LMS LIFELINE BUDDY PROGRAM
for Patients and Caregivers
The NLMSF LifeLine Buddy Program offers one -on-one
support for an LMS patient/survivor or caregiver. Being
paired with someone who has been in a similar phase of
the LMS diagnosis/treatment journey can be a “lifeline”
to help build courage, strength, resilience.
Through the NLMSF , the LMS LifeLine Buddy volunteers
want to “pay it forward” for the sake of the LMS Community.
This program has been ongoing and appreciated by patients and
LMS LifeLine Buddies cannot offer medical advice, but
rather, offer “armchair support” via telephone or virtual meet up,
to share perspectives from similar experiences. LifeLine
Buddies are good listeners and want to provide a shoulder
of support. Knowing you are not alone in the LMS journey can
be an invaluable source of comfort.
The NLMSF is always with you. You can reach the Foundation
any time of the day or night – 24/7. The contact number is on
the NLMSF website
If you would like to learn more about this The LMS LIFELINE
BUDDY PROGRAM and participate as someone in need of a
Buddy or be a Buddy volunteer, please contact Annie Achee
Focus areas of discussion include:
- What is important to experience after treatment with continued support of the oncology care team?
- Perspectives on how to shape “what’s next” – what should be the next steps in rebuilding quality of life after treatment has ended?
- Impact of Survivorship Care Planning after treatment.
- Integrative Medicine involvement in building such a Plan.
Sharing perspectives on what is working for you and learning from
each other will be inspiring and empowering! We invite you to also visit our special website focused specifically on survivorship: Life Change – A New Normal.
Our network meets by conference call on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm ET. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
selected by the participants in these groups:
Cancer affects your body, but it affects your emotions and feelings, too. Mental health treatment that claims to alter tumor growth is not recommended as the only form of cancer treatment, nor should it be sought just because someone thinks it might prolong life. But mental health care and emotional support can help patients and their loved ones better manage cancer and its treatment. Talk to the members of your cancer care team about things you can do to help yourself through a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes it also helps to talk to other survivors who are going through the same things you are facing.
Your attitudes, emotions, and moods can change from day to day, and even from hour to hour. You may feel good one day and terrible the next. Know that this is normal and that, with time, most people are able to adjust to a cancer diagnosis and move forward with their lives. Some may need extra help from a support group or a mental health professional to learn to cope better. Find the strength and support you need to feel the best you can and have the best possible quality of life.
Research in the area of therapy, stress reduction, and cancer has led to mixed findings. This can confuse reporters and patients alike. For example, a research study done in 1989 by David Spiegel and colleagues seemed to link a difference in survival with taking part in a support group. But other researchers who did the same kinds of studies did not have the same outcomes.
A 2004 study review pooled the results of many well-designed studies of cancer patients getting psychotherapy. With more than 1,000 patients in the final results, no effect was found on survival.
In 2007, other researchers looked at all the previous studies. They found that no randomized clinical trial set up to look at survival and psychotherapy has shown a positive effect, except in cases where medical care was a confounding factor. (This means that one group’s medical care could have been different enough to affect the results.)
Finally, Spiegel himself tried to repeat the 1989 study with a new group in 2007 to see if the result would be the same as that of their earlier trial. The 2007 study reported better quality of life among those who took part in the group, but this time there was no difference in survival.
People with cancer and their families may feel guilty about their emotional responses to the illness. They may feel pressure to keep a “good attitude” at all times, which is unrealistic. This feeling of pressure can come from within themselves, from other people, or both. Sadness, depression, guilt, fear, and anxiety are all normal parts of grieving and learning to cope with major life changes. Trying to ignore these feelings or not talking with others about them can make the person with cancer feel lonely. It can also make the emotional pain worse. And some people feel guilty or blame themselves when they can’t “stay positive,” which only adds to their emotional burden.
Along these same lines, many people want to believe that the power of the mind can control serious diseases. This is a comforting belief that can make a person feel safer from the risk of serious illness. If it were true, you could use your mind to stop the cancer from growing. But the down side of such beliefs is that when people with cancer don’t do well, they may blame themselves.
To learn more about attitude and survival, researchers looked at the emotional well-being of more than 1,000 patients with head and neck cancer to find out whether it affected survival. Over time, those who scored high on emotional well-being showed no differences in cancer growth or length of life when compared with those with low scores. Based on what we know now about how cancer starts and grows, there’s no reason to believe that emotions can cause cancer or help it grow.