Sunday, March 21, 2010

fitted for flying to france

I am sitting here with a compression sleeve on my left arm. Oh, nothing radical has happened although my arm did feel heavier as from yesterday, following herceptin on Friday, number 12 out of 17.
That is why I am wearing it now, reckoned it could only help, but the reason I even have a compression sleeve - number/size 2 - is that I am flying to Monaco and the French Riviera to write a travel piece for work. Leaving on Tuesday night. And the deal with The Lymph Lady is that if I went overseas - I live in South Africa - I have to wear a compression sleeve on the plane.
Was kinda horrified when I heard from The Sleeve Man (and was amazed to find out that his two-man practice is so busy, fitting sleeves, prosthesises (sp?) etc)that I have to wear it not only for the flight, but until I go to bed that night. So, in my case, arriving in France at 6am, catching a connecting flight to Nice I think it is, and so will be wearing the sleeve until I finish cavorting around Monaco, my first destination, late that night.
Must say though, that wearing it is not so bad. It has been hurting around the elbow but it is not such a fakking nightmare. And at least it will be wintry where I am going.
Also wasn't so charmed when The Sleeve Man measured my arms, both arms, and found my left arm was 1cm thicker along the middle upper arm and a whole 2.3cm thicker at the top. Damn.
More worrying, however, it that my arm felt thicker yesterday and today. When I put on a cardigan at work last night (was doing the midnight shift), it was tight around my left upper arm, a horrifying feeling. But seeing The Lymph Lady on Tuesday before I fly out - have not seen her for about a month (well it feels like that but is probably only about 3 weeks) as she was at a conference and then I had to cancel seeing her last week as the appointment clashed with the only time the entire week The Sleeve Man could see me.
Anyway, won't be updating blog while on my trip cos not taking my laptop and cannot update it from my phone as won't have internet access on it, as only doing SMS (text) roaming....
I guess I could take my laptop but really, it is not such a portable one, more designed for home use with a wide screen which is great for writing assignments, and anyway, with the hassle of being unable to carry anything heavy with my left arm or over my left shoulder cos of the lymphedema risk, don't need anything else to carry - already have my fab new purple luggage which consists of a large 50cm bag and a matching smaller one, all on wheels of course, for the cabin.
So wish me bon voyage!
Oh, and nearly forgot. They told me at the oncology centre that cos I am on tamoxifen, I am also at risk of developing a clot so am on ecotrin, which is essentially a coated aspirin, for a few days before, then during, plus a few days after my trip - plus have to wear flight socks during the trip...
But what the hell. Will all be fine. More concerned about acclimatising myself for the colder climate and leaving in warm weather and arriving in cold and so how to juggle clothes on the plane, than anything else......


  1. Hope you're having a good time! Glad you got the sleeve; they're really not so bad. I always wear mine on long flights & when I'm up at high altitude. I wore it all the time when I was climbing Aconcagua - 17 days! I took 2 sleeves & gloves to trade off, but they were nasty by the end. And I had a few times waking up in the middle of the night trying to claw the thing off while I slept.

  2. That is bizarre. I was told on no account to wear it while sleeping! Anyway, my arm survived and as soon as I have ploughed through all my emails, will post something about it all. Feel very lucky that my arm is ok.