Georgia's Online Cancer Information Center

Find your balance through the best and worst of times

Alice S. Kerber, MN, APRN, ACNS-BC, AOCN, AGN-BC Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities was a commentary on society related to resources and access which is applicable today. Every day (even before COVID-19) we read and hear about disparities in care, testing, work, food and shelter. Every day we work to advocate for those who have cancer, those who care about them and for them. The avenues by which we offer our support may have been changed, but it continues, and maintaining balance for ourselves through collaborations with established and innovative partners is vital.

Our society is uniquely prepared with the technology to maintain “social distancing” required today. Once thought to cause more detachment, these tools have actually simplified our ability to reach out to each other. Odd that now that we are more reliant on these modes of communication, we are missing the more tactile, in person interactions with others. Our human nature not only craves the physical contact often found in group settings, but we are accustomed to relatively unlimited mobility within our communities and social groups near and far. Life as we have known it has changed.

Many of us are mandated to be working from home, previously a luxury. Feelings of isolation, a sense of insecurity and opportunities for procrastination are common. Some people thrive in the virtual environment with increased productivity and calm while others find the change alone to be overwhelming. No one feels the same all the time, and it has only been a few weeks with no clear end in sight. We all need to practice patience with ourselves and others.

So, what can you do to help find your balance?

  1. Begin with what you know by setting your daily schedule. Include work times, break times and a breath of fresh air. Print out a calendar and track your accomplishments and plans as you would in the office.
  2. Embrace your resource field. Take time to appreciate what you have in your life, so that you will have the ability to appreciate the situations of others -- a coffee mug with that perfect handle, a comfortable chair, electricity, Wi-Fi, people who care about you, a job you love, etc. Arrange your space with easy access to what you need in order to get your projects done. Drink coffee, tea or water, be cognizant of the others who share your home and their expectations for interaction and sustenance.
  3. Take time each day to call, email or text someone just because you can – family, friends, or a colleague with whom the last connection was too long ago.
  4. Find the virtual platform that is most effective for you and your situation and learn the fun parts of it, like the ability to change the virtual background. (I was at the Golden Gate bridge during much of my recent call with the Georgia CORE staff!)
  5. Take the opportunity to get to know your coworkers better. Take a little extra time on a videoconference to check in with others about how they are coping with the situation. You probably don’t spend as much time talking with each other in the office, so this can be a real chance for team building.
  6. Give yourself a break and know that adjusting to change takes time.
  7. Use your resources. Georgia CORE has a wonderful section of this site devoted to survivors, caregivers, and health care providers with frequently updated and validated resources on a variety of topics. https://www.georgiacancerinfo.org/survivorship/

Finally, in this best and worst of times, allow us to continue to support each other through technology and human kindness. Please reach out if you need a shoulder, a listening ear or if you have ideas or suggestions for us.

Media, News & Events

New ASCO COVID-19 Registry Aims to Understand Impact on Patients During Pandemic, Inform Future Care

Last week, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) launched the ASCO Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry.

 Research 4/20/2020

2021 Atlanta Precision Oncology Symposium

The Atlanta Precision Oncology Symposium (APOS) is designed to present the complexities of oncology precision medicine in an organized, simplified, friendly fashion, so that they can be understood and properly applied to clinical medicine.

Transforming Cancer Care: Developing a Personalized Approach to Survivorship Care

Working and learning about survivorship. 

AstraZeneca acts in accordance with the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals. The PhRMA Code states that inclusion of a Healthcare Professional’s spouse or guest at an educational program is not appropriate. Your support of these ethical guidelines will help to ensure a high-quality learning environment for all participating Healthcare Professionals. Thank you.

 Media & Events 10/16/2020

2021 Atlanta Precision Oncology Symposium

This one-day continuing education program will focus on current approaches to integrating and applying precision medicine into managing patients with breast, lung and genitourinary malignancies.

 Media & Events 10/06/2020

Beating Cancer Beautifully

Applications are due by October 5th.

All BCB Beauties (applicants) will be notified October 12th.

 Media & Events 9/30/2020

RACIAL DISPARITIES IN BREAST CANCER SURVIVORSHIP: Engaging a National Healthcare Forum for Change

This virtual forum will address critical disparity in breast cancer outcomes and survivorship in Black women. Georgia CORE is an in-kind sponsor.

 Media & Events 10/20/2020

Georgia CORE and partners win five-year grant for colorectal cancer prevention

The CDC-funded program will bring colorectal screening, navigation and colonoscopies to 15,000 people in southeast and southwest Georgia.

Comparing Community Practice Data in Georgia with the South and U.S.

Georgia CORE's Dr. Hamrick breaks down national data on how COVID-19 has been impacting cancer care in Georgia.

 Media & Events 6/25/2020

How the Georgia Sewers came to the rescue

Nearly 400 volunteers in 58 counties have been cutting out fabric and elastic, handling administrative duties and of course, sewing.

Transforming Cancer Care: Developing a Personalized Approach to Survivorship Care

Working and learning about survivorship. 

AstraZeneca acts in accordance with the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals. The PhRMA Code states that inclusion of a Healthcare Professional’s spouse or guest at an educational program is not appropriate. Your support of these ethical guidelines will help to ensure a high-quality learning environment for all participating Healthcare Professionals. Thank you.

 Media & Events 10/16/2020

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Advancing Cancer Care through Partnerships and Innovation

Georgia CORE is a public-private partnership that creates collaboration among the state’s cancer organizations and institutions to connect more Georgians to quality, personalized cancer care. We welcome you to this one-of-a-kind online information center for all things related to cancer and survivorship care in Georgia.