Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Flying with Leukemia

Probably for the first time in my life, I am packed and ready to go on our trip; a full day ahead of schedule. Since this is the first time that I am going out of town, for an extended period of time, since being diagnosed with leukemia, I want to be sure to be prepared, get a good night’s sleep and to alleviate as much stress as humanly possible.

Our flight doesn’t leave until 2:30 in the afternoon, so we do not have to get up early, allowing me to get a full twelve hours of sleep. We head to the Fly-Away at noon and arrive at the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight. So far, so good…no stress, easy boarding and the first leg goes smoothly. We land in Sacramento and change planes. Life is still good; for approximately the first fifteen minutes of the second flight.

Initially everything was fine, but as the flight continues I became nauseous, get a headache and cannot keep my eyes open. Thank goodness I always travel with my pillow; I propped it up against the window and fall asleep within seconds. Once we land in Portland, I feel totally groggy and feverish. I take two, Ibuprofen and hope for the best.

After settling in at the hotel, we go down to grab a bite to eat. Since we haven’t had a ton of time to practice and we are competing in the morning, we head to the practice room to run through our routines. Being that I am a woman, and overly ambitious and tenacious, and bound and determined to not let cancer get the best of me; I put on my “performance” face, take a deep breath, and start running through our routines. By the time that I finish, I feel as though I have a fever and I have to drag my bumm all the way back to our room.  I need to get a good night’s sleep, as we are competing first thing in the morning.

I ponder why I might be feeling so miserable and come to the conclusion that it had to be the flight. I will be looking into why it has affected me so negatively. I wonder if the fact that my red blood cell count being so low, thus carrying less oxygen to my body, was even more affected by less oxygen when flying. I know that they say that the cabins are pressurized and have a sufficient amount of oxygen, but one might wonder when the water bottle that you carried onto the plane is sucked in and crushed when you land.

More research in my future; leukemia sure has increased my knowledge, now if I could only remember where I put my cell phone!

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Bricks for the Brave!!