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If you began your journey with cancer before COVID-19 hit, you may have been used to receiving hugs from your oncologist. After having your doctor lay their hands on you during a medical exam, you might have received an encouraging hug for all that you were going through.


Because of the pandemic, things have changed. Due to social distancing and other precautions in place to reduce COVID-19 transmission, you may have more telehealth appointments than in-person appointments. This can add to the increasing amount of isolation you already may be experiencing.


During a telehealth appointment, you need to place your own hands on your body to check if the cancer came back. Although your doctor guides you through the process, it’s not the same as having their trained hands doing the exam. Rather than having your oncologist wrap their arms around you at the end of your appointment, you might receive a virtual smile instead. Despite your understanding that telehealth appointments are necessary to reduce the odds of spreading COVID-19, especially to someone with a compromised immune system, odds are you would rather see your oncologist in person.


Having a telehealth appointment also may cause you to focus on the changes you might be going through during the pandemic. Perhaps your weight has increased due to additional snacking, your hair is longer or turning a different shade due to not seeing a stylist or barber, or you choose not to wear makeup because you’re staying home. Maybe your computer screen shows a messy home, noisy child, or argument between family members.


Keep in mind that everyone is experiencing issues right now. Your doctor is not going to judge you because things look different. They’ll still be compassionate while helping you with your medical needs.


If you or someone you know is on a journey with cancer, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.



Fighting cancer can be emotionally stressful. Fighting a pandemic at the same time can make things even harder. Although you probably have your own methods for dealing with sadness and distress, they may not always be enough. A good option is to talk with a professional who’s trained to counsel people with cancer. Because of the increased need for physical safety due to the coronavirus, you might decide to talk with a mental health professional through a secure, online platform rather than at their office. Opting for telehealth appointments provides other advantages as well. You don’t need transportation, it’s easier to virtually meet with a professional than go to the office, and you might have a lower copay.


Here are some tips to make the most of telehealth appointments during a pandemic.


- Choose a relaxing location to talk from. This might be your bedroom or somewhere else with a closed door. Since you’re talking about very personal matters, your privacy is important.


- Minimize interruptions. Turn off the television, notifications on your mobile devices, and anything else that will divert your attention. If you have family members living with you, let them know you can’t be disturbed unless there’s an emergency.


- Understand the technology. Use a strong internet browser. Check in early to resolve any issues. Adjust the volume and video as needed.

- Set appointments for times when you’re at your best. Whether it’s early or late morning or afternoon, you’ll have more energy and be able to better communicate.


Fighting cancer takes an emotional toll on people. This is even worse when fighting a pandemic. If you or someone you know is battling cancer, contact Chix 4 a Cause. Learn about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.



If you’re fighting cancer during COVID-19, regular trips to the grocery store can be stressful. Having a depressed immune system makes you more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus. As a result, you may not want to venture out each week. Fortunately, planning ahead can help you make the most of your grocery trips while maintaining your health.


Find out how you can plan your meals in advance to maximize your grocery trips.


Sit down with a paper and pen, or your phone, before going to the grocery store. Think about the types of meals and snacks you want to eat over the next week or two. Creating a healthy menu in advance will cut down on your time spent wandering the grocery aisles. You’ll get more done at one time and avoid going back a second time or as frequently.


Consider fresh produce and food that goes in your refrigerator as well as your pantry. Aim for a balance of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nonperishable foods. You’ll get the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.


Plan at least one fruit or vegetable with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rather than as just a side dish, include the fruit or vegetable in the main entrée when possible. For instance, if you make lasagna, think about putting spinach or another vegetable in it. Be sure to consider how long fresh fruits and vegetables will stay edible so you consume them in a reasonable amount of time.


Repurpose the food you prepare so you’re not making something new every time. For instance, make a lemon chicken breast with rice and asparagus for dinner. Chop up the leftover chicken and add it to a salad for lunch the next day.


Finding ways to make the most of each day is especially helpful when fighting cancer. If you or someone you know is battling the disease, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.

© 2019 by Nicki Odell.

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