Posted 3 weeks ago
Holiday Travel Tips for Cancer Patients
If you are on an active chemotherapy or radiation treatment plan, here are some tips to get you prepared for holiday travel!
The holidays are the time we most frequently travel to see family and friends. While going through your cancer journey, you may be reluctant to travel, but spending time with friends and family is essential.
We would advise you to speak to your care team about your travel plans and get approval. Providers often encourage travel plans (once approved).
As a cancer patient, preparing for travel may take just a little extra planning. Here are a few tips on how you can ensure more comfortable and safer travel plans for cancer patients this holiday season.
Let Your Doctor Know
Speak to your care team in advance and let them know your plans and ensure they sign off. Chemotherapy treatments can often be scheduled around your travel plans. Once you get the green light from your provider, you might want to ask for a letter or your last visit note, so you have a clear explanation of your diagnosis and the treatments you are on in case you need the information.
Plan ahead. Make sure you locate the nearest urgent care or hospital. You might want to check with your insurance to ensure they are within the network or see if you have out of network benefits in case of an emergency.
If you are flying, you might want to call or glance at the airline’s website to see if they can accommodate any special needs you might have. Many airlines will be able to have a wheelchair and assistance for you when arriving at the airport, and at your destination, you need to let them know in advance. If you are traveling with oxygen, you will need to let the airline know.
Pack Medical Supplies
Make sure you have enough medical supplies and extra to be safe. You will want to pack and label all your medications and keep them in your carry-on bag (if flying) for safekeeping. You will want to ensure you have any additional symptom treating drugs on hand just in case.
Stay hydrated. If you are receiving chemotherapy treatments, this is especially important since some can cause dehydration. Some symptoms of dehydration are common to the side effects of chemotherapy, so be mindful of how much water you are drinking.
Do not forget to pack the SPF. Even in the fall and winter months, it is crucial to stay protected from the sun. Some chemotherapy treatments can make you more sensitive to the sun and heat, so ensure you are wearing a broad spectrum SPF when going outdoors.
If you are traveling where you might need immunizations to be sure to check with your care team to ensure they do not interfere with any treatments you might be receiving.
Maintain A Healthy Regimen
Reduce your risk of infections with diligent handwashing. This is a critical tip, and germs are spread often by touching things others have also touched, so ensure to wash your hands frequently. You might want to also check with your care team if you might need to wear a mask if you are flying or in close quarters with many people for an extended period.
Lastly, go at your own pace and get plenty of rest. You need to take care of yourself. Listen to your body and take time to rest and relax.
About the Author
Angela Gargiulo has been a part of the Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers family since 2015. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Grand Canyon University, Angela used her expertise to develop direct marketing initiatives and operations to create consistent patient experiences throughout all of Ironwood’s lines of business.
Angela is a caregiver for her mother, who is battling stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is an active cheer mom, loves everything pumpkin spice, and enjoys spending time with her family!