This four part series isn’t about me. OK–a lot of it is about me. But I’m only using my experiences to help illustrate ways that you can travel more safely. It’s the same style that I use in my books; examining our lives living with multiple myeloma from patient’s perspective.
So let’s get started.
This is my “busy season.” If all goes as planned, I will be flying to speak to seven or eight support groups between now and the holidays. My feelings about this are mixed. Of course I’m excited. I always return from these events feeling hopeful and empowered.
But the traveling is harder on me than it used to be. Budget constraints have limited the option of flying non-stop very often. And early or late flights have become the norm as another way to save money.
I’m all for that! Every dime saved can be used to help patients and pay for research. I try to save as much as I can; taking shuttles instead of a cab to and from my hotel, packing a variety of healthy snacks instead of buying overpriced roasted and salted nuts from airport shops and eating less expensive fast food whenever I can.
However, flying early or late can wreck havoc on one’s routine. The only way that I’m even able to function, even while at home, is by timing my meds perfectly so they overlap just right. If my eating and sleeping habits stray too far a field, my meds don’t seem to work as well. And if you are anything like me, you should understand how easy it is to forget to take pills and capsules from time to time while you’re traveling.
Using the alarm feature in your watch or cell phone can help. Keep your meds in one of those small, round plastic pill holders so you can easily access them.
Don’t forget to take your supplements as scheduled. For example, curcumin does more than help slow myeloma down. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Stop taking curcumin and/or ginger (CLICK HERE to read a recent HWC post I wrote about ginger) while you’re on the road and your pain levels could jump-up dramatically.
The same goes for anti-neuropathy supplements and meds. If you take Gabapentin (neurontin) for peripheral neuropathy (PN) you may even want to up the dose a bit when you travel–with your doctor’s approval, of course!
Taking things to the next level, timing is everything for a multiple myeloma patient who is undergoing treatment at the same time they would like to travel. Whenever possible, I try to anticipate my trips and time my chemotherapy cycles as best I can.
But let’s tackle the dilemma of traveling while undergoing therapy tomorrow.
Until then, feel good and keep smiling! Pat