Cruise Booked

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Well before my cancer diagnosis, we booked a 12 day cruise to Canaries. My chemoradiation finishes around 4 weeks before departure. We can't cancel the cruise without losing a huge amount of money but there is a possibility we can use what we've paid to go on a different cruise later in the year.

I'm not sure if 4 weeks will be enough for me to be back to near normal enough to enjoy the cruise given that I've only had 9 chemoradiation treatments and I'm already feeling rather sore around my bottom and had a bit of faecal leakage. I've already accepted that I may not be up to the day excursions but I'm now unsure as to whether I'm going to be up to it anything all.  Any thoughts and advice from people who've been in similar situations would be appreciated.

  • Hi Pinkstar,

    Everyone is different.  Within two weeks of finishing treatment. I was admitted to hospital for a week.

    Mine was a long, painful, and very slow recovery - I didn't even return to my job (and only on a gradual return to work basis) for more than a year after that.

    Did you take out trip insurance, or, does your credit card have an illness clause?

    Some people may bounce right back - I didn't.  Just a note - the year before I was diagnosed I was probably the healthiest I've ever been in my life. The cancer and treatment truly knocked me to my knees.

  • Hello Pinkstar

    Like Phoenix Rising I certainly wasn't up to much although I should stress that isn't the case for everyone.  Four weeks after treatment ends is still very early days, your back passage may not have healed, your bowels may still be upset and you may be fatigued after the end of treatment (your body is trying to repair itself after intensive treatment).  I certainly wouldn't have been up to day trips which can be exhausting enough on their own, and you may be still in the situation where you really can't venture far from a loo.  Four weeks after treatment ended I was still seeing the tissue viability nurse as I had a sacral sore that took a long time healing.

    I am assuming that you hadn't yet arranged your travel insurance, but you could always check with them and see what they are prepared to do on compassionate grounds.  Failing that, a late summer cruise may be a very good idea, when you will be some way on in your recovery.

    Wishing you the very best of luck with this.

    Irene xx

  • Thanks Irene you've been very helpful. We don't have travel insurance and trying to get it now would cost as much as the cruise. Princess cruises have refused to give us a refund or even let us transfer to another cruise later in the year without losing 75% of what we've already paid.

    We've decided to go on the cruise with a plentiful supply of painkillers, creams, pads etc but definitely won't be going in outings and will probably stay on board so it won't be exactly what we'd planned but will treat it as more of a convalescence for me. Helen 

  • Helen

    I am so sorry that Princess Cruises weren't more helpful, and I think under the circumstances you are approaching this with the best mindset.

    You might want to consider taking Tena ladies briefs; I had diarrhoea during and at the end of treatment and felt that bit safer if I was away from home and a nearby loo.  Also, a supply of Laxido (stool softener) as If you are given opioid painkillers (co-codamol and Oramorph are commonly prescribed) they cause constipation and the last thing you need is to strain to pass hard stools when you are very tender. I still take Laxido daily two years down the line!  I also used disposable waterproof bed squares which stick on the base sheet as I had some leakage in the early days.

    I will be thinking of you and hoping everything goes smoothly.  And we are always here to offer support through the rest of your treatment too, should you need it.

    Irene xx