Travel Essentials for Breast Cancer Survivors and Thrivers
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You have gone through a combination of treatments and your finally ready to travel again. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a month long trip on the other side of the world, carrying these few items will help you have a safe and comfortable journey.
I have compiled a list of things I travel with and a few others you may need depending on what stage you are on your journey.
One of the hardest things about going through chemotherapy for a woman is losing her hair. It wasn’t that bad for me. I cut my hair after the first treatment. The thought of it falling out in my hand was horrifying. I felt like I had some control by cutting it beforehand. At first, I wore wigs, but it was too hot but if you do there a few things you should bring with you on your trip.
Traveling wig heads
You should have a wig head at home but this foldable one you can easily put in your bag so you can put it on the head at night. It can also help prevent tangling in your wig depending on how long it is.
Just like the hair that grows out of your head, it needs to be combed and brushed.
Satin scarfs sleep
I wore a hat similar to this to chemo and I would sleep in it. Other times I wore a basic cap outside. It was winter when I was going through chemo. The important thing is to find what is comfortable for you.
Lymphedema occurs when too much fluid buildup in any affected area of the body. For breast cancer, it usually occurs in the arm, hands, and chest. Your chances of developing blood clots in the legs are also increased. You can develop lymphedema and blood clots one month after surgery and treatment or 10 years. The following items can be used as preventative and if you are already diagnosed by your doctors.
I like the sleeves Lymphadiva designs because you can have fun with it. It’s hard to match with skin color on the regular sleeves. There are several designs to choose from.
Many people wear compression socks when flying. Prior to breast cancer and breaking my ankle I had not to experience swelling in my feet. You can find basic black or choose colors.
The number one preventative and cure for lymphedema is stretch and exercise the area. A handball will be the perfect thing to carry in your carryon.
Other items you might need are heat pack/cool packs that are soothing. You can pick some up from the neighborhood drug store. Your doctor may also recommend lymphedema protective bandages. They work similarly to the sleeve.
Breast cancer alert bracelet
Something you might not think you need is a medical alert bracelet. In case you in need your blood pressure or blood is drawn they will know not to use the arm that you had lymph nodes removed from. Any aggravation to your arm can cause lymphedema.
I have a confession to make. For several years I use to post YouTube wig videos. Mostly me just standing in the mirror putting on my new hair. I love wigs. It was an accessory to wear and change on a daily basis. After I had started chemo, I cut my hair before it started falling out. I tried wearing wigs, but the hot flashes that are a side effect of chemo just made it unbearable. I either went bald or wore a hat.
Here’s a youtube video I did for a lace wig I bought. I’ll be honest I didn’t wear this wig but once. I was getting too hot. I also had trouble keeping it on because it came with combs and I didn’t have any hair to attach it too. The wig does have adjustable straps to secure to your head. I probably could have made it work if I played with it more, but it wasn’t comfortable for me at the time.
I also have a list of my top 5 things I always carry when I fly. Check it out here.
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