Holiday advice needed

I had booked a two week holiday to Tenerife for March 2012. However, I've had to start back on chemo. My last chemo of six carbo/taxol will be on 13 February. Would it be feasible to go on holiday on 10 March or would it be too soon after the last chemo and should I just cancel the holiday. I've only paid a deposit so far so would only lose that. It's difficult for me to gauge how I might be as last time I had surgery and also a stoma formed in between the chemos and was pretty ill afterwards. What have others' experiences been.

9 Replies

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  • Hi Cathsyal,

    I have never let my chemotherapy get in the way of my holiday. I have been on chemo now constantly for 2 and 1/2 years without a break and through this period we have cruised and also visited the family in the UK. Although still on chemo with a session on the 21st Dec we are going to the UK at Xmas, on the 23rd, to see the family

    The only thing I am paranoid about is wearing my face masks when on the plane or on public transport. The best ones are Clinova from Chemist Direct UK. I also make sure I stay in Europe just in case anything happens and I can get back to Spain quickly. I take a small trolley load of drugs, accompanied by a GP;'s letter on board the plane with me and have to pre inject a blood thinner the night before I fly as I have suffered DVT through chemo, I also have to wear a wonderful sexy pop sock for this !!

    Insurance of course is a major factor and on a separate post called 'It's our 30th wedding anniversary' - this was from Marianna enquiring about health insurance, I have put a huge post on there re companies who will insure.

    We are fortunate and have medical insurance through our private medical insurance company. We did have to cancel a holiday just over 4 years ago, it was to be a holiday of a lifetime - 6 weeks away - I went back on chemo so we had to cancel, but the Insurance Company came up trumps and paid everything back.

    It is a gamble when on treatment if you are going to make a holiday, we usually try and leave it as late as possible before planning anything, but in your shoes I wouldn't cancel. Be positive and look forward to your holiday, you deserve it.

    Anna xx

  • Hi Cathsyal,

    I would leave it as late as possible to make a decision. Check when you can cancel by and still only lose your deposit. I must admit I have kept as active as possible through and after chemo, but I did avoid public transport during chemo in the main (except when I took a bus trip to Portland Bill from Weymouth). I ate out lots of times though, and as with your plan here, I put it down as unaviodable in order to enjoy life! By the way, my oncoligist said to resume normal life 2 weeks after my last chemo! I think she was a little ott with that, but you will be 4 weeks past.

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • Hi Cathsyal

    I agree with Lizzie - leave cancelling as late as possible and see how you react to the treatment. I flew to Lisbon in Sept - 4 weeks after my final chemo - and fekt great. I also took holidays in between treatments but generally allowed 8 days before traveling. The main snag I ran into was when chemo was postponed because the bloods hadn't recovered which menat I ran into holiays but i did manage to get treatment postponed until after the holiday. I think that would be the main risk you would run - if your dates slip.

    With luck you will be able to celebrate the end of chemo with a good holiday.

    love Angela

  • Dear Cathysal

    I think it's great you've got a holiday to look forward to. Think about the last lot of treatments and if you were well enough to travel last time then I think you should expect to do so again.

    I've just finished my first course of chemotherapy - just Carbo-Platin - but didn't stop travelling in public transport or taking air flights throughout. In fact I came to the view that my oncologist took the worst case scenerio all the time and erred on the side of caution to the extent that - had I taken all the advice I might not have gone anywhere and would have missed some wonderful holidays and trips.

    I wish you luck with your chemotherapy and hope it all works out for you. The advice to check the last minute to cancel is a good one - not that you would really know until the very last moment if you feel well enough to enjoy your holiday. Call me a hedonist - but I would go for it!

    xxx

  • Thanks for all your answers. I have been on two holidays abroad since my last chemo finished a year ago. I was just a bit concerned that maybe three weeks after my 6th and last chemo of this cycle finishes might have been a bit too soon to go abroad and that if I didn't cancel would then be liable for the full price.

    However, since reading your replies I've decided not to cancel and just assume that when my last chemo is over I'll be fine to travel. I have to pay the balance by 16 December by which time I'll be 3 days into my 3rd chemo.

    Anna, how on earth do you cope being permanently on chemo, what type are you on. I've never heard of anyone being on chemo permanently before - is this quite common? So very well done you for getting on with life.

    Thanks again. Cathy xx

  • Cathy, they call my late stage o/c a chronic condition, requiring maintenance chemo, just like my asthma. I know if I go off chemo I shall die, so I really have no alternative.

    I started in May 2008 on Caelyx, Sept 2008 onto weekly Toptecan and then in Jan 2009 drug trials of Avastin every two weeks and a daily cyclophosmide pill. Due to a rising CA 125 this year, but no sight of progression, I am now on Avastin and Carboplatin. Actually my maths are wrong aren't they, I have been on chemo 3 & 1/2 years without a break - oh dear this chemo brain !!

    It is hard, I live and breathe hospitals, chemo and side effects, but I have learnt to do as my body tells me. If I go out one evening I must have at least a 2 hour rest in the afternoon., I try and do something one day and rest the next. But my cancer doesn't stop me doing just what I want,well it does I can't help in animal rescue any more because of risk of infection. But I won't travel out of Europe just in case complications set in and I need to get home quickly.

    This is why a cruise suits us, we can get off the ship in the mornings and walk and then after lunch I can get my siesta ready for a very full evening, usually not going to bed much before 2am !! There is a Dr aboard and I know we are never to far from shore.

    I am also fortunate to have an oncologist who is behind me 100%, he is willing me to survive and as soon as he realises one treatment isn't working I am onto a new one. I am however very disappointed the Avastin isn't working as well as it was. It is an amazing drug and I just hope we can get to the bottom of what is happening inside me sorted so that I can resume just Avastin only treatment.

    I also have a husband who is almost blind, so I have to here for him, my Oncologist also realises this and that is why we are all fighting so hard. I have to drive myself to and from chemo,at least a 3 hour round trip. But I maintain all these things that make me independent are part of my success in trying to overcome this wretched disease.

    My body is very strong and my mind also. I do take supplements agreed by the Oncologist and my GP to help boost my immune system and I can honestly say, other than my cancer, I have never been healthier - maybe living in Spain helps !!

    Well done for not cancelling the holiday. A small tip, when I go on holiday or have a busy session I am allowed to take a small 5mg a day steroid just to give me some extra umph. It is a minute dose with no side effects, it just gives me a bit of extra energy. I wasn't too happy at first, but I have been told quality of life is so important. Most of my friends think I am a fraud and can never believe what my body is going through !! They think I have been wrongly diagnosed lol

    Anna xx

    Anna xx

  • Hi Cathsyal,

    I also agree about holidays. I went to the South of France last September - 4 weeks after my last chemo. I was tired but it was really worth it for the boost it gave me.

    Chris x x

    Dear Anna

    Can I just say you are an inspiration. I was diagnosed stage 4 last April and you give me hope.

    Chris x x

  • Hi Anna and Chris

    Anna, I have to agree with Chris, you are an inspiration. I'm always amazed at how we manage to cope with what life throws at us.

    Treating it like a chronic disease requiring frequent or in your case permanent treatment is how I'm trying to think of it. I too feel very lucky to have such a good, caring oncologist - she's so supportive and like you I know she's giving me her all to keep me alive. I think it makes all the difference as you hear so many horror stories of cold, clinical doctors.

    All I can do is give you my very best wishes for the future.

    Chris, thanks for that - I was just so unsure but when you get answers from people who've been there it makes all the difference. Having two weeks in the warmth at that time of year will probably speed up my recovery from the chemo anyway - so I'll keep my fingers crossed there're no hiccups on the way and I can get away.

    All the very best to you both.

    Love Cathy xx

  • Ladies thanks for your lovely comments.

    You will often hear me quote - whilst I have cancer, cancer does not have me !!

    Living in Spain I can assure you the warm sun shine does indeed make one so much happier.

    Cathy look forward to your holiday with positivity, get the face masks I recommended for the flight and I am sure you will have a great time.

    Love Anna xx

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