Travelling during chemotherapy

Hi, I have been given the chance to travel to New York in October with a friend of mine, we will be staying with another friend in Manhattan. The only thing that worries me is 1) I will only have had 3 of my 8 chemo’s - so it is slap bang in the middle of my treatment and 2) my chances of getting travel insurance.

I know I am probably being totally unrealistic and will need to talk to my Onc, but I was wondering whether anyone else has travelled to the US during there treatment and where they got their insurance from.

All advice greatly appreciated!

Tracy x

I was advised not to travel by public transport during chemo because of the supression of the immune system. Sitting for 8 hours on a plane with all the recycled air is probably not a good idea especially if it is slap bang in the middle of treatment when your blood count is going to be at its lowest.

Sharon x

Hi Tracy

There is a load of information on this site about travel insurance. But I think you would be very lucky to get insurance for the States while you are still having treatment. I was going away in this country after my second chemo but landed in hospital with a raging temperature and low blood count for a week, so was very glad I was near my own hospital at the time! The breast nurses also had said no overseas travel during chemo. Sorry to be a wet blanket!

Good luck to you if you can do it though. So tempting!

Dilys

Hi Sharon and Dilys,

I did think I was being totally unrealistic and don’t think it is such a good idea to go to be honest, like you say Sharon, the re-circlated air on a plane could have awful repercussions. I think I was just bowled over by the thought of 7 days shopping in New York - I was there in May before my diagnosis so I should be grateful for that really. I don’t think I’ll even bother to ask my Oncologist on Tuesday - I shall make do with a trip to Harrods in October!!

Thanks for your advice and enjoy the rest of the weekend,

Tracy xx

Hiya Tracy

Just to add my two pennyworth - I travelled to Europe (Spain) for five nights inbetween chemos two and three - I asked my ONC who advised travelling the last week, when my bloods would have built up. The only other stipulation he gave was not to use public swimming pools - the sea was ok. He advised that a break was a good idea, and to live life during chemo as normally as possible. He did supply me with back up tablets, including antibiotics in case needed.

I must admit I was a little nervous, as I had asked the same question on here and had similar responses, but our break away was absolutely magnificent, it recharged both our batteries before having another 6 chemo’s (I’m nearly there now), plus I had the energy then, not so good now as side effects are lasting longer and next break is planned for October.

I would really discuss this with your ONC - insurance for USA could be difficult - but I used Freedom travel insurance - price was about £50 for my five days to Europe - maybe have a break a little nearer to the UK??

Good luck with the rest of your treatment.
Cheers
Anne x

Hi All

Just thought would add to this, I asked my chemo nurse on Wednesday at my 2nd chemo session, whether ok to travel abroad to Spain, as my neighbour wants us to go to their villa, but the nurse said no, as shouldn’t travel between chemo, as if get infection or become ill, then the likelihood of a foreign hospital being able to give me the right medication would be doubtful and could put me at risk. But I think like anything, advice is different from place to place, so maybe you need to double check and make sure it would be ok.

I would be very careful though, as you really don’t want to end up putting yourself in danger.

Good luck with whatever you decide though and let us know.

Take care
Love
Dawn
x

Hi Tracy

I think you are right to put it on hold, but hey, this thing can’t stop us living after all. Let us know what you decide in the end. Wish I could be packed in your bag! And Anne - well done! But in the end I am on Dawn’s side. This time next year eh?

Love

Dilys

I would go but then life is for living…

Of course there are risks… life and money

You could get back inabout 7hours cost a lot

Get treatment there cost enormous

Get travel insurance cost even more

Wear a mask?

Dont go

The choice is yours

We make them everyday

Maybe I wont go

Hi Tracy
It’s a tempting offer but you’d really need to check it out - I personally am on easyjet constantly looking at cheap flights for Jan/ Feb when I hope I am feeling better - I’m only on chemo 3 and 5 weeks of Rads to get so I am not taking chances.
I know the arguments pros/cons - I’d take advise of onc. her should be able to keep you right.
I have a friend who is a stewardess and reckons the cabin air is so dirty it’s a wonder more folks don’t get sick so take care.

Good luck - I’m jealous at the thought.

MuddyXX

Hi there,

I have decided not to go afterall, the risks are just not worth it. I don’t think I could get insurance for the US without paying an absolute fortune. I will wait until all this is over and done with, I still have 7 more chemo’s, surgery then radiotherapy so it’s a long old trek, I’ll probably end up going to a little country cottage in Suffolk where I went in July and had a lovely time.

Thanks for all your helpful advice,

Love and best wishes,

Tracy xxx

Tracy,

That’s a real shame as I think a holiday is a marvellous thing to look forward to and to lift the spirits… I went to Portugal after my 2nd chemo I think it was, I was advised by my consultant only to go in the 3rd week when bloods have built up. My consultant didnt think there was any problem flying, it was just a matter of being sensible as she put it, she believed the psychological lift outweighed the small risk of being ill, most of the dodgy infections are not what you catch from other people but are from within i.e. Ive had a couple of gum infections and these have apparently been caused by refluxing of bacteria from my stomach. By the time youve had 3 chemos you’ll know what your pattern is, i.e. when you feel low and when you start picking up, you can always have your bloods checked before you go, and take antibiotics with you.

However, I think that going to the USA is a different kettle of fish due to the insurance problems, in Europe at least you’re covered for emergencies with a european medical card. If you did have to fly home its a lot easier and cheaper too. Oh well, you can always look forward to a really lovely holiday when you have finished. I have my 6th and last chemo on Wednesday and 2 weeks after that am off to Portugal again!

Take care and good luck with the rest of your treatment.

Pauline x

Hi Pauline,

I have resigned myself to the fact that New York is probably out of the question, but may go to Italy at some point instead - I do love it there and if I go around October time the weather will be cooler, I’ll go for a nice long weekend I think to either Florence or Rome!

I’m so pleased that you are coming to the end of your chemotherapy and have a lovely holiday to look foward to, have a wonderful time and I wish you all the very best.

Take care,

Tracy x

Hi

Probably right thing to do but you concentrated my mind too… I have been on hols in europe and that is easy but I had to have treatment blood tests etc whilst away and it all went according to plan. The states is another thing. I am in the middle of chemo and have 2wks off work booked for middle of Oct… not sure whether to go …I m awaiting to see if the chemo works if it is then I wont go and save it for Jan … if its not working I think I will need a very large luxurious holiday

Hi Wisdens,

I hope you don’t get to go until Jan if it means your chemo has worked!

I bought an expensive wig today so that has definately cancelled my plans for a break for a while, but I suppose the thought of a nice trip to Italy next year sometime will give me something to look foward to, I am having chemo no. 2 of 8 next friday, I am being scanned again after 3 to see if the tumour has shrunk (it’s 10cm a bit of a big b****r) but I’m looking on the bright side as they said there’s a 70% chance the chemo will work.

Anyway, hope all goes very well for you,

Best wishes,

Tracy x

Thanks tracy I am, after a break of two wks on the chemo (venoralbene) 2nd one of 6 like you after 3 they check… my onc doesn’t seem too keen on scans he looks at my blood work including tumour markers. I think the scan frightns me too much and he knows that I get in a tis… everytime I’ve had one I am feelinhg ok and then it really is bad news… and if they can tell enough with the bloods I can cope… the answer is so much quicker and as I work in the hospital where Ihave treatment I can even see the onc if I need to he’s great just a mobile no away although never use it …

I also had an expensive wig but my hair is growing and the Ven hasn’t made it fall out yet in fact with the steroids I’m rather hyper…

Yes lets hope its Jan.

Italy will come soon…