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  #1  
Old July 5th, 2010, 08:33 PM
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wwinfl91 wwinfl91 is offline
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Question Traveling with a cancer patient

Hi,

My wife is a cancer patient and will be undergoing her second time in chemo-therapy starting next week. She did a year of chemo in 2007 and the cancer has been in remission until now. We are scheduled to go on the Royal Princess's 14 day Alaskan cruise in August. She will be doing chemo on 7/14 and then again on 8/4. Her cancer doctor has said go ahead and go on the cruise and then she will be back in chemo the week after we get back.

The first time she did chemo we did 3 cruises that year each on the 3rd week after doing chemo. She didn't always get off the ship but at least she got away from home and the daily routine. She handled the first set of chemo really well and I am hoping she does well this time but I don't know. I have read that doing chemo the second time can be rougher than the first time.

By the way we have moved from Florida to Texas since she did the first treatments and have a new cancer doctor now who will be treating her for the first time.

We are flying out on American Airlines and just have regular coach tickets. I was thinking we maybe should try to upgrade to first class but my wife doesn't think that will be necessary. Does anyone know if AA would consider this as a special circumstance and allow our non-upgradable tickets get upgraded if I am willing to pay for it?

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks and have a great next cruise.
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  #2  
Old July 5th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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MissRabbit MissRabbit is offline
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i don't have any advice but just wanted to say that Cancer sucks!
I wish you and your wonderful wife all the best to weather through this.
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  #3  
Old July 6th, 2010, 12:38 AM
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SeattleCruiselover SeattleCruiselover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwinfl91 View Post
Hi,

My wife is a cancer patient and will be undergoing her second time in chemo-therapy starting next week. She did a year of chemo in 2007 and the cancer has been in remission until now. We are scheduled to go on the Royal Princess's 14 day Alaskan cruise in August. She will be doing chemo on 7/14 and then again on 8/4. Her cancer doctor has said go ahead and go on the cruise and then she will be back in chemo the week after we get back.

The first time she did chemo we did 3 cruises that year each on the 3rd week after doing chemo. She didn't always get off the ship but at least she got away from home and the daily routine. She handled the first set of chemo really well and I am hoping she does well this time but I don't know. I have read that doing chemo the second time can be rougher than the first time.

By the way we have moved from Florida to Texas since she did the first treatments and have a new cancer doctor now who will be treating her for the first time.

We are flying out on American Airlines and just have regular coach tickets. I was thinking we maybe should try to upgrade to first class but my wife doesn't think that will be necessary. Does anyone know if AA would consider this as a special circumstance and allow our non-upgradable tickets get upgraded if I am willing to pay for it?

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks and have a great next cruise.
Have you and the oncologist spoken with Fleet Medical at Princess already? That is a requirement, and there is paperwork for the doctor to do in order to certify her ability to travel while still actively on chemotherapy (RN and former Princess employee speaking here). If you have not, you need to almost immediately, as there has to be time for the papers to go back and forth from you, to the oncologist, to the Chief Medical Officer at the cruise line (you can download the forms from your cruise personalizer and fax them to their destinations). This is to ensure that the Medical Officer and Medical Center staff aboard are aware of her condition and anything that might be needed to assist her should the situation arise.

About the airline, unfortunately, I don't know, because I'm medically not allowed to fly at all, so don't ever deal with them.
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  #4  
Old July 6th, 2010, 06:38 AM
xxoocruiser xxoocruiser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwinfl91 View Post
Hi,


Does anyone know if AA would consider this as a special circumstance and allow our non-upgradable tickets get upgraded if I am willing to pay for it?

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks and have a great next cruise.
You should call AA Airlines directly and ask this question. It's always better to go directly to the source rather than ask the question on this forum.
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  #5  
Old July 6th, 2010, 06:47 AM
mutzy mutzy is offline
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since my husband was diagnosised with cancer we have gone on three cruises- one to alaska.

i always take a list of his meds, copy of his most recent scans, list of his current chemo drugs, list of doctors and contact numbers.

also travel with all his meds in there original bottles (they go in my carry on bags)

we buy insurance when we book the cruise so the pre-existing is covered in case we have to cancel.

my husband knows his limitations- but cancer has not stopped him from doing the adventures he wants (deep sea fishing, zip lining etc)

getting away from home and hospitals is good for him- re-energizes him.
we have three cruises planned for this winter asndf are looking foward to getting way.

go and have fun !! I loved alaska and hope to go back next summer
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Old July 6th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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i forgot to add- try to go in a day or two early- we got in at midnight (issues with delayed flights) and left at 7 the next day for the land tour- we were both exhausted. it is a long flight from texas to alaska (we flew from st louis to dallas to alaska)
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  #7  
Old July 6th, 2010, 10:55 AM
PennyAgain PennyAgain is offline
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I agree about telephoning AA. No idea what their actual policy is, but I will warn you that many people lie to get such upgrades so they have to be very careful.

If all else fails when you check in your luggage, the machine may offer you an upgrade for a small cost.

Good luck in your travels.
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  #8  
Old July 6th, 2010, 09:17 PM
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seeshore seeshore is online now
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Your cruise should be a nice diversion for your wife as she goes thru her chemo treatments. It sounds like the timing is good in relation to her treatment cycle. At 12 days in should she be over the worst of the side effects and beginning to feel a little bit better again. Have you thought about bringing a wheelchair for her or a rollator? I speak from experience...I traveled this past Jan. after my third round of chemo and found my leg muscles were very weak from the treatment. I was so glad to have the chair to use when necessary so I could still go to the places I wanted.

I hope that this round goes well and she tolerates her treatment with minimal discomfort. Enjoy your cruise and plan for many more! I'm celebrating 6 mo. cancer free with my cruise on Freedom of the Seas in Sept. Celebrate every day with her as a survivor!
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  #9  
Old July 6th, 2010, 10:41 PM
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wwinfl91 wwinfl91 is offline
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Thanks to everyone for their responses and their suggestions. We actually did 3 short (7 day cruises) when she was doing chemo in 2007. Her doctors said it was fine to do so on the 3rd week after treatment (the next week was her next treatment) and she handled them well. She didn't always get off the ship but she did enjoy being away from home and of course the service and the food were nice for both of us.

She had been cancer free since 2007 but it has reappeared this year and she will begin treatment again next week. From what I can read on the Internet the fact she was cancer free for over 2 3/4 years is a good thing and means she may be able with treatment to go back into remission again. That is what we are both praying and hoping for.

I have downloaded the Princess Health concerns form and talked with my TA. She suggested just getting the doctor to sign it or to give us a letter to take with us saying she approved my wife going on the cruise and taking those with us rather than faxing them to Princess. She said she had literally 100's of cancer patients who cruise and she said very few inform the cruise line ahead of time. We are still considering how we are going to handle it.

I will second the comment about "celebrating every day with her as a survivor!". It is the way I live my life now and I thnk the Lord every day and night that she is still here with me.

We recently moved from Florida where it was easy to take cruises to Texas to be closer to my and her last surviving relatives. It was a move we had talked about for a number of years and finally accomplished this spring. I'm hoping having my sister, brother-in-law and their two adult kids as support will be valuable as we go thru the next stages.

I haven't talked with AA yet but probably will over the next couple of days. There are still 4 business/1st class seats open for our flight and it would be nice if they could upgrade us and credit our non-refundable ticket prices towards the better tickets.

Another option is as mentioned above waiting until we board and see what happened. That actually occured on a flight from DFW to Orlando about a year ago. We got to the gate to check our luggage and the lady helping us do that asked if we were interested in a paid upgrade. It turned out to cost our about $200 total to go from coach to business. I jumped on it and we enjoyed all the flight enormously.

Once again thanks to everyone for their support and suggestions.

Have a great next cruise.
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  #10  
Old July 7th, 2010, 02:38 AM
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DesrtDrmr DesrtDrmr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwinfl91 View Post
I have downloaded the Princess Health concerns form and talked with my TA. She suggested just getting the doctor to sign it or to give us a letter to take with us saying she approved my wife going on the cruise and taking those with us rather than faxing them to Princess. She said she had literally 100's of cancer patients who cruise and she said very few inform the cruise line ahead of time. We are still considering how we are going to handle it.


Hello,
I wish you a wonderful cruise and all that's good in this world.
I am not being treated for cancer, but do have other medical issues. We have filled out the forms, had the doctor fill out his/her part, and faxed them. It was told to me on the ship, that those forms to the medical center help them prepare what they need to have on a particular ship for a particular cruise. If you just take filled papers or a letter, they will have no time to prepare for your wife's possible needs.
Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do about that.
We also have just completed two trips, both flying on American Airlines. Everyone was most polite and nice, but no one even suggested that we upgrade, and every plane we were on were totally full, with no seats empty. We had used miles to go First on one trip, and were in coach for the other.....both cabins were full on all four legs of our trips. I would sure check with them ahead of time, to see if you could upgrade if you wish to do so.
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  #11  
Old July 7th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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SeattleCruiselover SeattleCruiselover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwinfl91 View Post
Thanks to everyone for their responses and their suggestions. We actually did 3 short (7 day cruises) when she was doing chemo in 2007. Her doctors said it was fine to do so on the 3rd week after treatment (the next week was her next treatment) and she handled them well. She didn't always get off the ship but she did enjoy being away from home and of course the service and the food were nice for both of us.

She had been cancer free since 2007 but it has reappeared this year and she will begin treatment again next week. From what I can read on the Internet the fact she was cancer free for over 2 3/4 years is a good thing and means she may be able with treatment to go back into remission again. That is what we are both praying and hoping for.

I have downloaded the Princess Health concerns form and talked with my TA. She suggested just getting the doctor to sign it or to give us a letter to take with us saying she approved my wife going on the cruise and taking those with us rather than faxing them to Princess. She said she had literally 100's of cancer patients who cruise and she said very few inform the cruise line ahead of time. We are still considering how we are going to handle it.

I will second the comment about "celebrating every day with her as a survivor!". It is the way I live my life now and I thnk the Lord every day and night that she is still here with me.

We recently moved from Florida where it was easy to take cruises to Texas to be closer to my and her last surviving relatives. It was a move we had talked about for a number of years and finally accomplished this spring. I'm hoping having my sister, brother-in-law and their two adult kids as support will be valuable as we go thru the next stages.

I haven't talked with AA yet but probably will over the next couple of days. There are still 4 business/1st class seats open for our flight and it would be nice if they could upgrade us and credit our non-refundable ticket prices towards the better tickets.

Another option is as mentioned above waiting until we board and see what happened. That actually occured on a flight from DFW to Orlando about a year ago. We got to the gate to check our luggage and the lady helping us do that asked if we were interested in a paid upgrade. It turned out to cost our about $200 total to go from coach to business. I jumped on it and we enjoyed all the flight enormously.

Once again thanks to everyone for their support and suggestions.

Have a great next cruise.
In this case, do NOT take your TA's advice (and I hate to say that, because I moonlight as a TA from time to time, and it's not what I want to hear), but you MUST talk to Princess. They can, and will, deny you boarding or ask you to leave the ship early if anything happens about which they were not forewarned. It is right in the passage contract which you have to agree to on your cruise personalizer before you can print your boarding documents (just one more reason to read them thoroughly before you just click "I agree". I have seen it happen firsthand, and wouldn't want you to be unprepared/unknowing. If you are up front with them, they will be up front and helpful to you. If her doctors say that she is fit to sail, it is unlikely that the Chief Medical Officer will do anything but agree with them, but s/he needs the time to speak with him/her/them ahead of time to know.
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Golden Princess 2008
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My Travel Video Gallery:

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