Good evening all, Is anybody like me and getting a little concerned, again, over the lack of information regarding shielding? I am really conscious that the letter states that shielding is in place up until the 21st February. However, the government are not discussing their road map until the 22nd. Do I return to work? Is that what will be expected? Or have I missed something somewhere I feel like I need to get myself prepared if I am to return to work and as the days count down I become more anxious. I hate not knowing and last minute decisions. It does nothing to support people’s mental well-being! I’m hoping somebody can shed some light on this but I’m not that hopeful that you’ll all know anymore more than me!
Hi @Nichola75, I agree that the waiting and not knowing is the worst and so difficult for people to plan for especially when they have families and/or have businesses or are employees.
The enormous other issue is their and their families mental wellbeing, especially when they are trying to support their children and and their stability.
I think most of our emotions have been see sawing during the last year, but children who are living with someone with blood cancer (or other conditions) already have extra anxieties around the family catching Covid.
I suppose to be fair it is an everchanging, new situation and it must be so difficult for the powers that be to plan the safest way forward.
I think people’s mental well being is getting more and more affected as these times go on, and I would say that we are all here to support each other on this forum and if you would like to talk you can contact the Support Services Team on 0808 2080 888 (10am-7pm Monday-Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday and Sunday) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org a great strength is actually to ask for help.
There are also some external agencies that offer counselling (at a cost usually), I know it is not for everyone but it has really helped me to have that space in the past.
Thanks so much for raising this vital dilemma and take care and stay safe.
What are other’s thoughts?
Thanks @Erica. I’m more frustrated than anything. I’m looking after myself though and I have support in place. Like you, I find counselling very useful and I know the support line is always there if I need it. I agree it ever changing - just wish information was shared in order to prepare. Still, another week until the shielding date ends so hopefully we will here more! X
Just seems typical of this government to do this. They have no idea of the stress this causes people.
Luckily my headteacher spoke to me and the 2 other CEV staff and said he didn’t want us back in on the 22nd, we are to wait and see what the announcement is. Very relieved.
They really don’t! That’s great. Hoping my headteacher will do the same. I’m sure she will as it would be silly to make an decision before the announcement. Now you’ve said that I might actually bring it up! Hope you are well SP7
Hi @Nichola75 I very much doubt shielding or anything else will change next week but they are legally obliged to review the situation and update everyone on the 22nd. Not much is going to change this side of Easter, our university has already said that their current approach will stay in place until at least then. It would as you said though be nice for things to be made more explicit for people in our position.
So you think shielding will continue?
Yes. I think they’ll pause it again at the end of March.
Hi all, I just wanted to say how understandable it is that the uncertainty around this is causing stress and frustration! You might find this page of our website useful as it talks about what we know so far and also has some support and tips around managing these uncertainties - https://bloodcancer.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-vaccine-blood-cancer/when-stop-shielding/
You may also find it useful to share this with your workplace.
We know the shielding guidance currently extends to the 21st February, however, the Government state that ‘even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to follow this shielding advice until further notice as we continue to assess the impact of vaccination among all groups.’
We believe it’s likely that the government will advise CEV people to continue to shield after 21st February, as we are still learning about the efficacy of the vaccine in people with blood cancer. We hope that the government will offer further information in the near future, so that people are supported in their conversations with their employers.
As always we are working closely with members of the government and Public Health England to ensure that the voice’s of the blood cancer community are listened to.
We’re only at the end of the phone if anyone wants to talk this through further.
Thanks Alice - that’s really useful x
Good morning I’m in the UK and had update email now telling me to continue shielding until 31st March. But I’ve also seen that after the first jab which I had last Thursday and the second planned for May 6. I’m still to continue shielding more or less untill the end of the year. Without knowing if the vaccine will produce antibodies and NHS not planning on giving us the option of the correct antibody test I fear we are going to be like this for a very long time. Now the talk of a booster in the autumn as the virus is changing and they seem unclear as to the effect of this current vaccine on the new strains. And I’m hearing takes some three months for them to adapt the vaccine so people with immune system issues will always be at some risk. But after a year trying to get my head around this is challenging. Stay safe all
Hello @John a warm welcome to our online community, I’m glad you found us. I can only imagine how challenging all of the uncertainty must be, may I ask if you’re doing okay? Just in case you want to read it through, we have this page on our website specifically around how the vaccine’s efficacy is being monitored in people with blood cancer - Covid vaccine efficacy and blood cancer | Blood Cancer UK it also includes this link around be involved in research around this - Take part in coronavirus (COVID-19) health research - NHS
If you’d like to talk any of this through, or if there’s anything we can do to support you, please do remember we’re only a phone call away.
Hi @John and welcome to the forum. It’s definitely a challenging time for us all and I understand your anxiety completely. Hopefully, with the vaccines, we are a little bit closer. I’m just making myself go out for a walk - in the rain! Very unusual for me but need some air and nobody will see my wet hair anyway! Do you manage to get out and about or have other interests that help to keep your mind occupied? @Alice_BloodCancerUK has pointed you in the right direction and the support line is great if you have other questions or want to talk things through. Keep posting though. The forum is such a great support!
Many thanks for the above information I will have s good read. Stay safe. John
Many thanks for your reply. Yes turned the big 60 after Christmas and I do get out six days a week and clock up over 40 miles a week walking. Does keep mind and body well. Before last march id enjoyed a busy life on site as a bricklayer plenty of banter and interaction with others. Being single it was my social time to. But shielding and being cut off is horrid. I’ve got two daughters with young school age grandchildren and rightly they have stayed away. I have shopping delivered which is great and as safe as possible. I had taken up beach fishing last year even one day out a week was a breath of fresh air. And could fish at a good distance with others. But this lockdown even that isn’t allowed. No unessential travel. I’ve seen too much information re covid recently even the cll support group had a post from chap in the USA whose consultant had said that testing had been done re cll patients and the vaccination and results that many of us just don’t produce antibodies. And although I understand covid restrictions regards NHS hospitals to not physically see a constant for 9 months is a concern. My recent new appointment again is going to be over the phone. This can’t be good no physical examination just reading blood results. But the vaccine roll out has been brilliant and I take nothing away from all the staff. Just I sit and watch my previous workmates getting on with life. And they all back after lockdown one. We can but hope for the future and better days. Stay safe and well. John
Hi @John , a great big welcome to our forum and you have shown the value of it already. I find it such a great place to be able to say exactly what I am thinking and feeling and what it is like to be me.
I was lucky enough to turn 70 yrs old just into 2020 and had the best birthday ever, little did I know what was to come !!!
I know exactly what you mean, this shielding is my normal now and my old life, just that.
40 miles walking a week is great, I do 30 plus and doesn’t it feel good, whatever the weather, every day I see something different, mind you I am very nosey.
You must miss being a bricklayer financially and as you say that banter and interaction is priceless and it must be so tough seeing others getting on with their lives at work let alone not seeing your family.
We are here for you, please keep posting and saying how it is for you, I find it is just a help knowing I am not the only one feeling and thinking as I do.
If you would like to talk to someone you can contact the wonderful Blood Cancer UK Support Services Team on 0808 2080 888 10am-7pm Monday-Friday and 10am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday or via email at email@example.com
Stay safe, that is the main thing.
hi everyone, we hope you’re all doing okay, during these ongoing very trying times.
We’re aware what has also been an ongoing concern for our community, is not to being able to see, bar some circumstances, to see your treatment team in person. This is so understandable, and we just wanted to share again one of our webpages here: Virtual appointments and how to make the most of them | Blood Cancer UK
On this page, we talk through our tips and advice on how people can get the most out of their virtual or telephone appointments, including tips from one of our ambassadors, Paul.
We hope this is helpful to people
Fingers crossed for those better days. Until then all we can do is look after ourselves as best we can. I also watched a good video on how to check for lumps and bumps and pay particular notice of this before my phone appointments. It’s not perfect, and it doesn’t always put my mind at complete rest but it helps. Keep posing and take care of yourself
I have just received a email telling me to shielding until March 31
Hi @Martin, A great big welcome to our forum and join the email notification club, yes, now it is shielding until March 31.
My emotions have been all over the place for the last year, but when I heard there was a feeling of resignation I think, this is now my normal I think.
We will support each other on this forum and if you would like to talk you can contact the Support Services Team on 0808 2080 888 (10am-7pm Monday-Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday and Sunday) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would be interested in hearing how you are and what’s going on for you.