I'm off to Montana!: Hello Ladies, I... - SHARE Metastatic ...

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I'm off to Montana!

Hello Ladies,

I have been dithering for ages about whether I should go to Montana or not with my husband. Well, today I took the plunge and booked my flights. I leave on 4th September. My husband will fly out before me on 31st August, but I will follow him later, as I have a treatment on 3rd September. Now I think I can allow myself time for it all to sink in! I've not been back since 2012, so it will be good to see my family again after all this time, and meet the new family members who have been born or married into our family since then!

Sophie

P.S. Here's a picture of Glacier National Park.

104 Replies
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I know how much you were struggling with the decision. Now you need to look forward and not worry about your family. You have ensured the services are there for them. Enjoy your visit.

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Thank you, Sarcie! I am looking forward to it.

Sophie x

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Oh Sophie, how wonderful. Wishing you a grand adventure and good weather.

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Thanks, Nancy. The weather will still be nice in September. It doesn't start getting cold until October. Huckleberries will be in season, so I am looking forward to foraging for them and having fun. Our family have already planned a barbecue for the Saturday after I get there.

Sophie x

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They will be overjoyed to see you both 💕

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Yes, I hope so! I'm looking forward to going. Now it's all booked I can start to allow myself to relax a bit and have something positive to plan for after the nightmare of the last few months.

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Hooray, hooray for you! So glad you decided to go! I know it’s difficult to squeeze in fun between treatments especially when the days after we might not feel stellar! But - if we don’t LIVE our lives while we can then what’s the point of submitting to treatments!??!

Again- go, enjoy. Rest when you need to and soak up he love of your family!!

Looking forward to hearing how it went! kc

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Thank you! I will soak it all in and relax whenever I need to. Knowing me, I am going to be raiding all the health food shops as soon as I get there!

Sophie x

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Decision made!!..well done

Now you can get organised and get on with it

Barb XX

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Thanks, Barb! I am not normally such a ditherer. I just had so much to consider and I wasn't sure if going away was really a good idea. But there has been so much going on lately, that I felt guilty even considering a holiday.

Sophie x

P.S. I just got back home from a meet and greet, after taking on a new client! I told her about my upcoming holiday and she is happy to work around me.

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There you go!

Never feel guilty...it’s a female trait I’m afraid...I now think ‘what would a man do’....invariably they would do what THEY wanted before thinking of others...I know that sounds bitchy but I believe it’s true...I guess there are exceptions but I’ve never met one yet!

Barb xx

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Barb, you sound like such a rebel! I will try not to feel guilty and just prepare my family as best I can for my absence. I will be gone for just over a week, so they should be fine while I am away.

Sophie x

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They will be fine...they’d have to cope if you weren’t here at all

I’m definitely a rebel...always had to be but I’m worse now!!!.. I think having this mbc has made me a bit more assertive...I won’t tolerate things like I used to

I think when I was working I obviously had to put patients first and look after them...same at home with family stuff and animals as well so I put myself last quite a lot...no more!!.. the worm has turned lol

Bon Voyage

Barb xx

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Yes, I'm sure you are right!

I am assertive too. If something isn't working or I am not happy about something then people will hear about it.

I'm off for the rest of the day and then I am having my zoladex injection at 3:20pm. I've got a lot of questions to ask my GP, so I had better jot them down.

Sophie ❤

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Good for you...after the cock up with my denosumab last month I’m not as trusting anymore

I’ve been referred to a pain management consultant so waiting for the appointment..I went up to the yard today and fetched my horses in...pain bad and still fatigued so didn’t ride which has made me feel miserable and I usually ride out on my own a lot but today just felt a bit nervous and fragile which is unlike me...I’ll ride at the weekend though as my daughter vanessa back from her holiday and she’ll get me motivated!! I think I need some strong pain meds and a kick in the pants!!

Bet you’re looking foreword to your hols...did you enquire at Insurancewith.com?... don’t think you’ll find better and saves faffing about ringing round different places

All the best

Barb xx

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That's awful, Barb. We put our trust in the doctors and nurses to do their jobs correctly, so that must have really shaken your confidence. When I had my blood test last Friday I was telling the phlebotomist that sometimes people have trouble finding a vein. She said that she feels for veins rather than looking for them. She has never had any issues with me!

I'm sorry to hear you couldn't ride today. I would go ahead and take some painkillers. You don't want to suffer for the rest of the day.

No, I've not looked into it yet. I might also go with my husband's insurance that he had from when he was in the military and see if that will cover me while we're away.

I hope you feel better soon.

Sophie ❤

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Thank you Sophie you’re very sweet

I went into town this afternoon and wished I hadn’t...felt rubbish and just wanted to get back home...not interested in the shops or anything

Just fed up of myself

Sorry to be a grumpy girl

Barb xx

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Barb, you don't have to apologise for feeling down. We can't be Pollyanna 24/7, can we? Look at what we have to live with and deal with on a daily basis. You are also dealing with chronic pain at the moment. That must make you feel even worse.

I got home a short time ago from my zoladex appointment with my GP. She is so sweet and always asks me how my family are getting on. She remembers everything that has happened to my dad and will even share things about herself and her family, something my oncologist never does. So it's always nice and relaxing going to that appointment. I had to lay down for a while afterwards though, as I bled a bit. There's a blood vessel on my left side that acts like an artery has been severed every time it is jabbed, so that's why! Oh well!

I have got my zometa infusion booked in for first thing Friday morning and then at lunchtime I am seeing my oncologist. I wanted to have it done on the bus, but was advised to just leave it until the beginning of this week and call to see if I could switch over from the Macmillan day unit at the hospital to the bus. Well, when I called yesterday the only availability they had was for 12:00pm and I am seeing my oncologist at 12:05pm! Typical. I have been trying to have my infusions on the bus for a year and the one time the bus is actually running I can't go there! I will try again for the next appointment, which will be due the beginning of November.

Sophie x

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No apologies Barb!

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Hi Sophie. I just read this. That's a long journey for such a short stay. Can you stay at least a couple of weeks?

Sandra

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Hi Sandra,

Honestly, two weeks would be too long for me. I start getting itchy feet and want to return home if I go anywhere for any length of time. A week is usually my limit, but I will be gone for more than a week.

Sophie

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Gotcha Sophie. I remember you have your own business too so that is different. I don't think we will be able to meet up though unfortunately. Time will be too short for you.

Sandra

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Hi Sandra,

I've told most of my regular clients about my plans, but there are a few more I need to inform about my holiday. Then there's my cat, Jack, to consider. My friend who is looking after him is off to Spain for a few days the day I get back home. Then a few days later I've got a house/pet sit booked in town. So the only respite I'll get will be while I'm away! It will be all systems go when I return.

Kim and I may be able to make it to Canada for a day trip. If we do go, what days are good for you?

Sophie ❤

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Hi Sophie....The only week that I have my scans and onc appointment plus labs is the week of September 23.

Sandra

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Hi Sandra,

OK, this might be doable then! I arrive in the evening of 4th September and will be leaving on the 14th. We have a family BBQ planned for us on Saturday 7th, but other than that we don't have any other firm plans. I'll get back to you nearer the time and see where we could possibly meet.

Sophie

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Have a wonderful trip! Are you coming from England? I thought I saw a post that you were from there. Safe travels. Glacier and Montana are amazing. Enjoy seeing family. I firmly believe that nature is essential to our well being.

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Yes, I'm from England. My husband is from Montana, so we are going back to visit his side of the family. I can't wait to see everyone! I haven't been to Montana since 2012.

Sophie x

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That’s a great decision and it will probably do you the world of good getting away for a break. Can I ask who you use for travel insurance?

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I haven't booked any travel insurance. I will search on here, as I know a few ladies have mentioned there are certain companies that insure those of us with metastatic cancer.

Sophie x

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Yes I’m looking into it too. I was with all clear but they hiked the price up when I got mets

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I think people see pound (or in your case dollar) signs when they learn about our diagnosis!

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I’m £££ too yes I agree

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Ah OK! I must have mistaken you for someone else. Sorry!

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Insurancewith

Use them...cheap!

Barb xx

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Thanks for the tip! It saves me having to search for insurance companies.

Sophie x

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It was set up by a lady with breast cancer after she couldn’t get insurance herself that wasn’t astronomically expensive

They ask lots of questions...this is the second year I’ve used them and I got a discount this time...it was only for Europe but was approximately £70 for a year which I thought was reasonable

Anyway why should we be ripped off?.. it’s not like we’re going to just drop dead like someone with hypertension or something

Annoys me

Barb xx

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Thanks, Barb. It isn't fair for us to be ripped off. My cholesterol, blood pressure and everything else is within the normal range. I "just" have cancer. While we are stable and relatively healthy we should be treated the same as anyone else. I can't imagine someone with high blood pressure being quoted a high price for travel insurance.

Sophie ❤

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Enjoy - we are the opposite of you. I'm American and my husband is British (though now a naturalized citizen here.) We visit often and will be over for Christmas. I love a good Christmas pudding amongst other things.

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Thank you! I lived in America for seven years. By the time we left I could have applied for naturalisation, as I had been living over there for long enough by then, but I didn't. I relinquished my permanent residence after we moved back to the UK in the presence of two consular officials who came up from the US embassy in London. I've printed off a copy of form I-407 in case I am questioned about that at the border. I also have to fill in an ESTA form, which I didn't have to do when I was a resident. That's good you get to visit the UK on a regular basis. I think it's important to maintain both cultures and to support one another in any way possible, as life can be challenging when you are an immigrant. We have both experienced it, so I know how my husband currently feels.

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Have a good holiday Sophie. I think it’s very important to connect with family. I have also been dithering about going to the UK in September to visit my daughters. It’s a very long and tiring flight from the Philippines to Scotland so I’m not so sure I want to do it. But you have given me inspiration to travel while I can. And one of the comments on here ( by 4thTimesThe Charms) struck a chord in me “ But if we don’t live our lives while we can, what’s the point of submitting to treatments?”

Enjoy Montana!

Maria

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Hi Maria,

You're right! It is important to connect with family. There will be so many relatives to catch up with. I was also unsure about the long haul flight, but I think it will be worth it.

Sophie ❤

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Glad you are putting yourself first! Not long now! It will come so quickly enjoy!

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Thank you, Marie.

Sophie ❤

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What part of Montana are you visiting? September is one of the best times to go! Foraging for huckleberries sounds like fun, I want to go!

xo Jade

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I'm off to Columbia Falls. Yes, September is a good time to visit, still pleasant before winter sets in.

Sophie ❤

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Oh Sophie - I’m so happy you decided to go. You and your husband deserve this. Yay!

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Thank you, Martha! I'm looking forward to going.

Sophie ❤

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Have a marvelous time!

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Thank you! I'll do my best.

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You have reminded me that I want to get to Montana! Enjoy every moment. Talking travel insurance...I am newly diagnosed with MBC and am already tired of the stigma of this disease in the wake of those with diabetes, high blood pressure and other acute health issues. If you tell anyone you are Stage IV anything, there is panic, where so many live long lives. People readily share heart and diabetes issues, but in my case owning my own small company, I have only told a small group of trusted friends, lest drama unfold and rumors get me one foot in the grave. It's like where we once were with a diagnosis of any kind of breast cancer.

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If you get a chance to visit Montana you should go! It's a beautiful state. I agree that there is a huge stigma with this disease. You either get the disbelief ("but you look so well") or people look at you like you are about to die. I remember saying something to my GP a while ago about "normal people" and she said I am normal! That was a real boost.

I own my own business too. In fact, I've taken on three new clients since the spring, something I couldn't see myself doing last year when I was diagnosed. Three of my clients know I have breast cancer (one is a nurse and one other is also a cancer patient) but I still get on with my work as usual, just making adjustments for treatments or other appointments. I would suggest you do the same if you feel well enough.

Sophie ❤

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Same thing with work. I keep picking up clients, like we always did. And we are taking the biz in new directions, including me doing videos. When my orig diagnosis happened in 2012 I told the same few at the beginning. Later told some more 2-3 years later. People were shocked as there was a diff perception of what breast cancer meant. I had surgery and rads after doing an Oncotype test. Also, became a resource for many others. I told my onc the other day that I want to keep a running list of all I have done besides MBC since diagnosis in Feb. Because this is chronic, and other non-cancer chronic diseases are just as tough!

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It sounds like you have the right attitude! We still have our lives to live. Some people know I have breast cancer, but no one knows it's metastatic. I'm the same as you. I have kept records of everything I have been through and done since my diagnosis. So if my oncologist ever asks whenever I had an MRI or my PET CT scan I can refer back to my notes and let her know.

Sophie

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Sloan has all my medical records...I meant the things I did in life since people think you stop living with breast cancer, especially metastatic. I work a lot with authors and went to dinner with one the night of my first shot and thought...if she only knew. After my orig surgery, I went to a book party for one author 3 weeks later and another 4 weeks later. When I later told some people about my breast cancer I referenced those two events and they were amazed. Bottom line that even early stage breast cancer carries so so much stress with it, that I tried to show people, look, this is a thing and it is not everything! People would say, if I was diagnosed I would head to my bed and pull the covers over my head. I said...no, call me and I can get you started in the right direction! You will love this...a neighbor had breast cancer 23 years ago. It was a rough patch for her as it was in her nodes. Been clear since then. So a month or so ago I mentioned her name and someone said...HOW is she doing with her breast cancer? I thought she had a relapse. NO, this woman was referring to the incident 23 years ago!! Seriously. I said...she is at the beach for the summer! For all the education that has been done, there is a LOT more that needs to happen.

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Ah, OK. I see what you mean. Yes, I have been doing a lot besides dealing with the disease since my diagnosis too. I sometimes joke to my husband that I am too busy living to think much about dying! There is a lot that needs to be done to educate people about metastatic cancer. I have learned a lot about it since my diagnosis, as I thought the same as everyone else, that death was imminent.

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I realized that if I said I had stage iv people would think I was going to die within a year. Now, I just say metastatic breast cancer and most are not sure what that is, so I just explain its breast cancer that spread from my breast to other area in my body which is why they don't use chemo or radiation. I explain it as a chronic illness in which I will have to be on meds for life.

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Well said but I feel people still don’t comprehend the nature of our illness. Only a few relatives and friends know I have mbc but I still get the question...when are you having surgery?... or will say you will beat this and be cancer free...or the best comment is you look so good! I’m learning to keep my answers short and move on.

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One of my sisters-in-law recently completed treatment for early stage colon cancer. Another sister-in-law just had a mastectomy, again for early stage breast cancer. So we shall see what I am up against next month when I visit. I am expecting the usual "When do you finish treatment?" or "You look good" comments too, as I get them all the time! I have been telling people that treatment is ongoing. I also told some that I will be having treatment for the rest of my life.

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Well quite frankly, I really knew nothing much about breast cancer until I was diagnosed with it. Why would they even need to comprehend or educated about metastatic breast cancer unless it has directly affected them? My friend's son who is married with a child was diagnosed with MS. When my friend told me he sometimes loses his balance and is starting to have muscle loss I read a bit about it. I knew nothing about MS either bc it didn't affect me and I didn't know anyone who had it. I was dumbfounded to be told that 1 out of 8 women will get breast cancer in their life. THAT SHOCKED ME. I had no idea that there were even types of breast cancer and stages. Someone would mention a friend we used to know THAT got breast cancer and we would say OMG. I hope she is all right. I would probably not know or say the wrong things also if someone I knew had stage iv. I get the "but you look healthy." I do not get upset or angry and I give a brief explanation bc people really do not want to hear how bad it can get with the meds. And since they do not have it, they are going to be as ignorant as I was with about stage iv. Everybody has their own issues in their lives...my other friend's father is now in dementia and she is having a rough time with it. Nobody at my Cancer Center calls it terminal, but incurable instead. I mean on other boards I was on, there were women with stage iv for over 10 years. Inflammatory breast cancer and tripe negative are the harder breast cancers. I was more or less told I had the "better" cancer which just means it is more treatable with the new meds.

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I’m so glad you are going, I just got back from 2 weeks in Italy and I realized I really had needed it!

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Thank you! It sounds like you had fun in Italy.

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Beautiful place!

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Thank you! Yes, it is.

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Montana was on my bucket list for years, and finally last September my husband and I spent a week. What beautiful country it is, and the mountains!!!! I'm from Vermont - the Green Mountain State, but our little mountains don't come close. Enjoy your family and all the surroundings.

Newtkim1

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Thank you! Yes, Montana is lovely. I still can't get my head around the fact that Montana is larger than the whole of the UK!

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Wonderful! I'm so happy for you you're taking the plunge! I just saw a few photos of Montana yesterday and it looks amazing. Such a beautiful place to visit. And of course the opp to see family again is priceless. Good for you!

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Thank you! Montana is beautiful. Some people are a bit jaded when it comes to tourists though and are not always very welcoming, but other than that I can handle it!

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Sounds like when I went to France. I had been told (and for most part it was true) that many French residents will pretend not to understand English and can be quite abrupt with foreigners. LOL I went for the sights and food, not to make life-long friends.

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I have been to France about 11 times and I agree that the French love their language and culture, which is understandable. They have a rich history and culture. I spent seven years learning French as a third language in school, and made every effort to speak their language each time I was visiting their country. You will find that the French are very polite, helpful and welcoming if you make an effort to speak French while you are on holiday, even if all you know is a few greetings and pleasantries. If you put yourself in their shoes, they must get fed up of tourists expecting them to always speak English.

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I also went to Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Africa, Peru and a jungle trekking in the Amazon. Am I supposed to know or study every language before I go. You have spent 7 years studying one language so of course you would try to respond in French and you have been there 11 times. Apples and oranges. France is not the only country in the world and I don't know why they should expect foreigners who are going there for ONE WEEK's vacation to be able to speak French when they know how to speak English. They should be happy that we are spending money in their country via tourism. I didn't find this in any other country I went to. If they speak English in another country and realize you do not know their language, they will speak English to you. Even in Africa, I learned one word Jambo...which means Hello, Good morning and even though they did not speak English nor I their African language, we were still able to communicate via smiles and hand signals and the Africans were the nicest most well-mannered of all the countries I went to. I do not expect travelers who come to NY to be able to speak English. Many of the french I encountered spoke English but pretended not to. I was told to expect this before I left for my trip. Biggest disappointment was The Eiffel Tower. In person I did not think it was that impressive. Same in Italy with leaning tower of Pisa. My friend and I stood there for a few minutes looking at it and then Okay, we are done with this.

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Yay Sophie! Enjoy it all.

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Thank you! I will.

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alright! have fun and enjoy! <3 xo

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I will! I've already got lots of plans of what I want to do.

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Welcome to Big Sky Country. I’ve been in Montana all my life. I hope you enjoy your new adventure!

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Thank you! I'll just be visiting Montana while I'm on holiday. I'm not moving there. My husband is from Flathead County. I've been to Montana many times over the years.

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Hope you enjoy your trip and fully benefit from the beautiful, restoring power of the big sky and the Rockies! We lived in Montana many years ago and still "use" our memories as healing thoughts when needed. I'm told Glacier will not have glaciers by 2030...enjy while you can. Safe travels!

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Thank you, Polly! Montana is a lovely place to go visit, especially if you are outdoorsy. I saw a Grizzly bear the first time I visited Glacier National Park. I couldn't believe it! Obviously, it didn't eat me as I am alive to tell the tale!

Sophie x

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Enjoy! 😀💕🎉

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Thank you, Heather! I will.

Sophie x

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have a fantastic time!! hubs and I are looking for a vacation home near Glacier. I love that area!

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Thank you! I hope you find a nice holiday home in Montana.

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Wonderful news Sophie. I'm so happy for you. It'll be a nice diversion for you away from everything...just being responsible for yourself and hubby.

Sandra

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Thank you, Sandra! We could both do with a change of scenery. Now I need to tell my dad...

Sophie

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Have a wonderful trip, Sophie! Rest, relax, and take in that BIG SKY!! 🌞☀️🌤❤️❤️❤️

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Thank you, Linda! I will do my best!

Sophie x

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Sophie

So happy to hear you decided to go to Montana to visit family. Enjoy and pamper yourself!

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Thank you, Tam! I am looking forward to it.

Sophie

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That's so beautiful. I am glad you decided to go. It will be a nice break. Enjoy yourself and soak in all of nature's beauty and the love of your family!!

Kim

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Thank you, Kim.

Sophie

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I’m glad you are going! We will all look forward to hearing how beautiful it was and how much you enjoyed meeting the newest relatives. Elaine

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Thank you, Elaine! I was getting stressed trying to decide what to do, but I think I have made the right decision.

Sophie ❤

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Just a suggestion. If you are Ibrance, one of the possible side effects is air sickness. I had never experienced this until I started taking Ibrance. I’ve been on it for nearly two years and it’s happened every time I’ve flown. So ... Dramamine or something like that might be good to have on hand. Enjoy your trip and don’t let anything get in your way!

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Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not on ibrance though. I'm glad you have found something that works for you.

Sophie ❤

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Glad to hear you decided to go!

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Thank you, Becca.

Sophie

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Stunning photo. Glad you hsve booked your trip. I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.

Good luck with your onc on the 9th.

Love,

Marianne

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Hi Marianne,

Thank you! I took this picture several years ago when my husband and I visited Glacier National Park. I'm so looking forward to seeing my oncologist on Friday (eye roll!)

Love,

Sophie

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Lol

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Good for you. Something to look forward to and then to enjoy!

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Thank you, Becky! Yes, you're right. I am going to be a complete tourist (although I don't plan on acting like a Brit Abroad!)

Sophie

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Sophie I’m so happy you finally made the decision to go!!! You are going to have a fabulous time with your hubby! I know you were/are worried about your father and brother, but I’m sure you will have all the bases covered. If you recall when I went away a couple of weeks ago I left my mom with her home aide because of her dementia. My mom realized we were gone and was belligerent at times but her aide handled her well plus took care of my two doggies. Just enjoy each day and rest up when you need to. Can’t wait to hear all about it when you return. ❤️

Maria

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Thank you, Maria! I'm probably worrying over nothing. I am sure my family will be fine while I am on holiday. I just can't seem to help worrying! It sounds like your mum coped well with some support while you are away, and I am sure my dad and brother will be fine too.

Sophie

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You will worry and you will check in BUT don’t let it consume you. GO HAVE FUN! xxxooo

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