CLL Support Association
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CLL and travel

Having completed my six cycles of Chemo I'm now trying to get back into life. One of the by-products of my situation is I've changed roles which means I won't be travelling anywhere near as much especially to London at rush hour. However, I will have to a make occasional flights. This and the hope to get some (slightly) warmer weather for holidays soon had focussed my mind on air travel and being cooped up in aeroplanes for hours.

My fear, people coughing over me. If you are like me have a look at the BBC's Bang Goes The Theory, Series 7, Episode 2. Maggie Philbin (hopefully spelt correcty) goes to a test centre in Germany to look at this. Simple and interesting demonstration of fluid dynamics. Whilst superficial it is the first article and is worth a short watch. Still on iPlayer and I've nowt to do with the Beeb!

Had my first experience of air travel Manchester to Munich this week, still seem OK. Was quite nervous, not of being in aeroplane but queuing for security etc, everything else you can take evasive action for.

One odd side-effect swollen left ankle, it had gone down next day, never had this before but have heard of this from others (not CLL related, just general). Only occurred on return journey


Sorry folks put on CLLSA blog, just moved to community blog.

4 Replies

I have explained when checking on flights that I have Cancer and my immune system is affect and asked could I have a seat by the entrance, They Kindly put me in the first seat by the door.

Therfore all the passengers were behind me and the air flow comes from the front of the plain mainly during the flight. I have had Pneumonia twice while I was abroad but they are not sure this was because of the CLL.


Rob very interested in knowing how you look at travel now. I haven't had treatment yet, but know it may not be that far away? My immune system is still fighting for itself and l'm still managing to work four or five days per week. Though this is a real push at times! I had so many plans to travel down the track, but think l'll try to take off before my blood levels do!

Have taken on board what Littleriver posted about seating on planes.

Just so happens that The Bucket List is on TV in the background. Might just start mine !!!!

No time like the present ha. Happy Travels all and Best wishes Netty


My personal experience with air travel has always been positive. My blood-work shows immune paresis, yet I've travelled long haul to the far east every year since being diagnosed, both before and after treatment, with no ill effects. I am certainly conscious of being sat for 12 hours+ at a time, in essentially a tin can with mainly recirculated air but I've had no problems so far.

Swollen ankles are quite common on long haul flights, less so on short hops. My local GP surgery strongly recommends using tight anti DVT stockings on long haul flights. I must admit I haven't so far, but routinely do leg stretching exercises every half hour or so to keep the circulation going. Recent posts have highlighted our propensity to thrombosis, something I wasn't previously aware of, so I may do so in future.


Thank you for the comments, will discuss the ankle situation with GP next time I see him/her. It did not prove a problem, and could partly have been caused by inability to move my legs as I had to have my bag under the seat due to amount of luggage in overheads.

Certainly was not a problem going out and was surprised to see it when I was at home in the evening.


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