation
Nebraska Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Center
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine
Spectrum Health Cancer Center
Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program, John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center
Thank your for being a friend of the nbmtLINK. We simply could not do this without you. If you can support our efforts at this time, we thank you in advance. Every dollar helps..

Peggy Burkhard
Peggy Burkhard
Executive Director
(248) 358-1886
National Bone Marrow Transplant Link