Dare I book?

I have my ct scan on Wednesday after my 6 treatments. See the onc the following week. I have promised myself a holiday in the sun..... What do I do? a week in the canaries means flying (!) which I am worried about with all the bugs involved, and the distances to walk at the airport. If we book now and the onc says not a good idea we would loose everything as it is a late booking anyway and no insurance. If we go in the motorhome it means a 3 day drive at least to get to the sun, but it is a booking we can amend if the onc says he wants me to have anything else done. We can go and come back when we will want, and if possible we could stay away for several weeks, just come home if I feel he need. We bought the motorhome with the intention of travelling for several weeks when my husband retires, and that is now what he is doing. it may be our only opportunity to go for a longer period. trouble is Last summer I had a lot of ascities, which is the bit that worries my daughter if I am a long way from the ferry back home.

Do I go for it?

Viv

14 Replies

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  • Hi Viv,

    Could you leave it a little bit later? ( i.e. a very late booking) I hate losing money on a holiday I haven't had, saying that I would go for it, the problem I have is convincing my husband that I will be ok. I once went down to the southwest (so in this country) and when I got there I was very sick and Tony was panic stricken on how to get me home, even though I could have gone to the local hospital there. These days it is just as quick to get home from abroad. I have to keep reminding him that we are not going to the moon.

    Yep! after all that go for it love x G x 8-) 8-) ( a nice injection of sun) 8-)

  • Difficult one. I reckon you NEED the hol so start from there. A late booking allows you to judge better how good an idea it is, based on how you feel. Imminence of ascites a factor but it usually takes time to build so if still ok after scan...

    Flying somewhere on balance probably less stressful than a motorhome trip - you will simply take home chores with you and the point is (a) sun and (b) escaping it all.

    If was me i would do it and approach it this way:

    > take antiseptic wipes for surfaces on plane,

    > take hand wipes for you to keep contact germs to a minimum, for the repeated use of..

    > The airport issue: book a wheelchair. Forget dignity, think getting there.

    > Call the airline and ask if you can have a front row seat - that is at least halving the number of neighbours. Sometimes they are only a two seater ...if not ask them if possible to keep the third seat free if not totally full

    If **really lucky** this request will trigger the exception thing and flag you up - and e.g. get a small chance of upgrade - or other preferential treatment, early boarding so you aren't up in front of a crowd of faces and physical jostling

    Don't ask -- don't get!

    Love

    Sue xxx

  • passengers in wheelchairs usually board 1st xx

  • Hi Viv,

    That's a tricky one and only you can decide whether to wait and see what oncologist says.

    I so understand how important it is to have a holiday.

    I finished chemotheraphy in July 2012 and have decided to have as many holidays as possible while I can.I have even booked flights for August.Last years holiday at last minute in August(have to go in school holidays) cost a fortune so I prefer to book in advance.

    I am probably tempting fate but it gives me something to aim for and look forward to.I am hoping if I have a recurrence that treatment will be able to fit round my life a bit this time.

    Maybe I am being unrealistic but it helps a lot having good things to look forward to at regular intervals-I find it very difficult living from scan to scan!

    Whatever you decide -whether to go now or wait -enjoy it!If you are in Europe and have a medical card(can't remember their new name!) you should be ok.

    Take care

    Anne x

    P.S.

    My oncologist didn't want me to fly until 4 weeks after chemotherapy due to risk of infection-I followed his advice but do know people who flew for short breaks during treatment.Personally I am very cautious about infection -possibly a bit extreme!

  • Dear Viv

    You've had such a lot to deal with recently I think you deserve a holiday and if sun is what you want it means a long drive in a motor home at this time of year. Much quicker to fly or take the Eurostar/Rail Europe.

    I recently flew from Gatwick and arranged special assistance. They were absolutely brilliant. The service was discrete, the staff well-trained and sensitive to how it feels being in a wheelchair, and barriers opened up magically for me wherever we went. I would definitely book that if you do decide to fly.

    I seem to remember you booked a holiday last year and had to cancel at the last moment. That rather destroys one's confidence doesn't it. Just think Sue (MidwifeSue) has flown off to South Africa and is on safari watching wild animals drinking from a water hole. It might be worth contacting her to ask what arrangements she made to feel secure. I recall her saying holiday insurance wasn't an option for her.

    In your situation I'd book a cheap advance flight and find accommodation independently nearer the date. It's not so much of a loss if you've only got the cost of your flight to lose. I've recently been told tumours are reappearing and I'll need treatment at some time. I've organised a skiing holiday for the whole family and we've booked flights and accommodation separately. Unfortunately I might not be able to ski as I've got a problem with my knee but if I can't get it sorted out in the next month I'll just enjoy the clean alpine air, some sunshine, a change of scenery, being with my family, and playing in the snow with my 4-year old grand-daughters. My 'insurance policy' is being the named driver on the hire car so I can get around during the week if skiing isn't an option, or back to the airport and home if an emergency crops up.

    At the end of the day whatever we might say about our own experiences I think the best advice is to do what you feel is right for you and your husband.

    Wishing you luck with that decision. Let us know how you get on. Would love to hear you've opted for a holiday and some sunshine! xxxxx

    love and luck xx Annie

  • Hi Viv

    I agree you need a holiday! I had hoped to get away in the May half term....that one's stuffed! You have always known when you are having problems, so I would listen to your body! Perhaps if you ask the can let you know the scan results early so you can judge then.

    Sarah is trying to arrange for someone to stick a pin in me either Weds or Thurs, she's going to let me know on Monday, she told me if it gets too bad to go to A & E! Hopefully I should be good for coffee on Friday!

    Looking forward to seeing you

    Love

    Chris

  • Hmmm not an easy decision is it? In an ideal world we would have all the information before we made the decision....so waiting for the results would sound like a wise move. but then again, sometimes we just need to get away and be 'normal'

    At the end of the day, you know your own body.. but one thing I can vouch for is the airport assistance, as long as you let them know what assistance you need in advance.. My experience was amazing, I felt like the queen being ferried through the terminal to the plane, and someone even picked up some shopping for me!

    good luck with the decision, and I hope it all works out for you.

    Jules xxx

  • Hi Viv,

    I felt exactly the same as you before I went to Fungirola in the Costa del Sol recently. I take two chemo capsules daily and have a PICK (catheter) in my arm but after my three weekly check up my Onc said I was OK to go. At home, I dont do a lot more than chair sit and use a wheel chair to go out. A side effect of my chemo is chronic diarroea so you can imagine my dread of being in the plane. But it is all a matter of planning. We booked Meet and Greet parking services at Gatwick and as we pulled up they were there to take our car from us. Les wheeled me and 2 cabin cases to the check in. We had to request 'Wheelchair Assistance' when booking but we had managed to book-in online and booked the fourth row on the plane (near the WC) and paid the extra £6. This automatically entitled us to 'speedy boarding' which means you are amongst the first to board. Even if you had not paid extra 'needing assistance' puts you amongst the first to board. If you do not have a wheelchair there are wheelchairs at all airports and assistance is free (a member of staff will push you to the plane) Once there if you do not have your own wchair there will be a chair there for you but this needs to be arranged in advance (it is all free for people who need assistance) At Malaga Les wheeled me to the car hire office and we were on our way, no walking involved. I was apprehensive about flying this time of the year and sat amidst people coughing etc with my crochet scarf around my mouth and it seemed to do the trick. The flight to Malaga is two & quarter hrs and soon goes. Our balcony had sun for most of the day and whilst you lot were freezing, I was basking in the sun with only some rain one day and had a really lovely break. There are many Late Deals to be had if you go before Easter, can you not leave it until after your appointment?

    I agree Tenerife is guaranteed sun. In winter the Costa del Sol has the warmest climate on mainland Spain (sunny cardigan weather outdoors, hot on sheltered terrace) and is fairly consistent, but I have known it to rain sometimes but mostly lucky.

    Hope this helps in some way x Jen

  • Briefly - ditto the comments above, especially 'things to look forward to'. Airport special assistance is brilliant and your husband should be able to accompany you as you speed through baggage check, passport control etc. I think it's worth checking that it will be in place at your destination airport. I flew to Toulouse four times last year. Gatwick was faultless - Toulouse a bit of a shambles, but it still worked. As the first trip last year was quite soon after the end of my Chemo I bought medical masks, online to wear protect against infection. As I looked quite strange it also ensured that I had an empty seat next to me! At age 78 I say go for it if your oncologist agrees - I hope you have a lovely time. X

  • Definitely go, the vit D from the sun will do you so much good if nothing else. I went to Antigua just after finishing my first line treatment and to America just after my second line. I knew my white cells were low the second time so I got face masks and put tea tree oil in them. Didn't get any infections. You are only looking at a short flight, like the others said, book special assistance with the airline, means you don't have to wait in queues either end. Also oncs have different opinions, I had one that said don't go and one that said it was a good idea. Listen to yourself over them, If you're feeling up to it the peace and sun and some good food will do you more good than anything

  • Viv, I would see the onc and then book - there is almost always availability at this time of year thru' OnThe Beach online or someone like that.

    As long at your onc doesn't absolutely veto, I would go for it. The r&r will be wonderful for you and treatment in Spain is free or very cheap if you hold the EHIC card from the Dept of Health.

    Hope it all works out.

    Cx

  • Hi.... Just back from South Africa x my oncologist told me I was chemo carboplatin resistant, and should have a holiday whilst well.... Had a fab time..... No insurance as you say for OC .. My GP gave me various antibiotics in case I got infections etc.... Go for it but book as late as possible ( 10 days for me)...

    Ironically home for 4 days and going into bowel obstruction :-( at least I am home and A&E only 10 mins away :-)

  • Hi Gill,

    So glad you had a super holiday and you are back safe and sound, hope your bowel problem gets sorted soon..... love and best wishes x G x 8-)

  • Hi gill,

    I have also been on carboplatin resistance treatment, I'm hoping the onc will agree 6 weeks in the van.... Driving down to Spain. It was always the dream when he retired, so if I'm fit enough we will go for it. If he says no it will be last minute week somewhere. Mind you South African safari sounds fabulous, but I've been told only a couple of hours flight!!

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