CLL Support Association
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I'm new too!

So pleased to have found this site. I was diagnosed a year ago now. In the early stages but my count seems to be rising, so watch and wait becomes watch and worry! I'm in my mid 50's with a teenage daughter. I was an early years teacher but was recently made redundant. I miss the children, but have noticed that I get far less infections. We have decided to visit family in New Zealand and as the flight date gets nearer I find I'm getting anxious about all those bugs that I'll be exposed to on that long flight! I have some large enlarged lymphs on my neck .. people are starting to spot them and comment on them now, which I find tricky.

7 Replies

Hi Jules, welcome to the site and so pleased you found us. It promises to be a great place for people with CLL to support one another and gain information and advice.

Im in my early 50's and was diagnosed end of May this year and like you am on the Watch and 'Worry' stage too. It's hard not to really!

I've taken flights since diagnosis and worried too but it's impossible to totally eliminate all risks from our lives (and the mask is an odd look! Lol). Just make sure you take small antibacterial gels (baring in mind liquid allowances) or the antibacterial wipes and use them after visits to the loo etc. I was worried but was absolutely fine and the trip did me the world of good. Make sure you don't get over-tired with jet lag too. If you're self conscious about the enlarged lymphs, maybe a nice scarf would make you feel better if that would cover them?

I'm sorry I have no clever answer Jules but understand your concerns. Take care and have a lovely holiday. Hope you become a regular on here.

Newdawn x


Welcome - hope all goes well with your trip to New Zealand one off your bucket list then - on our list if we get a chance. Planes are not ideal being such an enclosed environment especially as companies have been reducing the circulation to cut costs. Still the experience will be worth a lot more than staying at home and worrying more. Good to hear there was an upside to not working for you.


Hi Jules and welcome. We're all more or less susceptible to infection of course so you can never know, but I wouldn't be overly concerned about the flights. I've had CLL for 9 years and have travelled long-haul every year including 3 months after treatment and have never had a problem. Just take sensible precautions such as the antibacterial wipes and gels mentioned above. I hope you have a great time.


Hi Jules, I am fairly new to the site too. I'm 56, diagnosed seven years ago and still in watch and wait. I am no expert in blood counts etc. but over the past few years my white blood count has gone up and down. It would seem this is expected. So far I have had to make flights very regularly for work and so far so good. I would say that my flights have been fairly " local. ". Anyway I would concur with the previous comments, so, enjoy yourself. Ironically, my wife is a classroom aide, and we get everything that is going in the school. You must be glad to get out of that environment. :)


Thanks to all of you!!! Yes, replenishing stocks of hand gel is on my shopping list alongside the Christmas presents! I'll keep in touch.


My medical condition seems very similar to yours, although I have been watching and waiting for four years. We have visited our daughter in NZ three times. The biggest problem is the cost of the insurance rather than the bugs. We do a two night stop over in Singapore to beat the tiredness. Bugs are a worry but you just have to go for it!!! Stop thinking about it, grab your copy of the Hobbit and book the flights. Enjoy!!!!


Just been made redundant as well, 48 next month and due to start FCR next year. Makes job hunting a little tricky I can tell you.

Have a great time in NZ, take the advice given above. Go for it!


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