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Our First Holiday Since Rods Cancer Diagnosis -Travelling With Cancer

This has been a huge milestone for us. We have managed to get away on holiday, the first one since September 2022 and Rods cancer diagnosis. Being on holiday is a great way for Rod to rest and recuperate in between treatments.

When Rod was first diagnosed in December last year, I wondered whether our travelling days were over. I’ve spoken before in a previous blog how disheartened I was looking out of my lounge room window and seeing the caravan sitting there and thinking to myself that we would never get to use it again.

Here we are 7 months later and on holiday in Monkey Mia Western Australia. Rods having monthly chemo now, which allows us to have short breaks away in between treatments. Whilst this is a huge milestone for us there is a lot of planning that goes with it.

We have to make sure we have an antibiotic script for him should he get an infection, and also enough pain medication to keep him going until we get back. Remembering to soak his fingers and toes where the chemotherapy is causing the nails to lift and come off.

Once upon a time we would have driven straight through or taken an overnight stop to get here which is only 1000km away, but now we allow 2 – 3 days to get here and back which gives him enough rest time. I research where the nearest medical centre is or hospital and how we can get him there quickly should infection set in.

This trip we are lucky enough to be travelling with friends Matt and Kay who have lightened the load for us with helping us get set up once we have arrived, getting Rods boat in the water as well as helping with some much-needed maintenance on the van.

We’ve learnt a bit from this trip which will help us for future ones.

  • Ring ahead and see if you can get an early check in, this way you’re not setting up late in the day when it’s cold and you’re both tired.

  • Don’t rely on the local shops to have the supplies you need, take as much as you can with you and shop in major centres along the way.

  • Don’t feel like you must do something each day, just being away from your home environment and not thinking about the cancer is helpful in itself or reducing stress.

  • Plan for contingencies like staying away from others when your immune system is at its lowest. Whilst it would be nice to eat out at the local restaurants, we only plan to do this when Rods Neutrophil levels start to pick up again or we can make sure we have plenty of space around us.

  • When pulling into service stations to fuel up, I go in to pay and make sure we have plenty of hand wipes for Rod if he uses the fuel pump.

Lastly try to live completely in the moment, remember it is possible to travel while having cancer treatment. Even if you’re scared like I was, I would encourage you to go ahead and make some more wonderful memories and keep going with those adventures.

Much love ~ Christine


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