Ask The Nurse: Surviving another lockdown

Ask The Nurse // 8th January 2021

Towards the end of last year, COVID-19 restrictions were being relaxed and a vaccine had just been approved. This brought a lot of positivity and made life feel a bit more normal. So, the news of a new lockdown and stricter COVID-19 measures felt frustrating, daunting and disheartening for many patients, their family and friends. Already we have had calls from patients concerned about how these changes will impact their health and wellbeing.

To help you manage, this month’s blog is a reminder about the support available to you and what you can do to keep healthy during lockdown.

Where can I find support and information about myeloma?

Myeloma UK runs several services to ensure patients feel informed, empowered, and supported.

You can speak with our team of Myeloma Information Specialists via the Myeloma Infoline 0800 980 3332 (UK) or 1800 937 773 (Ireland) and Ask the Nurse email service. They can answer your questions, provide reassurance and offer a listening ear.

Our wide range of publications provides clear concise information on every aspect of living with myeloma. All the publications can be downloaded instantly from the Myeloma UK website or a selection can be ordered in hard copy via the online order form (but please note that due to restrictions it will take longer than normal for you to receive them).

Our Myeloma Patient and Family Events have gone digital. The online events take place in a variety of formats, each lasting one hour. They include panel discussions, Q&A sessions and presentations each centred around a specific topic. The events are broadcast live on Zoom and Facebook, and are also recorded and uploaded onto the Myeloma UK website afterwards. You can find out about upcoming events or watch recordings of previous events on our website.

Where can I connect with other people affected by myeloma?

Connecting with others whilst shielding or limiting face-to-face interactions is challenging. However, there are ways that you can connect with others digitally.

Many Myeloma Support Groups are hosting digital meetings and events. You can find a Myeloma Support Group on the Myeloma UK website (under support groups) or by getting in touch via the Infoline or Ask The Nurse email service.

Myeloma UK also hosts a Myeloma Discussion Forum where you can post a question or start a conversation with other patients, carers or family members. The Discussion Forum lets you connect with others, ask questions or share experiences about living with myeloma day-to-day. There are several different group discussions you can join (e.g. discussions about treatments or side effects) and members actively engage with each other through the group.

Where can I find out about COVID-19 and myeloma?

As well as the Infoline and Ask the Nurse services, Myeloma UK have set up a COVID-19 Information Hub.

The COVID-19 Information Hub is a one stop shop for information about the COVID-19 pandemic for people affected by myeloma and related conditions.

The Hub is regularly updated with the latest news and guidance from the UK Government and devolved nations; NICE, SMC and UKMF guidelines; and useful content for patients to help them live well.

Topics covered include:

Where can I find tips on keeping happy and healthy during lockdown?

Our “Infopack for living well with myeloma” is full of information and advice for living with myeloma. It covers the many ways in which myeloma can affect your life and aims to help you navigate any challenges that may occur, both practical and emotional. It includes information about coping with symptoms and side effects of myeloma and its treatment; emotional effects of myeloma; changes that may occur to your relationships, sex life and fertility; diet, exercise, finances and travel; and living alone with myeloma.

You can also read our “Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic” page for tips to support your wellbeing whilst spending more time at home.

If you have any question or concerns about your myeloma, COVID-19 or are struggling with the return of lockdown, our Myeloma Information Specialists are here to answer your questions, listen to you and to offer some reassurance, support and advice if you need it. You can get in touch by calling the Myeloma Infoline (0800 980 3332, UK or 1800 937 773, Ireland).

Best Wishes

The Myeloma Information Specialists