Traveling with Cancer

Traveling with cancer and chemo medications

As we enter the busiest travel season of the year, and as I’ve been traveling more frequently lately, it’s a good time to remind those of you who are traveling while in treatment or with someone in treatment of the best way to travel with your medicines or creams.

I’m triggered and filled with anxiety every single time I walk through security at an airport from an incident that happened while I was still in treatment.  I had completed chemo and radiation and was cleared by my medical team to fly again when I was stopped at security, treated horrifically, patted down, even though I told them I was a breast cancer patient, and had a port in my chest and even though my creams for rashes were in bags and handed to the agents.

Besides what you see in the video, I was also met with shame from someone in my inner circle at the time.  It was as if I had done something wrong, and shouldn’t have shared the experience.  Sharing was the best thing I knew how to do to make sure it wouldn’t happen again to someone else.  My story was shared all over the world.Immediately at the time, the TSA reached out to me and asked if I would volunteer to shoot a public service announcement with them. It truly is one of the proudest moments of my life.
But every single time I go through security today, especially since I still wear a wig, I tell them, I’m wearing a wig.  I pray they have compassion and don’t pat me down.  I shake with anxiety hoping I get through without buzzing. This past trip reminded me of this experience when they asked me to remove my hat, but my wig was a mess.  I kindly lifted the hat and told them what was going on underneath.  They escorted me to an area, closed some curtains and made me take it off to be patted down. I don’t question security.  I just won’t ever recover from this experience and just hope everyone else is prepared as you travel.

Resources for traveling with Cancer

TSA policies for traveling with cancer or any medical condition are in detail in this section of their website.

Please watch this video to see some of the great resources TSA has in place to help those with Cancer.