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Topic: Need your ​Tips for Traveling with Breast Cancer​

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Jul 30, 2019 12:03PM

Moderators wrote:

At diagnosis, going through treatment, managing side-effects, managing emotional ups and downs.

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Jul 30, 2019 12:32PM Runrcrb wrote:

while undergoing chemo, due to compromised immune system, where mask and disposable gloves while flying.

Avoid traveling during radiation in order to stay on track with treatments.

Otherwise, travel as we never know what tomorrow will bring.

Dx 6/27/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 6/27/2016, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/21/2016 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/8/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/23/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 12/12/2017 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jul 30, 2019 12:45PM MountainMia wrote:

Also be sure to wear mask and use hand sanitizers if flying or other public transportation just prior to surgery. You don't want your surgery delayed because you picked up an airplane ick.

I cleared a delay in the start of my radiation so I could travel. If you have something coming up, check with your medical team in plenty of time to make schedule changes.

Give yourself extra time for making your way through airports.


The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain. 2/2019 diagnosis; 4/2019 left lumpectomy, 1.5cm IDC, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-/HER2-; 5/2019 chemo ACx4; 8/2019 radiation
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Jul 30, 2019 12:45PM Beaverntx wrote:

wear compression stockings when on Tamoxifen and taking a trip by air

Any time or way of traveling, walk around for 10 or 15 minutes every 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Diagnosed at age 77-- Oncotype 17, dealing with this bump in the road of life!!🎆 Dx 1/24/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 1/30/2018, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0 Surgery 1/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/11/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 6/15/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 30, 2019 09:00PM AndyCat wrote:

I avoided travelling by plane during chemo since my white blood cell count was low for a chunk of time in between each treatment. Local travel by car for a quick day trip was a nice way to getaway and relax without feeling like I'd catch something. I used public transit and ferries on the days my immune system was higher.

I preferred to plan travel for in between treatment chunks, such as in between surgery and chemo, chemo and radiation, or radiation and surgery. It is best to get a doctors go ahead before booking, in case there is something you are forgetting.

When travelling...

- double and triple check your information when booking your travel

- give yourself ample time so you are not rushed and out of breath

- travel with less stuff so there is less to carry and lug around

- for short trips, find yourself a travel case for meds

- ask for help

Hope that helps :)

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Jul 30, 2019 10:40PM MountainMia wrote:

Make sure you have all your medications with you, not packed in checked baggage. Keep the medications in their original, labeled packaging. Keep a list of medications including dosage schedules in your purse or wallet. Know how you can get refills if needed. Have contact information for your medical team easy for you to access, as well as for others if you need emergency medical care. Have your health insurance information easy to access. Know what your costs could be if you need out-of-network care. Keep family emergency contact info easy to access. Think ahead to how and where you will get medical care if needed.


The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain. 2/2019 diagnosis; 4/2019 left lumpectomy, 1.5cm IDC, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-/HER2-; 5/2019 chemo ACx4; 8/2019 radiation
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Jul 31, 2019 10:04AM Moderators wrote:

Thank you! Please keep the ideas coming!

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Jul 31, 2019 11:23AM PiperKay wrote:

Totally agree with all of the above.

I wear a compression sleeve for lymphedema and have discovered that TSA always wants to do a manual pat down of that arm. I've flown on 4 trips while wearing it to 4 different cities and this happened at all the TSA checkpoints I went through. They always asked if my arm was sensitive before touching it, and one person even sort of apologized for having to do it. But if you're wearing a compression garment, I'd suggest that you leave yourself just a couple of extra minutes to get through security. Unexpectedly, the second time it happened I got all teared up as I recognized yet another "badge" of cancerland. Bummer. But then I went on to enjoy all those trips.

On the other hand, although I thought I'd have some issue with the port while going thru security and brought along my port ID bracelet, I have never been asked about that. Don't even know if it showed up in the scan. But even so, until it's out, I'll have the bracelet/wristband or the keychain card that came with it just in case.

And while you are out of town, be aware of your own energy levels. I made the mistake of thinking a whirlwind long weekend trip to NYC was well within my capabilities, but I was wrong. Walking almost 20 miles in 90 degree heat and being around all those people was ultimately not a great idea. I got home and slept for 12 hours and woke up with a bad sore throat. But I went WAY over my 10K steps a day and felt pretty proud of myself.

Bring a good thermal water bottle with you wherever you go and keep it filled so you don't get dehydrated. They're sometimes a pain to drag around and heavy when they're full, but having water with you whenever you need it can be a lifesaver.

Bon voyage!


Dx 11/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 12/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 1/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/24/2019 Whole-breast: Breast
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Jul 31, 2019 03:48PM GinnyO2 wrote:

Thanks for all your replies! They were very helpful! 🙂

Virginia Dx 5/20/2019, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
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Jul 31, 2019 04:43PM - edited Jul 31, 2019 04:53PM by viewfinder

Here are tips I was given before taking a recent 3000 mile trip by airplane.

- Stay well hydrated!

- Check with your surgeon and/or oncologist to determine if you need a compression sleeve and glove.

I wore neither after getting the okay from my lymphedema specialist. But do check with your doctor before you fly. The garments need to be fitted properly and by a specialist. So just don't buy any garment as I understand it could do more harm than good if not fitted properly. Get measured and order ahead because it can take a couple of weeks to get the garments.

- If you have any condition that even remotely qualifies you for a wheelchair (eg. fatigue, muscle pain from cancer medication) order one when booking your flight. It speeds up long waits through airport lines and surely helps if you have long walking distances to the gate.

- I booked an isle seat so I could get up and move around frequently and perform exercises during the flight. I picked one so the isle was to my left so I could extended my arm to the left, the side where I had my lumpectomy and nodes removed.

Exercises:

breathing exercises, shoulder rolls, elbow flexion and extension, wrist rotated, ball squeezes, marching, knee bends, toe and heel raises, ankle rotation

“You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion. – C. S. Lewis Dx 4/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes Surgery 6/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 9/13/2018 Hormonal Therapy 10/12/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 1, 2019 12:33PM LoriCA wrote:

We never like to think about something going wrong, but sometimes things happen (automobile accident, etc). If you are metastatic make sure to wear a medical ID bracelet. It's also a good idea if you have lymphedema and can't have IV/BP on one arm. You may not be able to rely on your travel companions being able to speak for you.

IBC Stage IV de novo - mets throughout skeleton, liver, distant nodes, chest wall, skin, tumor in brachial nerves.Still trying to get it to slow down. Dx 9/8/2017, IBC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 9/25/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 2/5/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/5/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/25/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/29/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Aug 2, 2019 09:23AM - edited Aug 2, 2019 09:24AM by mom2bunky

I had to fly a week after my lumpectomy and oncoplasty. My father was dying (yes. it has been a totally shit year). My doctor's weren't happy about it, but what was I supposed to do? The man was dying and lived a 15 hour car ride away. So they reluctantly agreed to let me go and were very sympathetic. The told me to wear the tightest compression bra I owned for the flight (in fact, I wore two) and to go easy on myself as far as fatigue went. So that's what I did and it was fine.

Dx at 55. KI-67: 18. Oncotype: 24 Dx 3/26/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/25/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/5/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 2, 2019 10:15AM edj3 wrote:

mom2bunky I am so sorry. You have had a shit year.

Dx 4/9/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/1/2019 Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 3, 2019 08:54AM Slycat wrote:

I had a previously planned trip to Africa when I was diagnosed with liver mets. I have just finished my first cycle of Taxol and the trip is scheduled after my third cycle (out of a planned 6 cycle treatment). I have had only minor SE's with indigestion and stomach issues, other than a complete loss of my hair. My Doctor said that they would plan my treatments around my trip, but I am wondering if the risk of air travel (15 hours) is too risky. My blood counts after the first round are all good, but I do not know what they will be in 60 days when I am to travel. The trip is 14 days.

Dx 4/2014, IDC, Stage IIB, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/11/2019, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, Grade 2, PR+ Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right
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Aug 3, 2019 09:34AM Betrayal wrote:

Slycat:

I just returned from a 16 day trip to Africa. Although the flight seems long, it is usually overnight and you can doze on the plane. If you fly in a day ahead of time it permits you to adjust to the time changes. There were some early morning game drives but the afternoons could be free so you could nap if needed. We opted out of a few afternoon activities because we had done them on an earlier trip to South Africa.

Make sure you move your feet and legs on the plane, walk the aisles and drink lots of water so you will need to use the bathrooms. This was a trip of a lifetime for me and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It is their winter so it can be cool overnight and in the mornings so dressing like an onion (in peelable layers) is recommended. It does get warmer in the afternoons but cools down when the sun sets. Sunset will be earlier like our winters if you are based in USA. Enjoy your trip if you decide to go. Seeing all those animals in their natural environment was amazing.

Dx 1/7/2016, DCIS/ILC/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 1/31/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/3/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/31/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/24/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 5/18/2017 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 4, 2019 09:04AM Slycat wrote:

Thank you for your response. I am so glad that it worked out for you and you had a wonderful trip. I have decided that since I am in the middle of Chemo, Taxol, that my immune system may be low and it worries me to be on a jumbo plane with that many people with potential airborne ailments. We have decided, with my Doctor's advise, to cancel the trip and go after my Chemo is over in 6 months. What a let down as this was our trip of a life time and we were so excited to be going.

Dx 4/2014, IDC, Stage IIB, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/11/2019, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, Grade 2, PR+ Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right
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Aug 5, 2019 09:12PM Krose53 wrote:

Slycat, I know it's disappointing but I think it's the right decision. I went to Cyprus and Spain 5 wks after my last chemo. I thought I'd be fine and so did my MO but I wasn't. I had just started Femara and I was having lots of side effects including episodes of dizziness, weakness, off balance and fainting. Then I developed severe vertigo. I was exhausted. Made it through 2 wks in Cyprus but our 8 day trip to Spain only lasted 2 days. I just had to go home. Do don't rush your trip after chemo. Make sure you've recovered and have a good level of energy. You will enjoy it much more. Good Luck!


Dx 11/16/2017, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 12/27/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/22/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Aug 5, 2019 11:28PM Betrayal wrote:

Slycat:

I can understand why you are postponing your trip. So it is on hold for now and I hope once chemo is over, you can reschedule the trip. Africa will still be there when you are ready to go. Good luck.


Dx 1/7/2016, DCIS/ILC/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 1/31/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/3/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/31/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/24/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 5/18/2017 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 6, 2019 04:32AM Spepple wrote:

Especially if you are planning to travel outside of the country, ask your oncologist for a preventative antibiotic, and start taking if you fall ill or spike a fever. For ANY travel, always pack your meds for carry-on, never check them and always take a few extra days worth, just in case your trip home gets delayed

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Aug 6, 2019 09:49AM mustlovepoodles wrote:

I did not attempt to travel during chemo. Heck, I barely even went to the grocery store! But I did travel after my BMX and after reconstruction. Both times I had bandages and drains.

My word of advice is:

1. Let TSA know you have bandages, drains, compression wear, etc. before you go through the scanner. That way they won't freak out and assume you have explosives strapped to your chest.

2. Do NOT allow them to touch your drains or bandages without changing their gloves. You can ask for a supervisor for help.

3. Wheelchair, wheelchair, wheelchair. You may be surprised at how fatigued you might be. Walking around a little airport, like New Orleans, isn't so bad. But just try schlepping your carry-ons through Atlanta airport, where you can easily walk nearly a mile to your gate.

4. If you can afford it, fly first class, especially post-op. You'll board first, have more room for your stuff, and won't be jammed up against other people.

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/20/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/3/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/4/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/19/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Aug 6, 2019 11:13AM tessu wrote:

I’ve read that those trays you have to put all your stuff in when going through airport security are the mostfull of germs. Recommend washing your hands with waem soapy water then jsing a hand sanitizer as soon as you’re through. I also use a sanitizer wipe on the airplane seat armrests, seatbelt buckle, screen controls, and tray table as soon as I sit down. And hand sanitizer after every trip to the toilet.

Be gentle with yourself. Dx 7/29/2015, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2016 Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy CEF Surgery Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Aug 8, 2019 03:27PM TunaSandwich wrote:

Make sure all medications are in their proper container and labeled with your name. Request that you get a seat close to the lavatory if you have GI issues.

Dx 12/5/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIC, ER+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 12/28/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/19/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/20/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 6/19/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 7/31/2018 Whole-breast Surgery 6/11/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Aug 8, 2019 03:40PM Moderators wrote:

Dear TunaSandwich,

Welcome to the BCO community.Thanks for your input here. We appreciate it. We hope that you get connected here and offer more of your experiences and we hope that you benefit from the support and information that is so readily shared here in the community.

The Mods

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Aug 8, 2019 04:38PM sbelizabeth wrote:

I'm wondering why I've always read to travel with meds in their original containers. I've never done that--they'd need their own carry-on and that's just not going to happen. I always put my pills in their little dosette container so they're organized. Never had a problem. It's none of TSA's business what meds I take.

I always have a very complete list of my meds with me, though--names, dosages, frequency.

While traveling out of state once I realized I'd forgotten to add my thyroid to the dosette and I didn't want to go without it for a week. I called my doctor and they called in a week's worth to a chain pharmacy that can be found everywhere--Walgreens, I think. Filling the script was no problem. If I'd gone to a mom-and-pop local pharmacy it might have been an issue, since my doctor wasn't licensed in that state.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Aug 13, 2019 11:36AM VitaSh wrote:

I have just returned from my trip (by air), 3 weeks post-op. My arm, breast and shoulder were still very tender after the LN removal but my doctor approved my travel. However, I really don't think I handled it well because a) it was very hot and my compression garments did more harm than good so I had to replace them with a soft bra, and b) although my companions carried most of my stuff, I still put too much pressure on my operated side and now it hurts more than before the trip.

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Aug 13, 2019 02:30PM - edited Aug 13, 2019 02:30PM by kber

According to the FAA website, (and my own experience) your port will not set off the metal detectors at the airport, but have your doctor's office # ready just in case there is a question.

The airport security should not make you remove your hat or scarf.

If you look too sick, they can refuse to let you board. If you look visibly ill, you might want to have a doctor's note clearing you to fly, along with (again) your doctor's contact information.

Give yourself plenty of time at the airport in case there are complications.

I brought wipes with me to wipe down the seats and arm rests. Bring hand sanitizers. Wash your hands at EVERY opportunity.

Build as much time into your schedule as practical to rest.

Dx 11/2018, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIB, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/6/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 5/27/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 7/16/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Aug 14, 2019 10:35AM arby wrote:

I wondered if packing prosthetic breasts is harmful for them. Are they more apt to leak or explode in un-pressurized luggage hold.? Also beware that TSA screeners can be invasive when you're wearing prosthesis. I was very embarassed on a recent trip and pulled out of line for an UNNECESSARY check of my chest and boobs. SO frustrating!! I came unglued, I wept; never got an acknowledgment of the letter of complaint I sent to this NC airport.

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Aug 14, 2019 04:59PM - edited Aug 14, 2019 05:30PM by Moderators

arby, we're so sorry to hear what happened to you at the airport TSA screening!

Assuming you are referencing silicone, the silicone products have warnings not to expose to heat, and luggage compartments in planes can get hot if they sit for a while. We're not seeing anything about them being damaged from extreme cold but might be a good rule of thumb to prevent them from being exposed to extreme temps, and of course to overpacking in a luggage piece. We're looking more into this though. Thanks for posting!

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Aug 21, 2019 03:59PM viewfinder wrote:

arby, TSA screeners can be invasive when you're not wearing a prosthesis!

Mid-morning on Aug 10th, I just got through the security checkpoints at the Seattle airport and was waiting for my carry-on and purse to come off the roller. A TSA agent pulled me aside and said they had to do an "explosive check," that they found some residue on my wheelchair.

Heck, I was only on the wheelchair for less than 10 minutes and I'm sure several others used it before me for earlier flights.

I was asked if I wanted to be checked right there or in a private room. I opted, I think wisely, to be checked in public...even though it was quite humiliating.

They called over a female TSA agent who gently checked every external part of my body, and I mean every.

I guess even a granny can be a terrorist but, hey, I'm 75 years old, hair as white as snow and have difficulty walking. I chalked it up to them having to do their job.

Sharing this so others realize, in this day and age, you never know what to expect at the airport. Arrive at least two hours prior to your plane's departure time for national flights (three hours for international). You can be detained when you least expect it. If you're a cancer patient, get a wheelchair if you have fatigue or any other side effects.

“You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion. – C. S. Lewis Dx 4/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes Surgery 6/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 9/13/2018 Hormonal Therapy 10/12/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 22, 2019 11:10AM - edited Aug 22, 2019 12:27PM by ksusan

  • Buy trip insurance that includes cancellation and repatriation for any reason. So worth it!
  • Have a complete travel-focused physical before major trips.
  • Make an emergency medical plan, just in case you need it.
  • List and write out information you will need. Chances are that you don't concentrate or remember as well as you did before all of this.
  • Have access to extra money so you can throw it at a problem rather than being stuck or having to use a strategy that seems more problematic. In other words, take a cab if you need one, rather than agonizing over a bus schedule in a language you can't read.
  • Limit travel during chemo nadirs or other periods of immunocompromise. Use a mask if necessary.
  • Get fitted for compression garments with ample time before you fly.
  • Try out compression garments before you travel so you'll know how they feel when you're not stressed or in the air.
  • Leave Rx in original containers, because you don't need TSA or its equivalents in other countries taking them away from you.
  • Take a photo of your Rx containers, and have a copy of a refill prescription order. Email these to yourself.
  • Ask your MO or PCP for an emergency antibiotic for possible cellulitis.
  • Get a medical alert bracelet/pendant and wallet card. There are online options for listing your medical information in more depth. Some have translation functions.
  • Put a display notice on your phone lock screen that says "see medical card."
  • Consider your travel clothing and shoes. Go for comfort. If there are bathing suit fitting issues, try out your options early.
  • If using a backpack or shoulder bag, ask your LE specialist, or at least the outfitter, to check that it is adjusted well and the straps are not putting pressure on the lymphatic pathways between neck and shoulder.
  • Assume you may be more tired than before and plan accordingly.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Ask airport and plane personnel for help. If you anticipate needing a wheelchair, organize this in advance.
  • Politely but firmly explain that you have a medical/surgical issue and ask for a supervisor when necessary. As others have said, don't permit handling of any sterile medical materials.
  • On planes, and any time you're seated for awhile, do lymphatic drainage, and move around frequently, especially if you're taking tamoxifen.
  • Book plane seats to protect your surgical (or more extensive surgical) side--for example, for a right-side surgery, choose the right window seat or at least the right aisle seat so you don't get bumped by carts, kicked by carried children, or hit by swinging backpacks.
  • Anticipate times when someone might grab your arm to help you, and take steps to avoid this.
  • Ask for help retrieving your bag from an overhead bin or lifting luggage.
  • Sit in a handicapped/medical assistance seat if you need it.
  • Do body checks and treat any cuts or scratches with antibiotics.
  • Use sunscreen and eye protection. BC is associated with a higher melanoma risk, sunburn with lymphedema, and tamoxifen with earlier development of cataracts.
  • Continue healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits during your trip.
  • Rest. That's why God made tea.

Being able to travel is important to me. Since diagnosis I've traveled all over the world, including Europe, South America, the US, Antarctica, and walking the Camino de Santiago, by plane, train, bus, ship, and foot. It can be done!

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)

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