Vacationing with Cancer

Summer, a time for pool parties, cook outs, mosquitos, heat and humidity, the beach, fried New England seafood and vacations. Vacationing when you’re living with cancer takes some preparation.

Before Mark and I left for Las Vegas a few weeks go, I needed to coordinate with my treatment schedule and make sure I was healthy enough to travel. It just so happened that I had appointments with my Endocrinologist, Cardiologist, Medical Oncologist and Radiation Oncologist the week before. All was fine, except for falling red blood counts, but thankfully a blood transfusion took care of that and I was ready to rock and roll, or rather gamble and eat!

When we were in Las Vegas the weather was very hot. Many people said not to worry “it’s a dry heat”. Well, heat is heat and when we were visiting it was 109 degrees WITH humidity. We made the best of it.

Because traveling does take some preparation, I would like share some items I take with me or things that I do on vacation that might be helpful to you as well:

  • A thermometer. After experiencing Febrile Neutropenia, extremely low white counts with a fever, indicate signs of infection and will result in a visit to the hospital.
  • Sunscreen. I have a bald head and do not wear a wig or any type of head covering in the summer. I slather sunscreen everywhere, but pay special attention to my head and anywhere I received radiation. I have lymphedema in my right arm and hand and usually wear a compression sleeve and glove, so I use lots of sunscreen on that arm if I’m in the water or if I’m not wearing the sleeve and glove.
  • Medications. I take any oral cancer treatments along with my daily medications such as allergy, high blood pressure, thyroid, etc. I also take pain, anti diarrhea and stool softener medications. As I mentioned, I have lymphedema so I can’t forget my compression day sleeve and glove, my night sleeve and pump.
  • Hydrate. I can’t stress this enough, especially in the heat. Being dehydrated can cause dizziness and weakness. It can also flare up symptoms from the illnesses you already have.
  • Rest. Take time to rest or take breaks. I take it slow and feel refreshed after resting for a bit. I also alternate indoor and outdoor activities. It’s nice to rest in an indoor air conditioned space, especially when it’s 109 degrees!

I hope these suggestions will help when you are traveling.

My family and I will soon be heading to Long Island New York for my niece’s wedding. After the festivities, we will be vacationing in the city. I hope I don’t forget to pack and do all the things I suggested! Maybe I’ll just write a list so I don’t forget.

I wish you all a great rest of the summer. Enjoy!

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18 thoughts on “Vacationing with Cancer

  1. Hi Susan! ,
    I Just Have To Say That You Are An Inspiration To Me. ALL You Have Been Through & Are Going Through, You Are One Tough Woman! Hope You Enjoyed Las Vegas. Great To See You Living Life To The Fullest. Take Care And God Bless. Have a Wonderful Time In Long Island! Luv Ya! 🙂

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  2. You are so inspiring, living life to the fullest while working around appointments, side effects, and all the unknown that pops up along the way. You look absolutely gorgeous in this picture and I can’t tell you how much your strength and courage has influenced me. You are a true mentor 😉 xoxo

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    • Hi Jess. Thank you so much. Some days are harder than others, and that’s okay. I hope you are feeling well. It appears you are having a nice summer…..your children are certainly growing up, so cute. Take care. 😘

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. Just this year my cancer treatments, doctor appointments and other ailments…many that you mentioned have made vacationing require major planning…I was just feeling really down when your post popped up. It helped move me off my pity party. We live near Vegas glad you got to go…yep it’s hot that’s why we go camping in the mountains but takes a lot of driving to get back for treatments. I am blessed with a husband who does what it takes to give me that time. Thanks again and pray you have a great time in NY❤❤

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    • Hi Joy. It’s okay to have a pity party every now and than. Cancer sucks! It invades every aspect of our lives. Sounds like you have a very caring husband…..I have one too! Enjoy camping in the cool mountains. 💜

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  4. Thank you for the tips. We are heading to Vt and NY soon so these will come in handy. It does take so much more planning to “get out of Dodge” but it is worth it to celebrate our times together. As several others have said I too have a wonderful husband who is there “for better or worse”.

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  5. Hi Susan,
    Those are really good tips for anyone diagnosed with cancer to keep in mind. Thank you. So glad you enjoyed Vegas. I am not a fan of heat, with or without humidity! We visited Vegas once in March, and I thought the heat was unbearable. You’re brave to tackle it in summer! Hope the Long Island trip was an enjoyable time too. Enjoy the last remnants of summer, Susan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Nancy. I agree with you about the heat….with or without humidity, not a fan. I hope you have been having a nice summer. I’m looking forward to fall….cooler weather, sweatshirts, crunchy leaves, pumpkins………

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