surgical-maskTwo years ago, Halloween really was a frightening time. It was the height of the H1N1 scare and people all over the world were wearing masks everywhere they went. Naturally, this led to travel phobia as many decided to rethink flying for pleasure and even business trips. Except for my husband.

Even with a weakened immune system after having had a stem cell transplant the year before as part of his treatment for Lymphoma, Danny decided he wanted to fly home with our two-year-old daughter, Reagan to visit his parents.

I was worried about both of them getting sick – most especially him. But, his oncologist had given him the okay to fly and he had made his mind up. He had spent an entire year sick at home, enduring chemotherapy, daily radiation and a month in the hospital for his stem cell transplant. Now that he was no longer housebound, he was going to make the most of his time before he had to return to work.

I wish I could say it came as a surprise when the day after Danny and Reagan arrived in his hometown, he spiked a 103º fever and his parents had to rush him to the hospital. They suspected H1N1 and later that was confirmed. Because of his medical history and fragile immune system, he was placed in ICU so they could be sure he wouldn’t develop an infection or other complications.


To be safe, they started Reagan on Tami-flu. But, in stark contrast to just how new her Daddy’s immune system was, having been wiped clean of all immunizations, this tiny two-year-old with a very short shot list, never got the slightest bit sick. Thankfully.

My poor in-laws. I’m sure visiting their son in the hospital while taking care of their granddaughter wasn’t exactly the type of visit they had in mind.

I was sure I was going to be handing out candy all alone Halloween night, just a few days away. Especially since a snowstorm was now moving into Denver and if Danny and Reagan didn’t come home soon, it could be several more days before the airport was opened up again. No trick-or-treating with our little girl and scary movies with my husband after we put her to bed. No sneaking Butterfingers and Twix bars out of Reagan’s candy stash while she slept. Not that I would really do that.

After much rest, fluids and some good meds, Danny was finally released from the hospital and he and Reagan were on their way home, the night before the worst of the storm hit Denver. Danny was going to be just fine. Halloween was saved!

Trick-or-treating did provide many Butterfingers and Twix bars on Halloween night, but we decided to skip the scary movies. Real life is sometimes scary enough.

More cancer travel stories: River Boat Cruise with Cancer, Traveling to Heal – Eight Hours for a Hug, Traveling to Heal – The Press Pause Journey, Traveling After Cancer Treatments, Travel After Breast Reconstruction

Creative Commons License photo credit: buz_flickr