I am going on my first holiday post treatment next week and I really can't wait! This week I have been writing a lot of lists to make sure I have everything ready to take with me. The last time I went on a holiday abroad was 3 years ago when I went to Fuerteventura with the girls. We did all book a holiday in 2012 but I was unable to go as I was diagnosed a few weeks before we were due to fly and my caring girls refused to go without me so we had to sell it on. So this holiday is really well deserved for us all. I am a huge flapper when it come to packing for trips and it's a lot more complicated now due to having to take tablets with me. I thought I would share some tips to I have had to consider in advance before travelling abroad.
Travel insurance is essential when travelling abroad especially if you have had a pre-existing medical condition such as cancer. I struggled to find a reasonably priced insurance company that would insure me due to having a stem cell transplant. I was given ridiculous quotes over £150....bugger that!! Finally after searching for hours I managed to find a reasonably priced insurance company called World First, Link Here they gave me a quote for £37 so I have decided to go with them. I would advise to phone them rather than attempt online as I ended up misreading a lot of the questions online. I would definitely recommend them to anyone who has to travel with a medical condition. Read my previous post about Medical Travel Insurance.
This is pretty obvious if you have to take daily medication. If you are like me I have daily medication but also have back up medication, for example If I break out in cold sores or shingles I have aciclovir tablets to take as a back up precaution. Make sure you take enough medication to last your holiday, I would recommend to pack extra medication in your luggage in case your flight is delayed and also in a friends luggage in case of the worst scenario and you loose your luggage which I really doubt but you never know.
Skin care when out in the sun is essential for everyone. But some chemotherapy can make your skin very sensitive to the sun. Also radiotherapy can damage your skin and make it sensitive for many years post treatment. I had total body radiation so have been advised by my consultant to wear a very high factor sun cream and to be careful in the sun. You should not only protect your skin by using sun cream but also wear uv protection sun glasses to really protect your eyes, use a sun factor lip balm to protect your lips and a large hat to shade your face.
Make sure you have been to your GP or hospital and ask if you are required to have any vaccinations before you travel. This will differ depending on what country you are visiting. I was given a recommended website from my GP where I could check what vaccinations are required and recommended Masta Travel Check with your doctor before having vaccinations as it may not be safe to have them. As I am going to Turkey there are no required vaccinations but they advise you to have Dip, Tetanus & Hep A. I have recently had my baby vaccinations Baby Vaccinations so that covered the Dip and Tetanus jabs. I checked with my consultant to check if I needed the Hep A and she said I would be fine to travel without it. She also advised me to obviously not drink the tap water or ice and to wear a high factor sun cream.