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Cruising with cancer

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Just curious if anyone has been on a cruise while battling cancer. Just wondering if you were able to relax and have a good time or did you just worry the entire time about what could happen while you were on board.

 

 

I was able to get my doctors permission to travel.

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Just curious if anyone has been on a cruise while battling cancer. Just wondering if you were able to relax and have a good time or did you just worry the entire time about what could happen while you were on board.
I think it depends what type of cancer you have and how it limits your mobility.... notes when I cared for a loved one...
  • if weight loss is an issue.... those AYCE buffets, main dining and specialty dining are great to build up body weight.
  • do you have walking issues? In rough seas.... having a wheelchair is very handy when shuttling from the dining room to the cabin.
  • if you are unable to move.... stay in the cabin and then just call room service as you watch the world pass by your window.
  • don't forget your medications, pack a thermometer, blood pressure monitor. If the patient has breathing issues..... an affordable pocket oximeter is handy too.

Cruise was the easy part.... the flight was harder. The cruise ship had quick access to bathroom.... plane meant a shared bathroom.

Edited by xlxo

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JMO

I have seen some people battling cancer. They would be well for several days (even a couple of weeks) and then suddenly got very ill.

If that happened to you, would you be comfortable in a foreign hospital?

I wouldn't cruise in that condition.

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Just curious if anyone has been on a cruise while battling cancer. Just wondering if you were able to relax and have a good time or did you just worry the entire time about what could happen while you were on board.

 

 

I was able to get my doctors permission to travel.

 

People cruise every day while fighting cancer. It's not a disease that is here one day and gone the next. The best case is that you fight it for a minimum of 5 years before the physicians even think about the word cured.

 

The question is really what stage of treatment is the patient in at the time of the cruise.

 

If they are actively receiving chemo then they probably need to stay home.

 

If they are receiving radiation, they are definitely staying home because that is an every day thing for between 30 and 45 days.

 

If they are recovering from surgery, it's just like any other surgery. When they feel up to it they can go.

 

As far as relaxing, you can relax as well on the ship as you can at home, in fact most support groups encourage getting away as long as it doesn't interfere with active treatments. The odds of needing a physician are no greater than any other person.

 

Unless you are bed ridden go and have a good time. Life is too short to sit at home!

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I have seen some people battling cancer. They would be well for several days (even a couple of weeks) and then suddenly got very ill.

 

If that happened to you, would you be comfortable in a foreign hospital?

 

Battling cancer isn't about being comfortable. By and large, 100% comfort isn't an option; and it's not unusual to have a reasonably reliable forecast of the condition, so in many cases there's not a huge risk of sudden relapse.

 

Many cruisers suffer from a condition where you can be well and quite suddenly aren't - it's called old age. Life is a battle we're all ultimately going to lose - but people keep on fighting that battle anyway. Never give up!

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As a Survivor, it is never out of my mind. However, what we all have in common is we become warriors----so, Live Your Life (Tecumseh Poem made popular again in 2012).

 

If the Dr. gives you the green light: Take it and enjoy the sunrises and sunsets. Your only worry should be deciding whatyou want to do after each sunrise.

 

Enjoy your journey...

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We do not know what your condition is but assuming you tire easily do a small ship. No Mega ships with noisy crowds long walks and long lines. Consider the small R ships now on Oceania, Princess. Oceanias Insignia, Regatta and Nautica. Dine when you wish, no formality. Celebritys Summit or maybe Constellation, both larger.All of above give excellent consideration to the shall we say infirmed. Just do not expect any medical help.Book early if desiring disabled cabin.

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Many cruisers suffer from a condition where you can be well and quite suddenly aren't - it's called old age. Life is a battle we're all ultimately going to lose - but people keep on fighting that battle anyway. Never give up!

 

We all have a terminal condition from the moment we are born- life. It catches up with some before others.

 

Go cruise and have a great time. Also, there is something called MedJet Assist. The OP might consider looking into that if getting back to a home hospital in a hurry is a big concern.

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I think it depends on the type of cancer. I am a melanoma servivor. I had a melanoma removed from the white of my right eye in 2009.

 

Now, whenever I travel, I make very sure I follow the instructions of my dermatologist exactly. I have a sun hat with an SPF of 50 in the brim, I make sure I purchase and use sunscreen with Zinc Oxide in it and I have polarized lenses in my glasses.

 

Life is way too short to let cancer keep me from cruising. I just take the necessary steps to keep healthy.

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I would imagine travel insurance will be a problem. The cost is prohibitive in the UK.:(

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I would suggest there are at least hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who fought/survived cancer and cruised. There are so very many forms, stages, treatments and numbers of cases of cancer, the numbers are huge.

 

The key is the consent of your doctor. Follow his/her orders, do as they tell you and go have a good time. You are living......... Go live it up on the ship.

 

Best wishes.

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The question is really what stage of treatment is the patient in at the time of the cruise.
agreed.... I'll also add that we planned and booked cruises last minute.... like 3 days out. While we did pay more... This avoids cancellation insurance and stress to be well in the months and weeks leading up to the trip. If stamina was good... we went. We did 3 cruises before the passing.... between treatments.

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If your doctor has given the ok, and you feel up to it, then by all means GO.

 

From a personal perspective, my mother has been battling breast cancer since Oct. '14. She's been through chemotherapy, radiation, and then another round of chemotherapy. We had booked on one of Triumph's 12 day cruises to Panama and Colombia last March. She finished her first round of chemotherapy in Feb. last year, and her doctor advised her not to go because of immune system vulnerabilities due to the chemo. So, we canceled that cruise.

 

However, we discussed with her doctor the possibility of a cruise during Thanksgiving week last year, and he said "go for it". So, she skipped her chemo treatments the week prior and week of the cruise. We went on that cruise, and had a great time.

 

About 2 weeks after we got back from the Thanksgiving cruise, her doctor told us the chemo was not working, and there was nothing else they could do. On Dec. 30, I took her to the ER because she was having some issues walking. The cancer had spread throughout her body, and we were told the "end is in sight". And in the middle of January, I had to put her into a nursing home. She's still there, but her body is slowly shutting down and it's only a matter of time until she's gone.

 

I am extremely happy that I was able to take her on one last cruise for Thanksgiving. Life can change in a split second - GO on the cruise whenever you feel like you can.

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Go and enjoy it as much as you can ...

 

I just found out my close friend has bone marrow cancer and the first thing he said was "i guess its time we went on that world cruise then".

 

Take sensible precautions regarding your reduced immune system though

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If your doctor has given the ok, and you feel up to it, then by all means GO.

 

 

About 2 weeks after we got back from the Thanksgiving cruise, her doctor told us the chemo was not working, and there was nothing else they could do. On Dec. 30, I took her to the ER because she was having some issues walking. The cancer had spread throughout her body, and we were told the "end is in sight". And in the middle of January, I had to put her into a nursing home. She's still there, but her body is slowly shutting down and it's only a matter of time until she's gone.

 

I am extremely happy that I was able to take her on one last cruise for Thanksgiving. Life can change in a split second - GO on the cruise whenever you feel like you can.

 

 

Just an update - I lost my mom Saturday morning. Again I'll state that I'm extremely happy we were able to take her on one last cruise. And again, I'll emphasize what I said originally - if your doctor says it's ok for you to go then by all means GO. Don't let life pass you by.

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bigman01, so sorry for your loss. :(

 

OP luv-my-kids, I completely understand why most people you talk with would say go ahead, life is short, you should do it. That is the first, most natural thing to say to a cancer patient. The thing is, and a couple members touched on it here, is where you will be in your treatment. You didn't mention what kind of cancer you have and what treatment you will be receiving, but you did say your physician gave his/her approval.

 

When I had cancer, we did not travel because I was not up to it. There were many considerations, among them my compromised immune system, low white blood cell count, fatigue, nausea, swelling, pain, surgical scars, and decreased smell and taste. My goals were staying close to home, resting, taking my medication, keeping my doctor and blood test appointments, staying healthy enough for chemotherapy, and trying not to be near anyone who was ill. I didn't go to church for months at a time. I had other family members go grocery shopping for me. There are germs everywhere, and someone who is battling cancer is fighting with a compromised immune system. During treatment, I could not even imagine being on a cruise ship (or mall, church, school, anywhere) where there are thousands of people and a chance of a Noro or flu outbreak. Yuk, not fun. :(

 

Having said that, yes, life is short and is to be celebrated. We did our celebrating after my treatment was completed. It was a wonderful back-to-back cruise and we had a great time, although I was extremely fatigued the whole time and I told my husband to go into port without me one day - I just wasn't up for it.

 

Cruising will always be there, be an option for you. If you feel you want to go during treatment, then do so and enjoy yourself. But I did want to let you know how it might be and that the timing is probably not the best.

 

God bless. :)

 

.

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If you have your doctor's permission, go.

 

Breathing the air at sea, while watching the beautiful horizon where the sea and the sky can seem as one, can clear the mind.

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Hopefully, OP purchased any international medical insurance (including evac), required because of the limitations of their regular health insurance (e.g., no Medicare abroad), before they lost the waiver of pre-existing conditions. If the cancer was there during the "look back" period, and they don't have the waiver, they will be SOL if (God forbid) anything serious and related happens while they are away.

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Hopefully, OP purchased any international medical insurance (including evac), required because of the limitations of their regular health insurance (e.g., no Medicare abroad), before they lost the waiver of pre-existing conditions. If the cancer was there during the "look back" period, and they don't have the waiver, they will be SOL if (God forbid) anything serious and related happens while they are away.

 

 

Definitely agree about this. Appropriate insurance is a must. I know when I purchased insurance, they were aware of my mom's cancer, and if purchased within a certain time frame (for me, it was within 21 days after booking the cruise if I remember right), it included pre-existing conditions.

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My sister and I along with family did a New Year's cruise this year... my sister had a great time. She was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer over 5 years ago, told after initial treatment she never needed to worry about it. Unfortunately, as she says, you never say never... the cancer spread to her spine and she had major back surgery in January 2015. She had to cancel a February 2015 cruise because she was not physical able to go and her doctor did not recommend it, a month after major surgery. After a year of recovery she booked the New Year's cruise to put 2015 behind her and begin anew in 2016.... we went along to help her celebrate.

 

None of us knows what life has in store for us. Living every day as if it might be our last is often recommended. Folks with life threatening health issues understand this better than anyone.

 

I hope you can enjoy your cruise and life to the fullest. :)

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I was diagnosed with terminal cancer  in December 2015 (grade 4 GBM) .  I wear a device on my head as part of my treatment (see my picture). This device requires me to carry supporting equipment for the device, specifically I have 5 batteries that require regular charging, as well as supplies to change out the arrays on my head and a power supply to be plugged in while sleeping.  Just this past June (2019), my mom and I cruised on Princess to Alaska.  I also got permission from my doc, and notified the cruise line regarding my medical equipment, which was no problem.  For me, it was the perfect way to travel because I could unpack all my medication and supplies once and still visit many places.  Also, energy-wise, it was nice to be able to easily return to the ship to nap, while my mom was able to stay in port and shop following our shore excursions.  I think its perfect for cancer patients, as long as you don't get see sick. 

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27 minutes ago, jnmaxon123 said:

I was diagnosed with terminal cancer  in December 2015 (grade 4 GBM) .  I wear a device on my head as part of my treatment (see my picture). This device requires me to carry supporting equipment for the device, specifically I have 5 batteries that require regular charging, as well as supplies to change out the arrays on my head and a power supply to be plugged in while sleeping.  Just this past June (2019), my mom and I cruised on Princess to Alaska.  I also got permission from my doc, and notified the cruise line regarding my medical equipment, which was no problem.  For me, it was the perfect way to travel because I could unpack all my medication and supplies once and still visit many places.  Also, energy-wise, it was nice to be able to easily return to the ship to nap, while my mom was able to stay in port and shop following our shore excursions.  I think its perfect for cancer patients, as long as you don't get see sick. 

 

Thanks for posting this.  I have an oxygen unit that needs the batteries charged often.  

It'll  be my first time with needing the oxygen so am worried about how it'll all work out.  

Who did you contact on Princess to get permission to bring the things on with you?  

Help!  LuLu

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It will depend on YOU.  As long as your doctor says it's ok, and you won't worry...go!  Hubby got a pacemaker about 2 months before a cruise once....and even tho he was cleared to travel, he worried ALL the time....so he didn't have a great trip.  It's really up to YOU.

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