my cancer card

So I am headed to San Diego- cousin’s-wedding-week-writing-retreat-college-buddy’s-wedding. Yesterday, a friend emailed me, discussing airport-ride options from the second wedding. She asked if I was flying out of Palm Springs airport, a 15 minute drive from our hotel for the second wedding.


My flight was out of San Diego. GoogleMaps revealed this was a two hour drive from a hotel, and it was a 6am, Sunday-after-the-Saturday-wedding flight. I called and ask to change it. $600, they said- the same amount the ticket had cost me in the first place! After a little freaking out, Sam poured me a glass of wine and I went to bed.

In the morning, I called the airline. Still $600 to change the return flight from San Diego to Palm Springs. And then I said “Look, I have cancer. I can’t do all this late night traveling. Is there any way you can help me out here, compassionately waiving the fees?” AND THEY DID. They waived the whole thing- the change fee and the flight difference. OMG. I swiped the cancer card and it worked. They quickly emailed me my new flight, exactly as I wished- flying into San Diego as planned and they changed my return flight to leave from Palm Springs. Thank you, Delta!

My brilliant and very funny brother thinks I should tell them, today when I get to the airport, that I need to be secluded. It’s true, I cannot get sick, and it’s true that my white blood cell counts are probably still a little below normal from the chemo. And it’s definitely true I wouldn’t mind be bumped up to first class…

…. and, update. Now I’m at the airport. And all I had to do was say, truthfully, “I have cancer and I don’t want to get sick! Can you make sure I have a seat as far away from everyone as possible?” And boom, I was seated in first class and they let me carry on my bag even though it’s too big.

Cancer sucks. At least I got the airline to change my gigantic mistake for free! And to seat me in first class! Hey, one could argue chemo brain led me to book a last minute ticket out of the wrong airport. You know. =)



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