Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Leaving on a Jet Plane" John Deutschendorf, but I first heard it by Peter, Paul and Mary

Well, maybe.

Here's a latter I wrote to the CLL and Bone marrow transplant  ACOR lists. I am asking you to also weigh in. My wife has never been to Italy. I've been twice, but never to Venice.

Dear Friends,

My mini-allo matched unrelated donor transplant for CLL took place on July 1 and I have had an extremely easy time. No graft versus host, but still a complete remission MRD neg.  I am on tacrolimus and sirolimus. The only problem is that I am only 28% donor in my blood and 56% donor in T cells. Been home for 2 months. I am thinking of visiting my son in Florence and also seeing Rome and maybe Venice in November. I hear Venice is not very clean. I will be day about day 140+

I would appreciate any warnings or advice about the sanity and safety of the trip. I am holding precious and rare tickets bought with frequent flyer miles  until  Oct 2 only.



Blogger Alison said...

Hi Brian: I think you should be wary of travel, thinking of infection control, etc., but you would know that!

I see the mention of PP&M - did you know that Mary Travers had a bone marrow transplant for AML, about 3 years ago? It worked for her; I do wish you all the best -


September 29, 2008 at 2:56 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would wait another 6 months to visit Europe. I would be cautious of any lengthy plane ride and possible infectious issues across the pond. Stay close to home and enjoy your great response and lack there of.

September 29, 2008 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Arlene said...

I would err on the side of caution. Think of the crowded airplane and sharing close quarters for hours; also the crowds at the airports. It doesn't seem worth the gamble; it's not as if it's now or never. If you were to decide not to go, could you give away the tickets to a worthy recipient?

September 29, 2008 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Marly said...


I think the riskiest part is the plane travel portion of the trip, because of the approx 13 hours of re-circulated air each way. Heck this is something I worry about every time I get on a plane, whether feeling healthy or with the slightest scratchy throat coming on.

However, I also believe that a fantastic opportunity such as this should be experienced, and no doubt you would have an amazing time in Italy. So ponder this: what % of time would be spent on worry/safety/prevention vs. carefree/joyous. If the latter part is higher in % than the former, go for it.


September 29, 2008 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Mike... said...

It can be a scary thing traveling for the first time after transplants. I flew to Baltimore after a year and still ended up with a slight cold.

I did not travel on the plane with a mask and it was in the dead of winter.

Lesson learned: Wear a mask.

Once you get off the plane you just need to be aware of your surroundings. Listen for coughs and sneezes.

I think the biggest issue could be if you end up with a problem, you are away from U.S. hospitals. How comfortable do you feel in a foreign country ER Room if you catch a bug.

If you want my 2 cents, take the trip. It's Italy, not a 3rd world country. Be careful, know who is around you, distance yourself from people you don't know. Above all, bring me back a t-shirt. :-)

September 29, 2008 at 7:28 PM  

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