When it comes to travelling, your health is important. After all, you want to have the best time you can, but if you are feeling unwell in any way, that’s not always possible. Certain aspects of travelling can also affect your health, particularly if you have ongoing health conditions, so there is a lot to consider.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to travel! In fact, perhaps it is even more reason to do so. For example, if you have cancer, you might feel as though a trip is exactly what you need. However, there are some considerations to bear in mind. Here are five top tips for travellers with cancer.
Chat with your doctor before you book anything
Although you might feel fine yourself, it’s important that you run your plans past your doctor. For example, if you have recently had an operation, it is advised that you wait a while before flying, so you may want to look at a different form of travel.
Your doctor will want to help you avoid anything that could make you feel worse or set your treatment back, so although it can be a little disheartening, they only want what’s best for you.
Taking your medication through customs
It’s important you have your medication with you in your carry-on, just in case your checked-in luggage gets misplaced on the flight.
Different countries have different laws when it comes to what can and can’t be taken in and out and it’s important to check these beforehand. For example, Codeine is pretty standard here, but in some countries, it is banned. The best way around this for your medication is to ensure all drugs are labelled clearly and you have your doctor’s letter to hand — the last thing you want is to be stopped at security!
Consider your destination
A lot of countries will require you to have travel vaccinations, and some cancer treatments may weaken your immune system. This means that you shouldn’t have certain ‘live’ vaccines (such as yellow fever, rubella and shingles etc), as they can make you very unwell. This is another thing to discuss with your doctor, but you may have to put your plans to visit Kenya on hold until you are feeling much better and instead look elsewhere.
If you are feeling like a daredevil and want to try something a little crazy, be sure to check with the organisers that it is suitable for where you are in treatment and your body’s current condition. If they say yes, then why not? Do whatever will make you happy!
Make the most of any help you can get
There is no shame in asking for help if you need it and anything that will make your trip easier or more enjoyable should be embraced. For example, help can be arranged for getting on and off trains and you can also request to board your flight early to allow yourself time to get settled and avoid standing too long in queues. Try to organise this in advance so you are sure that they can accommodate your requests. You will be a little more relaxed, knowing it will be sorted for you as soon as you get there.
Take care of yourself
You might find yourself feeling a little more worn out than usual, and you might not be able to fill your trip with as much as you would have in the past, but that’s okay! Be kind to yourself and allow plenty of time to relax and recuperate. Remember radiotherapy can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to cover up and slather on the sunscreen, too.
The most important thing is that you have a good time! Your body has been through a really rough ride and it can be hard to remember how to enjoy yourself, but you deserve it. Keep yourself safe and healthy and have an amazing time.
Make sure you talk to your doctor before you book any non-refundable travel, as they will know best what you can and can’t do and the best ways you can adapt your plans to keep yourself feeling well.
Do you have any tips for people travelling with cancer? Let me know in the comments.
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