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Easy days out for summer during chemotherapy

Published: 06 Jun 2018

It’s that time of the year again; sun, sea, and side effects from chemo… Wait.

Battling cancer and chemo doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself, especially during the sunniest season of the year (apologies to the southern hemisphere).

We’ve come up with some very simple get-out-of-the-house ideas for your rest days to keep you energised and enthused.

Picnic

Starting with an obvious summertime activity; picnicking is a sure-fire way to get out the house and out into the world.  So grab your dog, significant other, kids, or friends (or all of them if you are feeling exceptionally sociable), and head to your local park, or beach if you’re lucky enough.

If you’re feeling too tired, you can always lay a rug out in the garden.  All you need is the food basket and drinks and you’re set.  Or you can have a BBQ!  Don’t forget about your eating sensitivity from the chemo when preparing food (particularly regarding meat) and bring plenty of water with you.

Pack sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself from the sun (check our skin cancer blog here).

So, throw on some summer clothes and get yourself some relaxed and happy summer vibes!

Museums

If you want some mental stimulation on your rest days, then museums are great light days out.  From history to science, museums are easy trips where you can engage as much or little as you like.

Science museums have lots of simple, fun tasks and demonstrations to occupy adults and children alike.  History museums and art galleries are often quiet, where you can stroll through at your own pace.  And they’re cheap, if not free!

There are museums all over, so head online to find ones near you.  In the USA, you can use this website – for other countries there are similar websites, or you can use google maps instead.

Walks and bike rides

Another cheap (if not, free!) excuse to get outside and break the monotony of your rest days.  Both are relatively relaxed and easy on the energy levels.

If you can, getting out to the country will make the experience all-the-better; cycling down winding country lanes or walking through sloping green fields is revitalising.  If you’re in the city then there should hopefully be a large park or two around, or even a river to walk down.

The gentle exercise is good for you too.  Exercise is always healthy and necessary to keep yourself tip-top; and it’s easier to convince yourself when the sun’s out!

You don’t need much, just a bike and plenty of water and some food.  Be sure to watch your energy levels – don’t push yourself too hard and it’s always best to have a friend with you.

Check out our blog on gentle exercising here and here.

Gardening

Give your garden some green-fingered love in the sun!  It’s therapeutic and more creative than simply tidying the house. 

Whether it’s just de-weeding and general smartening up, or full-blown topiary and planting a tropical paradise, gardening is a relaxing and easy way to spend your time and watch the fruits of your labour year-round.

What’s better, when you’ve had your fill or you’re too hot, you can just pop back indoors for a cold drink and lie down on the sofa.

What to watch out for

Summer is wonderful and all, but take precautions on your days out.  Wear sunscreen every day – something everyone should be doing, not just during chemotherapy.

Watch your fatigue; the summer heat will drain you quicker than before your chemo, so don’t push yourself too hard – if you’re tired then sit down, rest, and drink plenty of water.

If you end up swimming, be aware that swimming pools and salty sea water can further irritate your chemo-sensitive skin.  If your treatment has this unfortunate side effect, give the pool a miss.

When gardening, wear gloves.  Your immune system will take a beating during your chemo treatment so be sure to wash your hands and wear gloves to limit your exposure to germs – as well as protect your hands from cuts.

 

Join our chemotherapy support group to join in on the discussion!