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Avril’s Story: Finding happiness after cancer

Friend of AllClear, Avril, was previously diagnosed with cancer. After overcoming active treatment and her fears for the future, she launched a centralised information site for others living with cancer: Cancer Central. We are delighted to introduce her first guest blog below: Finding happiness after cancer…

There I was, emotionally battered and bruised at the end of active treatment.

One stone heavier with one boob and bald (attractive). I needed to escape; to hide from what had just happened and to celebrate what I felt was the start of a new life. My mind was racing, plans were big.

Inspired by Around the World in 80 Days, I was ready to tour but my body wasn’t. I didn’t have enough stamina to walk to the local shops and back – how on earth was I going to travel?


Starting small

I booked a long weekend getaway with my parents to Windsor. Not too far in the car, but enough to feel I was escaping.

We booked a celebration meal in a lovely restaurant for Saturday night and visited the castle. While the days were not action-packed, I felt achievement. I felt freedom and I was seeing daily progress in strength.

Not being afraid to plan big

This was my chance to plan something special.
I targeted January for my big trip with a dear friend, eight months after active treatment finished. An action-packed extravaganza to Asia: starting in Hong Kong, a cruise to the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea and finishing in China for Chinese New Year.

My stamina was ready, and we giggled all the way to the airport. I think we were mainly laughing at our ridiculous amount of luggage…We needed to pack for -10 to +25 degrees plus eveningwear – can you imagine!

It’s natural to be nervous

My Mum reminded me to pack my Tamoxifen and Osteoporosis tablets in hand luggage just in case my suitcase went on its own holiday elsewhere.
I hadn’t thought of this before, I didn’t need to.

Then the nerves set in. How was I going to take the tablets with the time change? Will I get through security with my prosthesis boob? How will my skin react to the Philippines sun post-chemo? I shared my nervousness with my friend and she helped me through it.

You don’t have to be alone, no worry is too small and talking about it, so your travel buddy knows, is both reassuring and relaxing.

A new beginning

I took my Tamoxifen before bed like normal but as the time was ahead, I waited till the following evening so that I didn’t have too much in my system. I found big bottles of water to take my weekly Alendronic acid. The security didn’t even pick up my fake boob and my sun tan lotion worked as normal usual.

Turns out I didn’t need to be afraid after all. How on earth was I going to travel? With a sensible plan and a great travel buddy.

Enjoying every moment

Don’t forget to take a moment on holiday to remind yourself how well you are doing, both physically and emotionally. Remember all you have accomplished to get here and enjoy every moment. It took me a while to find it, but there is happiness after cancer.

Are you in remission?

If you’re living with cancer or if you’re in remission the prospect of travelling can be both exciting and overwhelming. At AllClear we want you to be able to find happiness and travel safely no matter what stage you are at. Discover how Cancer Travel Insurance by AllClear can help you today.


Benefits of AllClear Cover

Gold Gold Plus Platinum
Emergency medical expenses and Repatriation costs Up to £10m Up to £15m Unlimited
Cancellation* and Curtailment Up to £2k Up to £15k Up to £25k
Travel Delay Up to £300 Up to £1,500 Up to £1,500
Recuperation stay
Personal Belongings Up to £2k Up to £2.5k Up to £3k
Personal liability Up to £2m Up to £2m Up to £2m
Legal protection cover Up to £50k Up to £50k Up to £100k
* If you buy a policy which includes cancellation cover
All these figures are per person and per trip

Simple 3 step quote process

1. Call us or click a quote button on our site

Once you are ready to start the quote process, the first step is to provide your personal details and information about your holiday plans.

2. Complete our simple medical screening process

You then declare the medical conditions for you (and any other travellers) and answer the specifically designed medical questions.

3. Get your quotes

You will then get your quotes and can either proceed to buy, or save your quote, at this stage.

Author notes

Written by Lydia Crispin, MA Content Creator at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear

The information in this blog post is not intended to replace professional medical advice. It is a general overview of a broad medical care topic. Blog posts are not tailored to one person’s specific medical conditions, requirements, diagnosis or treatment. If you do notice symptoms or you require medical advice, you should always consult your doctor or healthcare provider to obtain professional medical help. Read through our disclaimer for more information.

Written by: Lydia Crispin | Travel Insurance Expert
Last Updated: 26 February 2024

[1] Based on Trustpilot reviews of all companies in the Travel Insurance Company category that have over 30,000 reviews as of January 2023.