Shall I go to Greece Sunday for a week - have 2 weeks before poss op?

Has anyone dared to go abroad after chemo and before op without insurance (greek island of Lefkas might go Sunday 20/7 and take a risk as feel well and don't know if/when will feel this good again. My inner voice is saying take E111 (EHIC) and seize the day/tomoz never comes - I am so naughty and stubborn its just the kinda thing I would do, is only for a week.

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  • Dear Kazrazmataz

    This questions pops up from time-to-time. I have continued to take holidays abroad when on chemo and in fact went on an offshore holiday on our boat returning home the day before my surgery. I didn't have chemo before surgery as my need for surgery was deemed to be urgent.

    Each one of us is different. I feel well most of the time, and even in the run-up to surgery when I was in a lot of pain but was able to control it with medication. If you have any doubts at all or you feel pressured to do this against your better judgement then I would suggest you look at a holiday that might pose less risks.

    I've taken a number of holidays since my diagnosis and continue to do some offshore sailing. I am not covered for ovarian cancer as it has affected organs other than the ovaries. I take the precaution of planning carefully in advance what I will do in an emergency and the routes home. I also ensure I have cash on hand to buy myself out of trouble should I find myself in a crisis. Having said that I have no risk of bowel obstruction at the moment and have no particularly worrying symptoms which make holidays abroad a particular risk.

    If you decide on this holiday, or another holiday option I hope you have a great time. I've just returned home from an inland waters holiday on a long boat. I've been lucky I've had no emergencies and I have many wonderful memories to look back on so I completely understand where you're coming from.

    xx Annie

  • Thanks Annie, would love to sail off on your boat sounds great (although I know nothing about sailing I could be in charge of the galley rustle you up some lovely meals x

  • In that case you're a lady after my own heart in more ways than one. I love sailing, but love cooking and the challenges posed by cooking in a galley way out to sea where the world can be at a 45 degree angle and the cooker swings on a gimble to ensure the pots and pans stay in place. You are more than welcome to come to Plymouth and see for yourself.

    Greece has long been a favourite holiday destination - island hopping on a chartered yacht is great fun and very relaxing. Let's hope your plans all come to a great conclusion. xx

  • Sounds great fun, I'd love to join you, you never know...xx

  • I had 3 chemos and then surgery and to be honest in the gap between chemo and having the surgery it was filled with hospital appointments. I met with my oncologist, the surgeons, pre op assessment, blood tests and blood matching for transfusions, and scans. As you have already had chemo your immune system is compromised and you are more likely to pick up a virus, this could delay your surgery. There is a small window of oppertunity between chemo and having the surgery and you could be putting that at risk but then again you could pick up a virus in the shopping mal. Good luck with what you decide to do and hope the surgery goes better than expected. k xx

  • Many thanks, my husband is not keen maybe we should just go away in this country less worry all round but not the same as far as I am concerned!

  • Thanks for the good advice, I have asked for my blood counts to be done and wont go if there are not OK, thanks for your kind wishes about the surgery, take care xx

  • I have had Oc forI several years and in between treatments have returned to work and this has paid for the extras like holidays. I have been to Croatia, Portugal Malaga and Rome. I have had no ill effects but I would take the precaution of staying in a dearer better run hotel, I check trip advisor and would stick with bottled water. I also bring my travel kettle to make a nice cuppa when I want. I do have health insurance but take out a multrip insurance which covers me for the year for existing illness even on an overnight in Ireland. I would say if your docs are happy go for it

  • You have gotten some really good advice here. Consider your own situation, how you feel and what you are comfortable with. I will tell you my travel stories. I live in the USA. I was diagnosed 5 years ago. I started traveling in year 2 of my treatment. I have traveled 6 times out of the country and twice to the other side of the US. All of these trips occurred while I was in the midst of receiving chemo and one just prior to a second surgery. When flying I get a window seat. I wear a face mask. I take various cold remedies prior to the flight like Zinc, Vit C and Echinacea (they may do nothing but I have never gotten ill and have traveled with low white blood counts). If I am in any crowds during travel I wear a face mask. I get the ones that they claim are stronger for flu resistance. The big thing I found was not to push myself. I may be disappointed because I couldn't do a certain excursion or tour and had to stay in bed for the day. For that reason I always try to get a room with a view just in case. I do take out travel insurance in case I have to cancel or get myself back home.

    If you feel up to it and your physician gives you the okay I would go for it. Good luck with your decision as well as your upcoming surgery. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Fondest regards,

    Carol-B

  • Hiya you will probably get lots of advice and thoughts on wether you should go or not and what others do in their situation but I think you need to weigh it up and one of the things are is to go on how you are feeling . When did you last have chemo ? And was your blood count ok . It does leave your immune system lower but this picks up again just as next chemo due around so you maybe in a good window . The only advice I would give as the I have a job that I know how expensive air ambulances and repatriation costs . Maybe plan a lovely holiday here in the uk and then plan a holiday for after your treatment may give you a focus to look forward to. Whatever you decide I hope you have a great time. I have been away whilst now on avastin only but I am very fortunate I have travel insurance via my husbands work and does not exclude my condition

    Ally xx

  • Fir whats it worth If it were me I would just go if you are feeling well. If we aren't careful cancer can take over our lives and this an opportunity for you to relax, take your brain ioff the hook ! Xx

  • Hello - my advice is to go! The rest and the sunshine will do you so much good. I took a plane the evening I had chemo (from France to the UK). It was fine. I took things very carefully and slowly. I was so happy to be going to join my children, that made everything else fine. Good luck with your decision - Nicola

  • I went to Spain, up in the mountains and quite isolated for two weeks. That was some time after chemo and op though CA125 was rising so I anticipated a recurrence, which happened 5 months later and I am so glad I went - it was beautiful. They said the late Srping meant there were even more flowers at the time we were there - the place was carpeted in colour. I made sure I had some money at home in the bank should I need it and an empty credit card. I had no insurance but was relying on being in the EU. I've also had w/e's in Barcelona, Malaga and Paris - the last worrying as I was with 13 and 15 year old grandchildren so no adults around if I got ill. Spain is charging people first though and then they are having to claim back from the NHS. Greece makes some charges. As I understand it you get whatever the people of the country get and that may not include 'hotel' charges ie the food and bed. I think we have an arrangement with Switzerland as well. However long we have left we need to live it !!

  • I totally agree with snoopy. You have to live your life or cancer controls everything.

    I have had cancer for 4 years and gone on lots of holidays whilst on chemo as I have never had a true remission period. In my own circumstances I would not do long haul now but in the winter find the Canary Islands very good for some much needed sun and in fact I did get caught out in January when I got a very unexpected Port infection, however I had planned for the worst to happen and so then had to test it and it was fine. Because I was being treated in Birmingham I made sure I flew from there and when I started feeling ill I contacted my consultant and the hospital. It is just a case of planning. We booked flexi flights and made sure there were daily flights in case I had to return in a rush. I also choose a destination that is within a four to five hour flight away and also not too far from the airport. When all was put to the test in Teneriffe it took a total of just 7 hours from hotel to the hospital. We have not let this put us off either and have had two further holidays since the experience. In the earlier days we used to do long haul. Never took out insurance as it is just too expensive and has too many conditions. Just plan and prepare for any eventuality.

    Good Luck and go for it.

  • I must admit to going to Majorca for 10 days 2 weeks after chemo. I had to have help at LA Palma as not able to walk that far. But I only had insurance for my usual stuff. High bp and thyroid. But not for cancer. Had a lovely break and rest. But will say I was not due for an op. And was not symptomatic. Have fun. Life is short love

  • Will you regret not going?

    I was advised not to fly until four months after chemo, only had one dose but still advised against it, so booked holiday for day after time was up, have to say I was post op and felt quite tired, and walking was hard work, however we go to Tenerife about every 12 weeks, my travel insurance doesn't cover OC I guess life is so short we just book and go.

    Personally I'd say go, have a ball and come back tanned and relaxed.

    LA xx

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