A cancer patient shares tips on how to travel while undergoing cancer treatment.
When she was younger, before the kids came along, Cindy Howard was a savvy, enthusiastic traveler. She would skip from one exotic locale to another, spending months at a time away from home and loving every minute of it.
Now, eight years after her Stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis, and even as she continues with her chemotherapy, Cindy is still on the go. And she’s still enjoying it.
“Cancer’s not my identity,” she said. “Just my new reality.”
No question – Cindy’s “new reality” has changed things. Her trips are a bit shorter now, and she does careful planning before setting out. She paces herself, taking care not to overdo. She stockpiles her medications and stays mindful of the environment around her.
“I still travel as much as I can because it makes me feel like it always did – happy!” Cindy said.
At City of Hope, the focus is on treating both the body and the soul, and for many patients, travel nourishes the spirit. In most situations, there’s no reason for a cancer diagnosis to interfere with a desire to see the world, take stress-relieving trips or even visit relatives for Christmas.
“I don’t want people to hold themselves back,” said Laura Kruper, M.D., head of breast surgery service at City of Hope. “If you feel well enough to travel, you should go.”
But you do need to be smart about it. Here are some common sense guidelines: