Cancer doesn’t take holidays (but I do)

Mt Jacinto near Palm Springs

After diagnosis in July 2010, with the exception of a planned holiday to Turkey prior to my ‘big surgery’, holidays were put on the back burner, there were too many problems and too many risks – not least of which was the lack of overseas insurance cover for my condition. After 2 years of treatment including several surgeries, I was feeling more confident and my body had become stronger, holidays were put back on the agenda, but nothing too strenuous, nothing too far away. We stuck to Europe over the period 2012-2014.

However, in 2015, I was getting more confident and managed to get back to one of my all time favourite places – California.  A total round trip of 21 hours on an aeroplane, around 1200 miles/20 hours of driving from beaches to deserts and mountains and back again, 8 different hotels and some great sights and adventures including 200 miles of driving in the Californian ‘wilderness’ picking up some sections of Route 66.  The picture in the blog needed a ‘white knuckle’ cable car ride up to 8500 feet followed by a 2 hour hike in noticeably thinner air.  Worth it!

Did I have issues? Yes. Were they inhibiting? Not really. Was I exhausted on return?  Yes. Did my travel insurance cover me for NET treatment? No. Was I mad. Yes! Was it worth it? Absolutely, I was extremely confident I wouldn’t have a NET problem and was therefore happy to take the risk (everyone needs to take their own decisions). My travel insurance at the time covered me for all other medical emergencies worldwide and within the European Union (EU) countries I’m covered for medical treatment using the E111 system.  Note – in 2016, I’m now covered for NET treatment worldwide.  The following countries are on my bucket list:  USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.  A quick trip to Malta in September 2019 to get us warmed up!

Holidays now have to be planned around treatment, mainly monthly injections – not too much of a drama.  I take all my other prescription drugs with me to last the period of the holiday.

Cancer doesn’t take holidays, but I do.  Sometimes, you just have to get on with it. 


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15 thoughts on “Cancer doesn’t take holidays (but I do)

  • I do the same thing. Plan trips around treatments even if they are local. I take my camera and we get lunch and if I’m not too tired we make a day of it. Where are your cool pictures, sir?! I’m a photo-bug so I have to ask. 🙂 I even took a cool one of a potted banana plant leaf in the hospital. Yup, I got looks but…..I like the attention. 🙂 hee hee! Here’s a link to the picture I took in the hospital.×1080-526869222 – it’s a computer wallpaper.

    Hey, side note, when I click your gravatar I cannot get to your blog from there. You might want to look at your settings. I can with everyone else. Glad you’re living life and not allowing cancer to stop you. ~ Ed

  • Nice post Ronny! I’ve just gotten back in the vacation routine. Between debulking surgery and filing for disability it’s been like a full time vocation. Now that I’m done with all the paperwork, I’ve been planning trips again. Similar to you, I’ve been staying in the US since my medical would be covered here. However, I am planning on going to Europe later in the year and will figure out the travel insurance then. Glad you had fun on your holiday!

  • Stephen McKechnie

    Hi Ronny,

    How ironic that you have posted this topic (which I loved by the way) as I intended to message you on a related subject.

    Having followed your holiday I was keen to raise the question of travel insurance with you. I had a heart attack out of the blue in 2007 and still take medication and am classed as an at “at risk” patient. That said, I like to think I am relatively fit, play lots of golf, eat healthily and less of a risk than those whose heart problems have not been identified yet.

    Chris and I have been abroad several times since and have always taken insurance which also covers my condition and my goodness we pay through the nose for it. Have you taken out insurance for your condition (I appreciate you didn’t extend it for your latest trip) – but if so, which companies have you used.

    Pleased you both enjoyed your holiday – we are November for our 40th. In the meantime you had better get your head down, jetlag and all that.

    Take care


    • I have travel insurance with my bank (worldwide) but I’ve had to declare cancer which they no longer cover. Within europe E111 covers treatment although I’d be worried about certain countries due to rarity of my type . Outside Europe, I just assess the risk. I’ve never asked for a quote but I’ve heard from others who are being quoted 4 figures per journey!

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