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Topic: Can I manage air travel w accessed port and medical supplies?

Forum: Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer, Open to All To Contribute —

Topics here are started by members with a Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer diagnosis, but open to all members to contribute to discussions. Please note that there is a separate forum, Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY, where topics are open only to those members.

Posted on: Oct 5, 2019 02:48AM

ShetlandPony wrote:

Can I manage air travel with an accessed port and medical supplies? Should I? I am on daily intravenous antibiotics for a month. The port needle is in place, with a film over it and the tubing hanging out. Every day I have to administer the medicine. I have a collapsible IV pole, syringes (no needles) of saline and of heparin, pouches of saline attached to bottles of powdered medicine, alcohol wipes, caps, packs of tubing and connectors. So for my trip (to another US state) I will need to carry a lot of supplies. I should carry them on the plane because if my luggage got lost, I'd be in trouble. But it is a lot of liquid. I don't want TSA people rifling through my supplies because everything has to be kept very clean. And I don't want anyone touching me or my medical device. Does anyone have knowledge or experience to offer? Should I just reschedule my trip? On the one hand, I am nervous about doing the med without DH or a nurse assisting, and it will be a bummer to have to stop and do this every day on vacation, and I am afraid of TSA. On the other hand, I will be on a chemo break so maybe feeling good, and at this stage (pun intended) I don't want to let this cancer business make me put off doing the things I want to do, like this trip. Carpe diem. If I go, what sort of paperwork would I need to bring regarding this? Opinions? Advice?

2011 Stage I ITCs sn, premenopausal, Oncotype 16. 2014 Stage IV mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD 1 1/2yrs. GI/perit mets Dx 2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2014, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/other, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy
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Oct 5, 2019 05:25PM - edited Oct 5, 2019 05:25PM by ShetlandPony

bump

2011 Stage I ITCs sn, premenopausal, Oncotype 16. 2014 Stage IV mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD 1 1/2yrs. GI/perit mets Dx 2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2014, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/other, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy
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Oct 5, 2019 07:03PM Staceybee wrote:

Hi Shetland

A few thoughts:

1) Could you FedEx the majority of your supplies a day in advance and confirm with hotel that package has arrived and is waiting for you?

2) Do you have TSA precheck? We do and travel with needles in our carryon for my son’s daily injections and have not been stopped and searched. I think the scrutiny is less if you are in precheck lane.

3) I don’t know the exact form of paperwork required, but I woucarry a doctor note asking that your port not be touched for sanitary reasons. Odds are you walk through and don’t get a pat down, but just in case. Also a note for all your medicine. I would also call the airline and explain the need for your medical supplies and ask them to advise. I have found that there are actually thoughtful humans sometimes at the end of the line willing to help if you explain the situation. I used Special Services to arrange unaccompanied minor travel and they were very accommodating.

I really hope you can go on your holiday!! Best, Stacey


1/2 SN w 1mm "micromet"; lots of LCIS found in surgery; oncotype=13; age 52 at dx Dx 4/24/2018, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/22/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 7/10/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/3/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 26, 2019 04:09AM ShetlandPony wrote:

Thanks for your response, Staceybee. I did go on the trip. I called TSA and they told me to tell the person before I walked into the scanner that I had a medical device. He said that was all I needed to do and there would be no problem. So I did, and at the same time I held out a letter from my doctor with the cancer center’s letterhead. Then I got scanned. On the outbound trip, after the scan the agent was ready to give me the full pat-down and I told her she could not touch it. There were some tense moments as we faced each other. She really wanted to harass me. I offered to go to a private area and show her the device, but another TSA employee told her that she did not need to do any more than have me touch my own shirt and get my hand swabbed (with explosive detector). She argued with him, but he prevailed and I was allowed to go. Coming home, the agent had a much better attitude, very kind and gentle, and I allowed her to touch my shirt very gently and we did the swab thing and there was no problem. As for the supplies, I carried a set with me in a plastic bag, and the rest in my suitcase in plastic bags, with letters from the doctor attached and nobody seemed to care about them.

I’m glad I did not let fear stop me.

2011 Stage I ITCs sn, premenopausal, Oncotype 16. 2014 Stage IV mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD 1 1/2yrs. GI/perit mets Dx 2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2014, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/other, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy
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Dec 10, 2019 10:28PM AnnC2019 wrote:

I had no issues going through security in Boston with a tissue expander but showed the agents my letter from the doctor, however leaving Paris, CDG airport was not a nice experience. They were rude and didn’t understand the issue. It was very unpleasant.

Dx 6/19/2019, ILC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 8/14/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/27/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 11/4/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 7/21/2020 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 12/22/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant

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