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Cruising with cancer

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A family member who has stage 3 lung cancer would love to go on a cruise for a family reunion. Considering that the survival rate for lung cancer is unfortunately low, she would like to spend the time with her family to make memories while she is still feeling well. She is currently taking targeted immunotherapy.

Anyone have experience cruising with cancer? Should we advise her against it?

 

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What does her doctor say?  It's not up to you to tell her to go or not.  It's between her and her doctor.  EM

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Just now, Essiesmom said:

What does her doctor say?  It's not up to you to tell her to go or not.  It's between her and her doctor.  EM

Sorry, should have added that she is checking with her doctor to make sure she is able to go. In the meantime, I'm trying to gather as much information for her  🙂

 

 

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Do you need to fly to cruise as the doctor may clear her fit to cruise but not to fly. This happened to me a few years ago.

 

Second possible issue is insurance, some companies may simply refuse to cover.

 

I sincerely hope you do manage to sort any possible issues and enjoy some precious family time together. 

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If the doctor says yes, go and enjoy the family memories when she can.

 

My husband had cancer and he cruised between chemo treatments before he passed away.   He did want he wanted, rested when he wanted and sometimes had dinner in the cabin.  When he was tired, he would sit on a lounge chair and enjoy the view of the ocean.

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I was diagnosed with cancer in March, 2014 and had surgery that April.  Due to the unsuccessful operative intervention, I had to undergo radiation treatment the next spring, and took a cruise that June, a little over 2 weeks after I finished that course of treatment.  I'm currently being treated for this cancer, and have taken eight cruises in the past five years, with two more scheduled for this year.  I find cruising to be a very enjoyable and comfortable way to travel, so much so that of those cruises five have been 9 nights or longer.  I have met other cancer patients on cruises during these travels, at least one identified themselves as terminal.  Everyone I have spoken with felt a cruise was a good way to travel and continue to enjoy life.  Lung cancer would present a challenge, particularly if oxygen/breathing assistance machines are required, however people do manage.  In short, it can be done.

 

I wish your friend the best as they navigate the challenges of a life threatening illness.  And I wish you all safe and enjoyable travels.

Edited by cruisefam38

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8 minutes ago, chemmo said:

Do you need to fly to cruise as the doctor may clear her fit to cruise but not to fly. This happened to me a few years ago.

 

Second possible issue is insurance, some companies may simply refuse to cover.

 

I sincerely hope you do manage to sort any possible issues and enjoy some precious family time together. 

Thank you for your response!

We are looking at itineraries that won't involve flying

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38 minutes ago, phabric said:

If the doctor says yes, go and enjoy the family memories when she can.

 

My husband had cancer and he cruised between chemo treatments before he passed away.   He did want he wanted, rested when he wanted and sometimes had dinner in the cabin.  When he was tired, he would sit on a lounge chair and enjoy the view of the ocean.

Thank you for the response!

 

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39 minutes ago, cruisefam38 said:

I was diagnosed with cancer in March, 2014 and had surgery that April.  Due to the unsuccessful operative intervention, I had to undergo radiation treatment the next spring, and took a cruise that June, a little over 2 weeks after I finished that course of treatment.  I'm currently being treated for this cancer, and have taken eight cruises in the past five years, with two more scheduled for this year.  I find cruising to be a very enjoyable and comfortable way to travel, so much so that of those cruises five have been 9 nights or longer.  I have met other cancer patients on cruises during these travels, at least one identified themselves as terminal.  Everyone I have spoken with felt a cruise was a good way to travel and continue to enjoy life.  Lung cancer would present a challenge, particularly if oxygen/breathing assistance machines are required, however people do manage.  In short, it can be done.

 

I wish your friend the best as they navigate the challenges of a life threatening illness.  And I wish you all safe and enjoyable travels.

Thank you very much for sharing your experience!

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I did a transatlantic between chemo and having surgery.  Flew to Europe and took ship back.  I did wear hair piece and scarves but I don't think anyone really noticed.  If they id they were too polite to mention it.  It was a wonderful way to travel while "sick."

BTW, I am 5 years clear.

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BTW, since you asked this question on the Celebrity board, I would like to address Celebrity cruising while coping with cancer.

Because of the quality of onboard service and consistently good food, we tend to cruise with Celebrity.  I have not had to make use of the infirmary, however we are well aware of were it is on each ship.  Celebrity is aware of my cancer, however unless I am not feeling well and need to skip a meal or some such, they don't need to take care of me.  On those few occasions when I'm not well, we have felt my relatively simple needs are addressed quietly and quickly.  No promises or guarantees for your friend's needs, but we always try to acknowledge Celebrity crew and staff for making our cruises so comfortable.

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57 minutes ago, Trainer said:

I did a transatlantic between chemo and having surgery.  Flew to Europe and took ship back.  I did wear hair piece and scarves but I don't think anyone really noticed.  If they id they were too polite to mention it.  It was a wonderful way to travel while "sick."

BTW, I am 5 years clear.

Congratulations! Thank you for your response.

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29 minutes ago, cruisefam38 said:

BTW, since you asked this question on the Celebrity board, I would like to address Celebrity cruising while coping with cancer.

Because of the quality of onboard service and consistently good food, we tend to cruise with Celebrity.  I have not had to make use of the infirmary, however we are well aware of were it is on each ship.  Celebrity is aware of my cancer, however unless I am not feeling well and need to skip a meal or some such, they don't need to take care of me.  On those few occasions when I'm not well, we have felt my relatively simple needs are addressed quietly and quickly.  No promises or guarantees for your friend's needs, but we always try to acknowledge Celebrity crew and staff for making our cruises so comfortable.

Yes, I was going to suggest booking Aqua class so that she can dine in Blu as a "healthier" option.

We always receive the best service sailing Celebrity so I feel that it is the best option for her.

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A friend of mine had cancer was told she was in the advanced stages of cancer with metastasis.   When she was advised of her prognosis, her physician told her to get her affairs in order and go have fun in the last weeks of her life.  She and her family took a cruise and they were all glad she did.   There were things that were hard for her as far as keeping every meal down or even having an appetite.  She was week so she didn't go out on shore but, she said she enjoyed spending those last few weeks of her life feeling pampered and having invaluable family time.  

I hope your family member is able to go if she feels up to it and even more importantly, I hope that immunotherapy gives her a fighting chance over that horrible disease.  

 

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I took a 7-day cruise with my husband and kids as he was dealing with stage 4 cancer. It offered us a great opportunity to make memories as a family. 

 

However our experience was very difficult in ways totally unrelated to the cruise itself. He began having very severe headaches that we later discovered were symptoms of metastases to the brain. As well meaning as the infirmary staff were, they were totally unequipped to deal with a medical situation that severe. The fact that we were visiting relatively undeveloped ports (Cozumel, Cayman) meant we couldn't address the issue until we returned to Miami. If I had to do it again, I'd request that he be airlifted back to the US from one of the ports. (You'll want excellent travel insurance to cover things like that airlift.) 

 

The chances of that happening are slim. But I wish we'd had a memory-making vacation at a resort with better access to a health care center. It would have spared my husband days of terrible pain. 

 

Sorry to be a downer. But it's worth weighing all the possibilities. I hope you have a wonderful vacation together wherever it is. 

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My condolences to you and your family, SweetLorraine.  During the journey with life threatening illness, we are faced with so many difficult decisions, and there are no guarantees, and in the moment no way of knowing which choice is the best.  We have to do the best we can, and it seems that within the circumstances, you were there for your husband.  As the patient, I would take that memory.

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12 hours ago, Cruise Raider said:

A friend of mine had cancer was told she was in the advanced stages of cancer with metastasis.   When she was advised of her prognosis, her physician told her to get her affairs in order and go have fun in the last weeks of her life.  She and her family took a cruise and they were all glad she did.   There were things that were hard for her as far as keeping every meal down or even having an appetite.  She was week so she didn't go out on shore but, she said she enjoyed spending those last few weeks of her life feeling pampered and having invaluable family time.  

I hope your family member is able to go if she feels up to it and even more importantly, I hope that immunotherapy gives her a fighting chance over that horrible disease.  

 

Thank you for your kind words! With so many advancements in new methods to treat cancer, we are hopeful that she will continue to fight and beat it 🙂

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10 hours ago, SweetLorraine said:

I took a 7-day cruise with my husband and kids as he was dealing with stage 4 cancer. It offered us a great opportunity to make memories as a family. 

 

However our experience was very difficult in ways totally unrelated to the cruise itself. He began having very severe headaches that we later discovered were symptoms of metastases to the brain. As well meaning as the infirmary staff were, they were totally unequipped to deal with a medical situation that severe. The fact that we were visiting relatively undeveloped ports (Cozumel, Cayman) meant we couldn't address the issue until we returned to Miami. If I had to do it again, I'd request that he be airlifted back to the US from one of the ports. (You'll want excellent travel insurance to cover things like that airlift.) 

 

The chances of that happening are slim. But I wish we'd had a memory-making vacation at a resort with better access to a health care center. It would have spared my husband days of terrible pain. 

 

Sorry to be a downer. But it's worth weighing all the possibilities. I hope you have a wonderful vacation together wherever it is. 

Thank you for sharing your experience. I posted here to gather as much information as possible so it is greatly appreciated! I will definitely do some research on the type of travel insurance available.

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2 hours ago, Dreamcruise27 said:

Thank you for sharing your experience. I posted here to gather as much information as possible so it is greatly appreciated! I will definitely do some research on the type of travel insurance available.

 

Most travel insurance, if purchased at the same time of initial payment (or shortly thereafter), will cover pre-existing conditions.  

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