(An email originally sent out on 12/2/11; posted to the blog on 12/23/13.)
Happy Friday, all.
A friend of mine called me yesterday and pointed out that since I haven’t sent out an update email in a while, he was concerned “something was up.”
I’m happy to report “nothing” out of the ordinary has been going on the past few weeks – aside from a quick trip to NYC this week. Yes, I checked with my oncologist first. Her main advice was to not pick up any virus or infection on the plane. So, I wore a surgical mask. Let me tell you something: if you want people to give you a wide berth, wear a surgical mask anywhere outside a hospital.
Truth be told, I was a bit apprehensive about going through security with my ileostomy equipment. I’m required to take it with me wherever I go and it includes a bunch of stuff such as two aerosols, a tube of glue-like paste and – best of all – a small scissors. So, I prepared.
I secured a card from the medical products company that explains to security personnel what I have and why I’m carrying it. I printed a letter from the TSA saying I’m allowed to bring with me whatever I need. And, for good measure, I had my local doctor print me a letter saying I’m under his care, etc. and so on.
Guess what? It was a breeze. At Ben Gurion airport, no one batted a eyelash. When I spoke with the security supervisor (who, I think was about 12), I barely got out two sentences before he said, “No problem; I’m familiar with it.” Then we started chatting. He lives about a 10 minute walk from my house.
I was incredibly nervous about JFK. As we all know, TSA agents are not exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. (I’ve had my share of toothpaste confiscated in fear I might brush the pilot’s teeth to death resulting in a horrible crash over the Atlantic.) So, I left myself a full three hours to get through check-in and security. The agents I spoke with – to their credit – were incredibly understanding and patient, which left me 2.5 hours to sit in the lounge watching important businesspeople scowling at the Children of Status.
Anyway, all this is simply a very long way of saying not much is going on. The real fun begins Monday, Dec 12, when I get to experience my first full chemo treatment.