Many patients worry about cancer getting in the way of daily life, which may include their summer vacation or travel plans. Initially, yes, a cancer diagnosis can put certain things on hold – but in most cases, it’s only temporary. Once your cancer treatment plan is in place, resuming everyday activities often becomes more manageable – even when it involves going on a trip. Traveling with cancer may involve some extra planning, but there are ways to help it be less stressful and more enjoyable. Here are some tips to get you started so you can enjoy the travel season.
I was enjoying my very busy life as a radiation oncologist, in a relationship, running, going to CrossFit daily, and taking care of three dogs, when my world changed with a simple blood test.
At 3:30 in the afternoon on July 9th, I saw my last new patient of 2013, and was admitted to the hospital at 8 am the next day. I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with multiple critical issues. I was not permitted to leave the hospital for 23 days. It took a village to come to my aid, providing care for my menagerie of pets, including the dogs and two cats, taking care of my house and assuming the care of all of my patients.
While I was in the hospital, I was not able to see my dogs (okay, I snuck out to the sidewalk a couple times, our little secret). After discharge, caring for my dogs gave me the necessary motivation to move, after losing muscle and strength during my stay in the hospital.
During the flu season, it’s hard to miss the messaging that “You should get a flu shot.” Now is the time to understand why you should be up-to-date on all your vaccinations, take inventory of other vaccinations that are recommended and know where to find more information.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls vaccinations one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century because vaccinations have prevented millions of diseases, deaths, and hospitalizations. Unfortunately, over 50,000 Americans die annually from diseases that could have been prevented with vaccinations. The cost of caring for Americans with these diseases was $8.95 billion in 2015 (Health Affairs, 2016).