First Trip Since Being Diagnosed with Leukemia

It has been almost five months since my initial diagnoses of chronic myelogenous leukemia. We were forced to cancel our annual trip to Cabo San Lucas and our trip to Germany, but have been given the green light to travel to Portland, Oregon for a dance competition and then on to Boise, Idaho; to visit old friends, search for a new home and to teach a dance workshop. We will be gone for ten days. This will be a very ambitious undertaking!

As I am packing and getting ready for our trip, I must admit that I am very, very excited; yet very apprehensive. There is an underlying nervousness that I have never experienced before. I have always been a happy-go-lucky, kind of a girl that traveled without a care. Having leukemia seems to have put a bit of a damper on my carefreeness. I know that I can no longer count on my health and that it can take a downward turn, at the drop of a hat.

Here at home, I have established a safe and comfortable cocoon; I know that help is just down the road; traveling means that I am at the mercy of unknown medical professionals. It is a bit scary to wander out of my “cocoon” and away from my own doctor that knows me and my leukemia very well. I am sure that some of this apprehension arises from my frequent visits to my folks, just a few hours from here; seems as though every time that I have traveled there, I have had some sort of set-back.

I do have a bit of peace and comfort, knowing that for the majority of our trip we will be in Boise. Through my blog, I have been in contact with another gal, whom also has CML, and lives in Boise. She seems to like her doctor and that is a “good-thing,” help IS available. The other comfort is in knowing that I have so many friends in Boise; if something were to happen while I was there, the rescue squad would rush in.  Boise is my home away from home and I can hardly wait to move back there next year.

So, as I ready for my competition and trip, I am trying very hard to stay positive and put “healthy” vibes out into the universe. I have yet to take my leukemia on a plane and to be quite frank; the floating cesspool of germs that will be recycling through the aircraft is frightening. I have been taking my vitamins religiously, I plan to plop two Airborne’s into a bottle of water as soon as I get through security and will be constantly washing my hands. I am hoping that the plane ride will be uneventful and that the Dance and Travel Gods’ will be with me throughout this venture. I am praying for a safe, happy and healthy trip.

Off to finish packing!


  1. Michele - I hope you wore a face mask on the plane! Some airlines require a Dr.'s note for the mask (not in China of course, where SARS masks are still all the rage.. I have had to get "permission" several times, when my daughter was younger, I put one on her too... While dealing with breast cancer, and flying, I - ask the gentleman next to me if he would mind terribly "turning off" the overhead air. (THAT is indeed a cesspool blowing "right" on you)... I usually didn't pull the "cancer card" but I did on that day, I explained I was undergoing treatment, and really - I couldn't afford to be exposed to any more germs than a plane "already" exposes you to... Perhaps it was my request, or his fear "CANCER" was contagious, he never answered me, but he did ask the attendant if he could move to "any" available seat... She moved him, I turned off that "vent" (then I used my hand sanitizer yet again) and ever so slightly moved my mask - only for coffee! (Those 6 am flights DO require coffee)! I hope and Pray you did not get exposed to a thing, that you had a WONDERFUL time, danced your heart out, AND with a little luck from Mother Nature, it was cooler in those places! You Danced! THAT is what matters! You kick the CANCER closer out of your life - every time you take even the slightest of dance steps... Love and blessings to you! xoxo
    Always, julia xoxo

  2. Thanks, Julia...I actually think that the only ill affects of the plane rider was due to less oxygen. I was totally wiped out for three days; no other symptoms.....very strange!


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