Can I Travel While Undergoing Chemo?

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Question:

I am undergoing chemo (taxol and carboplatin) for recurrent endometrial cancer. I have a family function to attend in Hong Kong. Can I go? Is it safe with swine flu being diagnosed everywhere? What precautions should I take?

Answer:

Many people ask if they should limit activities or travel while receiving chemotherapy. The answer depends how well you are tolerating the therapy and how healthy you feel. It’s important that you not interfere with the scheduled dosages of your chemotherapy regimens. However, if your travel schedule can fit with that and you feel healthy and strong enough to go (and have your doctor’s permission), by all means go.

A lot of people believe in the power of positive thinking and giving yourself other reasons to be happy, like your family event, may be a welcome diversion to thinking about the disease. Remember that your immune system will be compromised, and that you are susceptible to ANY illness you are exposed to, so be sure to use a breathing mask, wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizers, avoid public places as much as possible, and get your rest. Your body will respond differently to traveling, and jet lag may be very taxing. Sleep extra if you need to. Drink plenty of good bottled water and walk every day if you can. Check with your local immunization professionals to make sure you take any recommended medicines for the foreign travel as well.

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