What do I do if I am diagnosed with a blood cancer?

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada has many free supports, resources and services available to youth and their families.

Adjusting to life in a new country can be challenging, and facing a blood cancer diagnosis can add an extra layer of complexity. For newcomer youth in Ontario, it's crucial to know that support and resources are available. This guide, made in partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC), provides valuable information and links to resources specifically designed for youth dealing with blood cancers.

Personalized support

Contact Leslie-Ann Guiney, the Ontario Community Services Lead at the LLSC, for one-on-one assistance.

The LLSC community services lead is ready to:

  • Listen attentively and compassionately to the challenges you are facing.
  • Provide information specific to your type of blood cancer or treatment.
  • Assist in organizing and taking charge of your care.
  • Identify beneficial services for your unique situation.

If you require information in a language other than English or French, they can support you in 170 languages. Information Specialists can explain details about your blood cancer type and treatment options through phone, live chat, or email.

Listen to Inspirational Stories - Gain insights from survivors like Amanda Saunders and Max Parrot through webcasts discussing their experiences with blood cancer.

Navigate your diagnosis

Know that you are not alone. Below you can find Juan Manuel’s story, a newcomer youth who was diagnosed with leukemia after moving to Canada. 

Cancer and social media story

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Access more factsheets for teens and young adults with a blood cancer about adjusting your social life, managing physical changes, and handling anxiety.

Teens with a Blood Cancer- Find age-specific information about how to navigate your diagnosis, manage your emotions, life after cancer, and more. 

Young Adults with a Blood Cancer - This factsheet covers essential information for young adults dealing with blood cancer, including emotions, side effects, and work-related challenges.

Adjusting your Social Life - Siham's Story - Advice from Siham on adapting your social life and engaging in projects post-cancer diagnosis.

Adjusting to Physical Changes - Christian's Story - Christian's insights on adapting to physical changes following a cancer diagnosis.

Managing Anxiety - Romy's Story - Romy's advice on handling anxiety post-cancer diagnosis.

Life After Cancer - Karine's Story - Karine's advice on sharing your feelings with those around you during your cancer experience.

School and work during treatment

Listen to advice on returning to school or work after a cancer experience, managing your schedule, and maintaining a healthy balance.

Returning to Work - Expert Tips and Resources - Insights from Maureen Parkinson, a vocational rehabilitation counsellor, on returning to work after cancer.

Going Back to School After a Cancer Experience - Rachele's journey of completing her master's degree after Hodgkin's Lymphoma treatment.

Financial guidance

Create a budget, explore supplementary income programs, and seek assistance from friends, family, or organizations. Get tips on how to organize your finances here.

Or listen here: Finances and Cancer.

Additionally, explore these resources from Settlement.org to learn about financial assistance for youth and their families. 

Emotional wellness

Discover techniques to reduce stress and anxiety, including mindfulness journaling, art-making, and practical tips from survivors.

Cancer-Related Distress (Video) - In this animated video, the character shares tips on how to cope with the psychological and emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis. 

Self-Reflection Journal - A mindfulness journal to manage stress and enhance problem-solving.

Journaling and Mindfulness - Insights from Rachel, a Hatha yoga instructor and wellness coach.

Three parts on using watercolour, acrylic paint, and blackout poetry for self-expression.

Mindful Art Making 1: Watercolour

Mindful Art Making 2: Symbols with Acrylic Paint

Mindful Art Making 3: Blackout Poetry

Physical changes and fertility

Fertility and Cancer - Insights from Meghan MacMillan, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Adolescent and Young Adult Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She helps support the care and specific needs of patients diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 18-39 years old.

Fertility and Survivorship - Leukemia survivor Marell Tomeh’s journey from diagnosis to stem cell transplant. She was diagnosed while in university and was asked by a fellow cancer survivor, “Did you save your eggs?”

Remember, you are not alone. The blood cancer community will support you every step of the way. Explore the resources, connect with peers, and seek personalized assistance. Your journey is unique, and there is a lot of information and support available to help you navigate it successfully.

Presented by: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada