Holidays and sun during chemo and insurance!

Hi All. I hope that like me you had a good Chtistmas and are looking positively to a healthy New Year?

I am just about to have my 3rd chemo and so far, apart from a fatigued first 10 days, I have been feeling fantastic, and my "normal self".

I would really like to head off for some short haul winter sun mid January when I will be in the good phase of my 3rd chemo, and before surgery in February. I Am thinking possibly to one of The Canaries, and wondered about the following:

Have any of you managed to get insurance at this stage in treatment? I will of course have my E11 with me too.

I'd like to be near a good hospital in case of low white bloods (although I do inject each cycle to prevent this) or other related oc issues.

Has anyone been sensitive to sun even after using a high factor sun cream? I am a sun worshipper and may find it hard to stay in the shade! Lol. (I will asked the medical team too, of course).

Many thanks. Gilly.

26 Replies

  • I can't help with insurance, unfortunately.

    The sun on the other hand...

    I'm in Melbourne, Australia, and we just had a not so mini heat wave.

    I spent a lot of time outside and swimming on Christmas day, and I'm only a teeeennnny bit burnt. (My partner on the other hand is still radiating heat from his neck 2 days later, because "I don't need sunscreen!!!")

    I'm usually on some form of NSAID because I also have endometriosis that make me burn easily, so I've gone from never burning to burning easily over the last few years.

    I LOVE Neutrogena sun screen, and I've found it's strong enough to prevent most burning without having that horrible heavy, oily feel. Even after you reapply it it doesn't feel gross, so I'm much more inclinded to actually follow that "reapply every 2 hours," advice.

    I'm also a stickler for wide brim hats, and keep my shoulders covered because no amount of sunscreen seems to be able to protect my ears and shoulders.

  • Thank you. Enjoy Melbourne!

  • Hi Gilly .. I couldn't get any insurance but I decided on Spain (Nerja) as I knew there were plenty of Ryanair and Easyjet flights back at the time. Xxx

  • Thank you. Funnily enough my daughter in law's patents have a villa in Nerja! Although the temperature in January probably not warm enough for me, may well go there after next round of chemo.

  • Hi there .. We went in January .. It was T-shirt weather during the day but chilly at night. We flew to Malaga. There's an added advantage in Malaga as there's a very good hospital there. If you feel poorly at any time, just get a taxi to the hospital. (My doctor told me to do that.) If you feel a little under the weather, you could just fly home straight away. The flight isn't long.

    If you feel unwell at the airport, get a wheelchair. (Security will get one at both ends.) as it saves queuing. I was using a wheelchair at the time anyway but you can still ask on check-in and they'll arrange one and assistance at the other end.

    The other thing was, my sister promised to fly out if I wanted her help and she knew she'd get flights.

    I found knowing I could get help at any time, was a big weight off my mind. Xxx

  • Maybe somewhere where there is a flight available every day would be the best option. I have gone to Malaga while on treatment and it was warm back in Sept. Some ladies have managed to get travel insurance plus the health card, I have insurance with my health insurance but that doesnt apply to everyone. Hopefully some one can give you a better answer

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply. Malaga not quite warm enough in January but Lovely nevertheless.

  • I use a company called Insurancewith, who are great for cancer patients. There are a few others, that I'm sure some people here can recommend. Good luck, and have fun :)

  • I tried them and I got, 'We can't help at the present time.' Xx

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply. X

  • Hi Gilly

    I went to Marbella for my husbands 40th in October after my 3rd chemo and didn't try to get special insurance as I could get easy jet or Ryan air flights quickly if I needed to and only a couple of hours.

    I am a sun worshipper too and I used factor 20 and my skin was no different to normal.

    I had a fab time and was so pleased I went and for a week so if you are feeling good I would totally recommend you do it, my oncologist said go as well. If you do canaries as they are hot this time of year :) then you are only a flight away from home if you had to.

    Enjoy if you go some lovely winter sun, you deserve it!

    Jo X

  • Thank you for thi, and your best wishes. X

  • Hi there, try eurotunnel insurance, they only specify that you need to be ok to travel, and that a doc has said your ok. I use them all the time now, after using Mia and insurewith, cheapest I can find...cost me £19 for a week in tenerife earlier on this year

    Have a good break, and hope all your chemo goes well


  • Wow. That sounds brilliant. I'll definitely call them

  • Hi

    I was not having treatment when we went to the canaries but did look for insurance. .MIA would not insure for Lanzarote but I got a quote from InsurePink. £171 for a week. I thought that's too too much for a week so went without and just my E11. If I was on treatment I would look not to go quite so far as others have suggested.

    Anyway good luck I hope you get away.



  • Thank you. Your name is what my kids call their grandma! I love it!

  • Hi i have been unsuccessful in getting travel insurance. I would suggest just going to eec countries with E111.

  • Thanks. Wilco whatever happens re insurance.

  • Since January this year I have been abroad five times could not get insurance so took a letter from consultant fifty factor cream, the first time I went abroad I only booked a ticket one way so if I was poorly I could get back home on nearest flight that was last January but it has been Inbetween treatments and had injections for low blood count but if your not sure ask the consultant and enjoy your travels best of luck

  • Thank you. I'll be looking into the insurance companies others have recommended. Guess,like how our OC presents itself, our conditions are unique and will depend where we are at in terms of being able to get insurance. Factor 50 a definite methinks, and a sexy bathing hat to cover the bald head!

  • hi Gilly, I found MIA insurance the best and although my cancer is pretty advanced and in my liver now they still would cover me in europe. i'm risking it and going on a cruise from dubai for a week next week before starting new clinical trial with general holiday insurance which excludes the cancer. bit anxious but have talked to quite a few doctors who think I'll be Ok. Did carribean cruise and got MIA cover last winter despite growing cancer then, good luck Francesca x

  • Thank you. I usually go to the Carribean in the winter but have been advised to not do long haul just yet. 😒Everyone's answers and yours are invaluable and will help us plan our trip to the Canaries.

    I have a scan next week which will determine next steps, but some kind of surgery in Feb will be happening. Sending good health wishes to you.

  • I had ovarian and now use Avanti who specialize. Hope this helps good luck with future treatments

  • Thank you

  • Hi Gilly,

    I haven't been abroad whilst still undergoing treatment, but when my chemo finished went to Turkey in June and Majorca in July, also Gran Canaria in October all very hot.I too am a sun worshipper and coped very well with sun cream a hat and decent sunglasses as my oncologist told me I would be photosensitive.

    I have been to the canaries many times and it will be sunbathing weather,although chilly in the evenings in January.Tenerife is my favourite and would probably be the best for healthcare as it is most tourist friendly.The south of the Island the weather is most reliable as the North is more cloudy.

    We stay in an area in the south near the Safari centre as there are good restaurants, bars and shops and a decent man made beach and some decent hotels and apartments.

    I had to take injections the day before,on the day and the day after the flight to prevent blood clots,for any flight over 4 hours.

    So far as insurance is concerned, I just took my E11 and my holiday insurance covered me for anything other than cancer, but I think you have plenty of ideas from the girls you can try.

    Glad you had a lovely Christmas and that you feel well,anything else you want to ask just contact us.

    Kent Carole xxx

  • Done some research recently on travel insurance and found it depends on where the cancer is (has it spread beyond ovaries) and what the current treatment is, whether you get offered insurance for it and what it costs. Also on where you go.

    Found reasonably priced insurance options from 'ok to travel' and 'all clear options', when splitting up my pre-existing medical conditions in the questionnaire into several separate entries/tumours as recommended by the insurance and my consultant.

    Have you booked yet? Sounds great, going away into the sun :)

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