Since this disease brings so much suffering and sadness, I thought that I bring a ray of sunshine, and fight the disease back in my own way by writing that it is still possible to get away and enjoy yourself!
A few years ago I started holidaying with my parents again, mainly because my mum wouldn't have been able to cope on holiday alone with dad, but also because I wanted to create as many happy memories as possible with dad having the illness, rather than only remembering the times pre-diagnosis.
Last year we managed a holiday to Egypt. We stayed in a resort called El Gouna - very flat and suitable for a wheelchair. We rented an apartment with a pool (v cheap in Egypt), which was perfect as we no longer like to be in hotels where people gawp and stare.
It was fantastically hot and relaxing, and just what both my mum, as a full-time carer, and my dad needed. It gave me a sense of purpose and control as well - I was there with my parents, helping them and spending quality time with them.
During the day we would sit by the pool, and dad would snooze on a sun-lounger in the shade. We would order delicious take-aways for lunch, and then shower early evening and go either to the marina or downtown area for dinner.
The reason I write is so that others know that it is certainly not impossible to holiday after diagnosis. Even cheap carriers such as EasyJet are very good with dealing with wheelchair passengers, and AgeConcern supply holiday insurance for people with illness. With us we took dad's wheelchair and a toilet surround as the main aids for him, and we coped very well! Baby monitors helped too once dad had gone to bed and mum and I were enjoying a glass of wine in the lounge or on the terrace.
However, I do realise that this is only a short-term 'escape' from the mundanity of daily life, but it really gave us collectively something to look forward to, and then remember fondly after we returned. Dad always seems more spritely after we return, and mum more relaxed.
Good luck to anyone who chooses to do this, and if you need any information, please do not hesitate to ask and I will try my best to answer!
Love to all, Marisa x