Take a little break, get some fresh air… While the treatments are energy-intensive and you really want to take your mind off things a little, it is often tempting to get away from it all. And know that despite the treatments, going on vacation is often possible! A suitable and well-prepared trip will go smoothly and will be more than good for your morale. So, to simplify things, we list the little points to “check” before the big departure.
Dare to talk to your oncologist about your vacation plan
There is no embarrassment or guilt in having the will to take a vacation (and besides, he too will take a vacation, yes!). In addition, he can help you choose the best date to leave (depending, in particular, on your different cures) and advise you on the organization to be favored according to your fatigue and your ability to endure the journey.
If necessary, certain sessions of your treatments can also be moved or can be followed directly at your vacation spot. Do not hesitate to suggest this alternative if the medical team does not think of offering it to you. Usually, it is up to you to find the hospital in which you would like to have your chemo or radiotherapy sessions, so that it is compatible with your vacation spot. Then, your usual team will take care of making the link with the “temporary” hospital and transferring all the information about your treatment.
Make sure you have enough medication for the entire stay
And why not a few extra boxes to avoid any stress! Also take your vital card, your mutual insurance certificate and your prescriptions.
If you are traveling by plane, keep everything with you in your hand luggage. This will prevent you from having big problems in the event of loss or delay of baggage left in the hold.
In the car, take care to store your medicines in an insulated bag so that they are not subjected to heat peaks.
For a departure outside the EU, also plan to ask the doctor for a certificate – in French and in English – attesting to your state of health and the need to take the various medications (mentioning the active substance and not the brand.)
To note: If you have to take medication at a fixed time and you are traveling abroad, remember to anticipate the jet lag. You will need to postpone your treatment a few days before your departure. However, avoid any sudden changes, the goal being to accustom your body gradually (and gently) to this change. For example, you could start by shifting your catches by one hour per day, starting as many days before your departure as you will have hours of shift (count 7 days for 7 hours, and so on). Granted, this is no small feat, especially when you take several medications at the same time! Do not hesitate to contact your doctor. Together,
Find out “just in case” about medical facilities near your vacation spot
A preventive measure that will prevent you from losing energy by traveling unnecessary kilometers in the event of a slight drop in power or even a fever.
Have your medical file sent on site by your oncologist
If you are going on vacation for a long period, ask your oncologist to send your medical file to the center which could take care of you there (and which you will have contacted beforehand). This way, they will have your medical file in case of need and you will also be able to continue your treatments there.
And if you are on sick leave, it is important to obtain the prior consent of your attending physician for a stay “outside the department” and to notify your social security center. Get organized = have a light mind
Depending on the length of your absence, consider having your mail collected by a relative or have your mail forwarded so as not to miss the receipt of an important document!