Traveling on chemo?

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ocstacy
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Traveling on chemo?

Postby ocstacy » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:45 pm

I wanted to get your thoughts on traveling while on Chemo? My mom will be taking Xeloda for the next 6 months, has anyone traveled on Xeloda and had a successful trip? My mom would probably say No knowing her, but thought it would be good to get away. I know the risks would be dehydration and being far away from your local hospital. I was thinking an Alaskan Cruise or Japan for one week. Lastly, I would of course ask the doctor's on their thoughts and listen to their recommendations. Any feedback would be great! Thank you!
Caregiver/daughter to dear mother age 77, dx 5/09/17 because of me!! :wink:
Rectal CA Stage 3 low-grade adenocarcinoma- 6 cm
Neoadjuv. Chemo/Rad. start 7/10/17 ended 08/16/17
3D Lap. surgery @ Keck USC, Dr. Sang Lee 10/17/17 temp ileostomy
11/1 back @ hospital due 2 abscess/hernia - back home 11/06/17 antibiotics
NO LYMPHS INVOLVED! NEAR PATHOLOGICAL RESPONSE! YAY! :shock:
Chemo Xeloda post-surgery following reversal 2018
Me: Colonoscopy age 38. 08/17 Benign polp.
Hemmy's post partum:roll:

NHMike
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby NHMike » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:57 pm

I am considering a trip in February to the DC area for about five days via air of course and that would be with a bag, chest port, and, hopefully Xeloda and likely other drugs. That is if the scheduling works. It seems like it would be quite the challenge at this time but I'm going to look around to see if something like this is doable. I don't want to be completely chained down by chemo.
06/23/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy+Biopsy
07/13/17: Stage 3B rectal cancer. T3, N1b, M0. 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6 mm, 5 x 5 mm.
Xeloda 3,400 mg/day + radiation 07/31 - 09/08.
CEA 2.7; halfway through treatment: 1.9; after treatment: 1.8.
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/06/17: 2.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 mm (-75%), 5 x 3 mm (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV.
Surgery: 10/30/17 LAR, Temp Ileostomy

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ocstacy
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby ocstacy » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:12 am

I am considering a trip in February to the DC area for about five days via air of course and that would be with a bag, chest port, and, hopefully Xeloda and likely other drugs. That is if the scheduling works. It seems like it would be quite the challenge at this time but I'm going to look around to see if something like this is doable. I don't want to be completely chained down by chemo.


Anything is possible right? :D I think of the long flight to Japan though and then my mom having to do her thing in the bathroom. I am sure she will be fine, but knowing her she will say "No". Well, I guess the cruise would be better if it was in the next 5 months or so or a road trip... hmm.. Anyhow, thank you for your input. :)
Caregiver/daughter to dear mother age 77, dx 5/09/17 because of me!! :wink:
Rectal CA Stage 3 low-grade adenocarcinoma- 6 cm
Neoadjuv. Chemo/Rad. start 7/10/17 ended 08/16/17
3D Lap. surgery @ Keck USC, Dr. Sang Lee 10/17/17 temp ileostomy
11/1 back @ hospital due 2 abscess/hernia - back home 11/06/17 antibiotics
NO LYMPHS INVOLVED! NEAR PATHOLOGICAL RESPONSE! YAY! :shock:
Chemo Xeloda post-surgery following reversal 2018
Me: Colonoscopy age 38. 08/17 Benign polp.
Hemmy's post partum:roll:

NHMike
Posts: 550
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby NHMike » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:40 am

ocstacy wrote:
I am considering a trip in February to the DC area for about five days via air of course and that would be with a bag, chest port, and, hopefully Xeloda and likely other drugs. That is if the scheduling works. It seems like it would be quite the challenge at this time but I'm going to look around to see if something like this is doable. I don't want to be completely chained down by chemo.


Anything is possible right? :D I think of the long flight to Japan though and then my mom having to do her thing in the bathroom. I am sure she will be fine, but knowing her she will say "No". Well, I guess the cruise would be better if it was in the next 5 months or so or a road trip... hmm.. Anyhow, thank you for your input. :)


I'm talking more like Southeast Express direct or one hop with two hours of flight time.

That's a lot different than going to Narita or somewhere else in Japan. I believe that the chemo knocked down my RBC and the radiation knocked down my WBC in the neo-adjuvant chemo but I don't know whether or not the chemo also affected the WBC. The ChemoTrain course did say that the immune system is compromised with chemo and there are a lot of illnesses that come out of Asia.
06/23/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy+Biopsy
07/13/17: Stage 3B rectal cancer. T3, N1b, M0. 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6 mm, 5 x 5 mm.
Xeloda 3,400 mg/day + radiation 07/31 - 09/08.
CEA 2.7; halfway through treatment: 1.9; after treatment: 1.8.
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/06/17: 2.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 mm (-75%), 5 x 3 mm (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV.
Surgery: 10/30/17 LAR, Temp Ileostomy

Aqx99
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby Aqx99 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:40 am

I'll be done with chemo, but I am flying down to Texas at Christmas to see my family. I plan to pack about 3 times as many ostomy supplies as will be needed, splitting them between my carry-on and my checked bag. I printed off the TSA medical card, just in case I need to show it to them. The UOAA has a really good one to use, it also explains the need for a bathroom to empty the ostomy pouch. I also have a wallet card for my port, in case they need documentation for that. I would suggest that when traveling on chemo, your mom should wear a mask around large groups of people and in confined spaces like an airplane that recirculates air. Otherwise, as long as her doctor says it is fine, I say go for it!

http://www.ostomy.org/Ostomy_Travel_Tips.html
Anne, 40
Stage IIIB Rectal Cancer
T3N1bM0
Diagnosed at age 39
2/21/17 Diagnosis
2/21/17 CEA 0.9 ng/mL
3/23/17 - 5/2/17 Chemoradiation, 28 treatments
6/14/17 Robotic LAR with temp loop ileostomy, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, 2/21 lymph nodes positive
7/24/17 Started CapeOx, 6 Cycles
7/24/17 Diagnosed with precursor ovarian cancer
9/6/17 CA 125 11.1 U/mL
1/18ish Reversal

cbsmith
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby cbsmith » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:06 am

Some other things to consider while on chemo. Her neutrophil count will likely be lower because of the chemo making a greater chance infection, germs/illness and you likely don’t have travel insurance if you leave the country if you are actively on chemo.

I’ve travelled a few times during my treatment, usually on a chemo break to do so to make it enjoyable. I was advised by my oncologist that the worst place to be was a cruise ship due to the high number of people in close contact, the higher than normal levels of norovirus, and the fact that if anything happens you would be airlifted off the ship immediately as they won’t treat anyone with Stage 4 cancer at your own cost as almost no insurers will cover stage 4 cancer.
06/14-DX with FAP as 36yo Male
07/14-total colectomy, rectum removal, permanent ileostomy
08/14-DX Stage IIIC colon cancer KRAS mutant, MSS
09/14-12 rounds of FOLFOX
04/15-ended FOLFOX
07/15-CT showed one para-aortic lymph node, onc thought inflammation and said wait 3 mths
10/15-DX Stage IV, CT showed lymph node tripled in size and 1 small lung met
11/15-FOLFIRI + Avastin
06/16-lymph node is stable, now have a 2nd lung met
01/16-lymph node is stable, lung mets grown 2mm. Still on FOLFIRI + Avastin

fumaros
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby fumaros » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:34 am

I think having a vacation during chemo is a great way to lift the spirits, and gather energy. Ask your mom how she feels, and where she wants to go. She is most aware of what she can physically tolerate.

On the other hand i think cbsmith raises some very valid points. If your mom is potentially immune compromised, being on a cruise ship will provide her a sampling of germs from around the world in a confined environment. If Japan involves a really long flight, you should also consider how much stress she can handle.

All the best with the vacation plans.
Diagnosed 4/8/16, age 29
Colectomy 4/20/16
Stage III, T4bN1 Tumor 7x6.5x2. Muscinous Adenocarcinoma with SRC features
2/16 lymph nodes
CEA 4/14/16 - 16.8
CEA 6/2/16 - 1.9
CEA 6/17/16 - 0.87, 7/16 - 1.33, 12/16 - 1.14, 4/17 - 0.6, 7/17 - 0.5
FOLFOX began 6/24/16 - 11/25/16
10 round FOLFOX, 2 round 5-FU & Leucovorin
MRI & CT 8/16 - NED, CT 12/16 - 7/17 - NED

Lee
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby Lee » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:50 am

Aqx99 wrote:I'll be done with chemo, but I am flying down to Texas at Christmas to see my family. I plan to pack about 3 times as many ostomy supplies as will be needed, splitting them between my carry-on and my checked bag. I printed off the TSA medical card, just in case I need to show it to them. The UOAA has a really good one to use, it also explains the need for a bathroom to empty the ostomy pouch. I also have a wallet card for my port, in case they need documentation for that. I would suggest that when traveling on chemo, your mom should wear a mask around large groups of people and in confined spaces like an airplane that recirculates air. Otherwise, as long as her doctor says it is fine, I say go for it!

http://www.ostomy.org/Ostomy_Travel_Tips.html


I also bring a copy of my script for my ostomy supples. Just in case luggage gets lost, I can order more if I need to. I generally used the 2 piece system with the non drainable bag, butt I always keep drainable types on hand for prepping, if I'm sick ( like the runs, etc). I also bring drainable along when traveling. Just in case, I NEVER want to be without my ostomy supplies.
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

Lee
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby Lee » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:04 am

Regarding traveling, sooner rather than later might be best. For me, each treatment took a bit longer than the last to recover from. By my last infusion/treatment, I was TOTALLY wiped out for a week plus.

Also buy travel insurance just in case you need to cancel at the last minute.

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

ashima2016
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby ashima2016 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:28 pm

I think travelling will help to lift her spirit, however you also need to take into consideration her immune system would be at a low point. Either the long flight or the cruise would be a close environment with a big crowd. Have never been on the cruise, but I know the international flights are not lack of germs. Both my kids would have rashes after the long flight.

Sorry I don't mean to discourage you. A closer location might be a better idea.

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peanut_8
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby peanut_8 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:34 pm

Frankly, I think the idea of a vacation that requires a long plane ride is a bad idea. In my experience, I would not have enjoyed it at all. I was tired, cranky, nauseous, and suffered from diarrhea.

It's admirable that you want to take your Mom on a special trip, butt I think she would enjoy the experience MUCH MORE if you waited until her treatment is over.

However, I have always found that planning a trip is almost as exciting as the trip it's self. Always something to look forward to. Maybe you can plan a special trip for your Mom after her treatment is over, and involve her in the details.

Best Wishes,
peanut
Terri aka peanut
diagnosed Jan 14, RC stage 2a, age 56
permanent colostomy
MSS
April 14, 28 chemo/rad with Xeloda
June 14 adjuvant Xeloda 6 rounds
currently NED

mhf1986
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby mhf1986 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:11 pm

We flew to FL in October (it's a 2.5 hour flight) for a week. Best week in a long time! We left the Saturday after Tuesday chemo (so 5FU bag was off on Thursday) and came back the following Saturday. Did some shopping at Disney and Universal and toured Kennedy Space Center. Took a bottle of Kaopectate which was needed; took a nap every afternoon; took a bagful of ostomy supplies and all phone numbers. Nurse gave us special masks for the plane.

We've done two train trips to NYC; another planned for mid-December which will be the first one that DH is on Xeloda for.

We have a down payment on a small ship cruise (750 passengers) from Barcelona to Rome that leaves in late April. Travel agent found us fabulous insurance through TravelEx that covers pre-existing conditions. When we told the oncologist 2 weeks ago, he said he'd work around it and that he'd love to go on something like that! Full payment is due in January so we could back out until then for free. It is a very long flight so we are grateful for business class air included.

Given that DH is a "chemo for life" guy, and travel has always been our thing, we're figuring it out. Some people figure out how to spend time with kids or grandkids or work or retire or something else.

So maybe start small with a short jaunt and see how it goes? Prepare NOT to go full touring speed (big adjustment for us). But prepare and research for contengencies.
Caregiver to DH, dx age 50, mets to liver, MSS, KRAS wild
10/16: hemicolectomy, colostomy, CEA 114
11/16: FOLFOX started, Avastin added 12/16
4/17: CEA 11, blood pressure medicine added
6/17: CEA 15, OX discontinued due to neuropathy, Vit D added
11/17: CEA 38, back on OX due to liver tumors' growth, switching to Xeloda too

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ocstacy
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby ocstacy » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:11 pm

On the other hand i think cbsmith raises some very valid points. If your mom is potentially immune compromised, being on a cruise ship will provide her a sampling of germs from around the world in a confined environment. If Japan involves a really long flight, you should also consider how much stress she can handle.

All the best with the vacation plans.


Thank you. I don't think my mom will be up to it most likely. Maybe after her TX is over with or a drive up to San Francisco. You are all right. She will be on Xeloda and she handled it very well, but she can get sick due to her blood count (never thought about that) :| When we went to Tokyo, I had a horrible flu for 4 days.. awful awful. :cry:
You think she can travel after chemo is over with? She will have another surgery after chemo to do the reversal.
Caregiver/daughter to dear mother age 77, dx 5/09/17 because of me!! :wink:
Rectal CA Stage 3 low-grade adenocarcinoma- 6 cm
Neoadjuv. Chemo/Rad. start 7/10/17 ended 08/16/17
3D Lap. surgery @ Keck USC, Dr. Sang Lee 10/17/17 temp ileostomy
11/1 back @ hospital due 2 abscess/hernia - back home 11/06/17 antibiotics
NO LYMPHS INVOLVED! NEAR PATHOLOGICAL RESPONSE! YAY! :shock:
Chemo Xeloda post-surgery following reversal 2018
Me: Colonoscopy age 38. 08/17 Benign polp.
Hemmy's post partum:roll:

Lee
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Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby Lee » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:43 pm

ocstacy wrote::
You think she can travel after chemo is over with? She will have another surgery after chemo to do the reversal.


Give it a few weeks following chemo. Butt do the reversal AFTER trip. If she is tied to the toilet for a few weeks to a few months, not sure if she would want to travel.

About 2 weeks following my surgery, my tail bone hurt BAD :twisted: Could not sit for longer than 20 min in the beginning. Took about 4 month for pain to go away. That year (2004) was probably the only year we did not take vacation. No Florida trip in Oct to see grandpa due to tailbone pain. No summer (heat) escape due to me doing radiation, then being tied to toilet anytime I ate until surgery.

Be prepared for whatever might pop up.

Hope this helps,

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

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peanut_8
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Re: Traveling on chemo?

Postby peanut_8 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:50 pm

I really didn't feel like an extended trip after treatment for about a month. I didn't have a reversal, so no experience with that.

My daughter and I did go to San Francisco for a few days while I was taking Xeloda. We had a great time. It's easy to get around with Uber or just walking, and there are so many choices for shopping and dining out. Not to mention cushy 5 star hotels. It's always nice to relax in one of those.

Best wishes,
peanut
Terri aka peanut
diagnosed Jan 14, RC stage 2a, age 56
permanent colostomy
MSS
April 14, 28 chemo/rad with Xeloda
June 14 adjuvant Xeloda 6 rounds
currently NED


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