The coronavirus isn’t stopping some cancer patients from getting the support they need during treatment.
In Georgia, Stacy Franklin, whose breast cancer returned after six years and spread to her lungs, had to prepare to go to the hospital for surgery alone because of coronavirus, so her sorority sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) decided to send her off in style. Franklin’s sorority sisters showed up in front of her home and serenaded her with church hymns on the front lawn the day before her surgery.
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TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh ___ #TSRPositiveImages: Social distancing isn’t stopping a group of close friends from being there for their line sister in a time of need. ___ Being that Stacy Franklin is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment while quarantined for breast cancer, her condition puts her at a higher risk of serious illness if she were to come into contact with coronavirus. ___ But her sorority sisters, who are members of the Phi Pi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, showed solidarity by surprising her on her front lawn with a beautiful song and prayer all while keeping a safe distance. Ms. Stacy was brought to tears by the act of love and we’re so grateful this moment of humanity was captured so that we can share it! ___ As Stacy prepares for surgery tomorrow morning, her daughter said the display of love truly boosted her spirits. Join us in sending Stacy prayers and wishing her a speedy recovery! (????: @shanxothmpsn @stacyfranklin1)
Similarly, 15-year old Massachusetts native Sydney Harding, who had been diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma, headed to the hospital for her final cycle of chemotherapy. According to WHDH, Harding’s parents initially wanted to throw a party for the occasion, but had to cancel due to Covid-19. The neighbors’ solution? The entire community lined the streets holding signs congratulating Harding on her final round of treatment.
Hospital Regulation Changes During Covid-19
Due to Covid-19, cancer patients are facing new challenges when it comes to support and treatment. Some patients have been forced to delay and reschedule life-saving surgeries, and hospitals have started limiting, and even suspending, hospital visitation.
Growing concerns over coronavirus have made hospitals rethink procedures and guidelines in order to keep patients safe. In New York City, New York-Presbyterian hospital has suspended visitations all together, eliminating face to face support between patients and loved ones.
Additionally, The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a new set of recommendations for cancer patients amid the coronavirus. According to ASCO, patients should consider switching treatments that would decrease clinic visits as the pandemic continues, such as rescheduling elective surgeries and switching from IV to oral therapies. ASCO also relayed that for patients deep in remission, stopping treatment may be an option as long as it is discussed with an oncologist.
During this uncertain time, cancer patients’ feelings of loneliness and isolation might be heightened, but that’s where community becomes essential. These new guidelines could be a stressful adjustment for many cancer patients, and Dr. Dianne Shumay gave SurvivorNet some helpful tips on how to cope with fear. For patients with increased stress during Covid-19, Dr. Shumay says being seeking social support and asking for help can ease patients’ fear.