Camping With Chemo

I just took my last dose of chemo for this round – supposedly my last round.

Though I had planned on starting after we got back from our camping trip – my low platelet delay gave me some flexibility in when I started my ‘last’ round. Call me crazy, but I decided to get it over with, even though we were going camping. It went so well the last time I had the new lower dose, I figured why not? So, I experienced days 2, 3, and 4 at the beach and until today (day 4), it went remarkably well.

So, I thought I’d share some pointers on how to get through Camping with Chemo.

1. Prepare and freeze all of your meals before you leave home. It makes meals SUPER easy and they double as ice in your cooler.

2. Bring plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, and comforting protein snacks.

3. STAY HYDRATED!!! And then drink another bottle of water. And then another.

4. Do NOT expect to climb any mountains – or even large hills or driveways, you will be disappointed. My brother, who’s not on chemo, DID climb a mountain this weekend – Mt. Williamson, a Fourteener – and he was NOT disappointed.

5. Bring your pillow and don’t be shy about bringing a nice comfy air mattress. Good sleep is IMPORTANT if you plan to camp with chemo.

I had a great time and until we were all packed and ready to drive home, my energy level was good. I think some sleep deprivation (no air mattress) and not enough breakfast before the hard work of packing up camp triggered a headache and exhaustion.

Some non-chemo related advice for good camping fun…

1. If your eldest child has grown 7 inches in the last year or so – i.e. since the last time you camped – make sure she still fits in her junior sized sleeping bag. Ours did not and some serious negotiating commenced to get her brother to switch bags with her…he was convinced he should be paid to make the switch. He was NOT paid and despite his predictions to the contrary, he survived sleeping in a red sleeping bag.

2. If your eldest child says that we might want to get our smallish, short haired dog a sweater because we know it’s going to be cold…believe her. I can’t say I’m a fan of pet clothing and while our dog will willingly be dressed in a tie, I didn’t buy him a sweater. He needed one.

3. Leave all of your electronic devices at home. We had 5 kids who climbed trees, rode scooters, played games, and enjoyed each other’s company.

4. When you camp at the beach in Northern California, you can go from very cold and foggy to hot and sunny in just a few miles – be prepared with layers.  Also, even if you’re camping NEAR the beach, you’ll get sand everywhere. Be zen about it.

5. The Hula part of our new Kelty Hula House tent CAN be used as a hula hoop.

Kelty Hula House

Kelty Hula House

Happy Camping – with or without chemo.

6 thoughts on “Camping With Chemo

  1. Thanks for the camping tips. Beckett is correct, it’s common sense that you will not survive the night if you use a red sleeping bag…or is it no sleeping bag?…I always get the two mixed up.

    By the by, I really enjoy your writing. Thank you for sharing your experience. Your insights are invaluable.

  2. Pingback: Paranoia, Pain, And The Tumor’s Return? | everydayleft

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