A silver lining for me during this pandemic is being able to meet people who I would have never had the opportunity to meet had it not been for the need for Zoom meetings. I was hesitant to join the support group, but I’m so glad that I did. I find inspiration each and every time I attend.
— Jan Rattazzi, NET Patient
‘Every cloud has a silver lining’… So goes the well-known saying, meaning that good can be found in difficult or negative situations. The silver lining metaphor refers to the shining (or “silver”) edges of a cloud when it is backlit by the sun or moon. It is a message of hope. Discussions of the pandemic’s silver linings have come up in the news, personal blogs, social media, and conversations. In the NET community, we’ve also discussed our experience with the silver linings of the pandemic.
Think back to the beginning of the storm. It’s now been six months since LACNETS canceled our in-person monthly meeting in early March at the start of the evolving pandemic. This was more than a week before “safer-at-home orders” went into effect. The pandemic has changed all of our lives. For example, the once simple and common task of getting groceries has become complicated and time-consuming. Going to a grocery store now involves standing in line to enter with spots marked 6 feet apart, wearing a mask, and being unable to use reusable shopping bags. Others have adopted online grocery shopping. The pandemic has changed priorities. It affects our decisions of when and how often to go to the grocery store. It even affects what and how much we buy. Through this season of uncertainty and change, we have tried to find calm during coronavirus. We have adapted by learning new terminology, adopting new safe practices, and finding new self-care practices. (Click here to read the Finding Calm During Coronavirus blog article, originally posted March 18, 2020.)
As a patient that needs to stay home on those “bad” days, I really appreciate all the music, comedy, and other events that have been made available over Zoom, YouTube, and other streaming services. I also appreciate the fact that LACNETS in particular adapted the patient networking time, which formerly was a very short window attached to the monthly meetings, to a generous weekly session that is very helpful educationally, and it’s therapeutic to see and interact with so many friends.
LACNETS understands that cancer doesn’t slow down for a pandemic. Therefore, we quickly responded to ongoing needs in the NET community by immediately pivoting to an all-virtual platform and offering virtual support groups for NET patients and caregivers. Despite the coronavirus storm raging around us, many have found refuge through the LACNETS community. Thanks to technology, we have expanded our programs with improved access for all during the pandemic. This has also benefited those who previously could not attend in-person education and support programs. Our weekly support group now regularly includes NET patients and caregivers across the U.S., Canada, and the UK. These Zoom meetings allow patients and caregivers to learn from the personal experiences of others and to support each other. Our community has forged deep bonds. It has been a rich time of connection, inspiration, and hope. We have come together to face NET and the pandemic. We are growing stronger together. We are more resilient. We have been pleasantly surprised with untold blessings. With the storms and clouds, there are also silver linings. Who knows? After this all over, we may even see a rainbow.
Silver linings may emerge when you are least expecting them. They just require you to be open to receive them. COVID has been extremely difficult for so many of us and yet if we aren’t able to find some positives amid all the challenges, we are setting ourselves up for more suffering than need be. For me, COVID has been an anecdote for the rat race. I know too well the familiar stress of being swept up in the craziness of daily life and COVID forced the slow down and the need to re-evaluate. This has led to an appreciation for the things that really matter most as small as they may seem. When COVID is a faint memory, challenge yourself to remember what it was that became your silver lining. You now have the choice to let back in what supports YOU.
— Mary, NET Patient
LACNETS blog post, Finding Calm During Coronavirus, originally published 3/18/2020
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Written by Lisa Yen, NP, NBC-HWC
Director of Programs & Outreach, LACNETS