June McDonnell saw retirement as an opportunity to travel—and she wasn't about to let cancer get in her way. Seven months after a stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma, a plasma cell cancer, the disease was in remission and June was feeling great. She and her husband John heard about an exciting African safari in Kenya and sent in a deposit.
But the trip required, among other immunizations, a yellow fever vaccination, and her oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, said June couldn't receive a live vaccine so soon after the transplant. Not wanting to jeopardize June's health or have her travel unprotected, the couple canceled the trip.
Despite the McDonnells' experience, many people can and do travel during and after cancer treatment. Anxiety certainly may arise over making a trip, especially the first time following diagnosis. However, careful planning and preparation can help ensure that travel is as safe, enjoyable, and stress-free as possible.