Flying the friendly skies

7 Apr

The first annual Cancer Treatment Centers of America blogger summit. That's me on the left, looking like I have to go to the bathroom. ; )

I’m back in Seattle after a week-long working vacation that took me first to Phoenix, Arizona, for a blogger summit sponsored by Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and then on to Dallas for a sister summit, sponsored by my big sister Mary.

As you know, I was a little nervous about whether I’d make it through the TSA security checks with my dignity — and my girls — intact, but I managed to breeze through without a hitch (except for the lost bag in Phoenix and the cancelled flight in Dallas). I was especially happy that I didn’t have to go through the new, high-powered X-ray machines, not because I don’t enjoy mouth-breathing strangers looking at my naked body in the most unflattering light known to God or man, but because I’ve had quite enough radiation for one year (or one lifetime), thank you very much.

Unfortunately, not all of my breast cancer sisters have been so lucky with the wand-wielding folks of TSA.

Nancy’s Point sent me a link to a blog post she wrote about the trials and tribs she endured during her vacation in February, which included being threatened with a pat down after explaining to a TSA agent that she might not be able to lift her arms over her head while going through the X-ray machine (anyone who’s had a mastectomy can understand this) and a slight freak-out on the part of a security agent regarding her “scary” lymphedema sleeve (all the terrorists are wearing them this season, apparently).

Also got a note from Amy who pointed out that more fun may await, should I choose to go the tissue expander route when I get my reconstruction. “Those suckers have a magnetic valve for when you get your ‘fills,'” she wrote, “and actually set off the alarm at the metal detector! THAT is a fun one to explain!”

Rocking my chemo curls (and a pretty vintage scarf) in Dallas.

I didn’t set off any alarms with my boobs, but I did experience some alarms (and alarm) in Dallas when a slew of tornadoes (15, to be exact) set down in and around the city just as I was getting ready to leave for the airport on Tuesday. Luckily, no one was killed and none of the twisters came within 10 miles of my sister’s house. But my flight (and hundreds of others) were cancelled, thanks to winds that tossed 18-wheelers around like Tonka toys and hit DFW with hail the size of peas then ping pong balls then baseballs then grapefruit then, I don’t know, the planet Pluto, all within a half hour.

Finally made it out of Dallas late Thursday night with a slew of notes, information, and interviews from the blogger summit. And a rash of mosquito bites from my sister’s back yard, which didn’t bother me all that much since it meant the chemo had finally left my system. (Last August, during my “I’m So Chemover This” party, the mosquitoes that plagued everyone else left me completely alone, thanks to my toxic avenger status).

I’ll be writing more about the blogger summit in days to come, but for now, I’ll share a quick video that one of my new cancer buddies, Catherine of, shot while I was there. Why do tumors suck? she asked. Oh, let me count the ways!

4 Responses to “Flying the friendly skies”

  1. drcranflake April 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I had expanders after my double masectomy and they didn’t set off the metal detectors at the airport, so maybe you will be spared it, too. Plus, my PS gave me an official-looking card that explained what they were in case I needed it, so I was prepared! 🙂

    • singleshot1 April 9, 2012 at 10:12 am #

      That’s great to hear! I’m still healing from radiation but am hoping to get going on the whole reconstruction thing next month. Still don’t know if I’ll be doing tissue expanders/implants or what, but will keep ya’ll posted (picked up a little Texas-speak while I was down visiting my sister). ; )

  2. Laura Temkin April 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Nice video. I still can’t tell people my story without crying. You were so great! Look great too!

    • singleshot1 April 9, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      Thanks for the note, Laura. I’m not sure when I stopped crying when talking about my breast cancer diagnosis and the resulting surgery, chemo and radiation. Hadn’t really thought about it until your note. I know early on (right after diagnosis and pre-surgery), I cried every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. After my surgery last April, though, things got easier, probably because the cancer was gone – as were my girls. There was no going back. Obviously, I still have a lot ahead of me (reconstruction, years of tests, etc.), but I’m happy that I’m able to talk about what happened to me without breaking down (at least most of the time). I think writing about it as much as I have has been a huge boon. Also, connecting with other BC survivors. And of course, the greatest healer of all: time.

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