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Traveling While Undergoing Chemotherapy

Travel Tips for People Undergoing Chemotherapy


Updated April 30, 2009

Traveling whil undergoing chemotherapy can still be possible for many people with cancer. A lot of people have an chemotherapy IV infusion every few weeks, which allows for down time in between. Keep in mind that circumstances such a family emergencies and evacuations during hurricanes and other events may force people to travel --it's not always about recreation. These tips will help the trip go much smoother and helps to prepare for many situations.

1. Talk Tou Your Doctor Before Your Trip

Get an okay from your physician before any travel. You may also want to get it in writing also. Your doctor can give you specific tips related to your condition.

2. Take along more medicine than you will need.

Taking along extra meds is vital in case they are lost. When travelling, keep meds with you , not in a suitcase. You may want to have copies of prescriptions in case you do lose your medication. It will make it much easier for a pharmacy or hospital to verify the prescription.

3. Find doctors at your destination before you leave that can help if you need it.

Finding available treatment centers and doctors at your stops or final destination can be very useful. Do this before you leave. Your doctor may be able to provide recommendations. In an emergent situation, you will know exactly where to go and what to do.

4. Check With Your Insurance Company for Coverage

Before you leave, give a call to your health insurance company to see if you are covered in other states, or if you need to go to a certain hospital or doctor if you need treatment. You may want to check to see if you may need travellers insurance if you are travelling overseas.

5. Have verification of all medical equipment you are using.

If you have been assigned medical devices, make sure you carry verification that it has been prescribed for you and what exactly the medical equipment is. This will be especially important in airports and foreign travel.

6. Make sure your meds aren't illegal in countries that you are travelling to.

If you have meds that are illegal in the country you are travelling to, make sure you have a doctors note explaining what the drug is and why you need it.

7. Be sure to take time to rest on your trip.

Rest is so important for a cancer patient. Just taking 15-20 minutes of rest every few hours can save and build up energy for later. Don't overdo it! When you need to rest, sit down or lay down and relax.

8. Arrange for assistance to your gate at the airport.

Walking to different terminals and gates can be physically exhausting for someone who doesn't have cancer, let a lone a person that does. When checking your baggage, let the airline know that you need assistance to the gate. Don't risk not being able to get on your flight because you didn't think you would need help, or were too proud to ask.

9. Be sure to bring snacks and pack light meals.

Many chemotherapy patients experience nausea. The smell of food can be extremely nauseous. Bring along snacks and a packed lunch just in dining in a restaurant proves to be difficult. The different aromas can cause terrible nausea and vomiting for some cancer patients.

10. Finally, enjoy yourself.

If on a recreational trip, enjoy it. Keeping the mind off cancer can help you cope better. Be smart about your meds and avoid any undue stress.
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