Tomorrow evening, I board a flight for Los Angeles, and Sunday morning I’m heading for Japan to meet with my immigration representative and sign my visa application.
On Wednesday, I had my second infusion of Taxol chemotherapy (number 2 of 4) so I’ll be recovering from the side effects while I travel.
Traveling on chemotherapy isn’t for everyone–and if you’re taking chemo, or otherwise under a doctor’s orders, you should always check with your doctor (and listen to his or her advice!) before planning travel. In my case, my oncologist encouraged me to take a number of precautions. I’m flying first class (to avoid close contact with people who might be sick). In addition, he wanted me to wear a face mask (for obvious reasons), to wipe down my seat with disinfecting wipes before sitting down, and to use a wheelchair at the airport to minimize standing in lines and exertion on my body so soon after chemotherapy.
(A note: if you see someone who looks “healthy” in a wheelchair at the airport, or anywhere else, be kind–people use wheelchairs for many reasons, not just because they cannot walk at all.)
Despite the extra effort the trip will take, I can’t wait to see Tokyo again.
Once in Japan, I won’t be able to hike and romp around as much as usual–mainly to avoid exposing myself to germs while my immune system is compromised. That said, I am allowed to walk outside–and since I’ll be staying in Ginza, near the Imperial Palace Gardens (which are beautiful, open daily, and free to the public), I can promise lots of photos from those walks. It’s almost cherry blossom season in Tokyo, so I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of some early blossoms.
Aside from meeting with my immigration representatives and walking, I’m hoping to enjoy some good food and to see my son, who’s been living and working in Tokyo since December. I’ll only be gone a week (this time!) but hopefully my visa application will process quickly–meaning within a few months–and then my husband and I will be off to Japan, so the Hundred Summits Project can officially begin!