Travelling with cancer

A new experiences for me, travelling after chemo. People around me looked worried about this plan that i wanted to go to Cuba after my chemo. But here i am, and i am doing great so far.

I arrived 2 days ago in the evening. I try to take it easy. Everything looked easy to do by foot to me and also locals told me i could do everything by foot, so i walked already a lot the last 2 days because their are many things to see and i love to get lost in little streets. Also everyone is so nice and start talking to you, at some point i had to say i have a jetlag because i really needed some rest my first night, this was already around 11,i left early that morning for exploring . I met again so many people in one day, locals, travellers, and i talked so much that my voice was gonne 😀.

Yesterday i visited the old part of Havana i think it was a good idea to see this by food, but today i walked really big distance in the other part ‘Varadero’,I can’t feel my feeds anymore, this was maybe not a good idea, the last part, going back i decided to take a taxi, good i did because after that it start raining like crazy. It was only 4 but i felt i had to take it easy, it rained anyway, so i went relaxing a bit. I promised to take it easy, but i know myself and i can not take it more easy than this. I have to explore and discover, i already let the nightlife on the side this time. Even i should go at least one night to enjoy it here, because people dance en sing amazing. But we wil see because for the moment i am really tired and its only 9pm. I told the people from my homestay (with the less spanish i have) that i am sick, because people live day and night here, they don’t stay in the bed to watch movies and they also want you to go enjoy it all. But i was really tired my second night, and i couldn’t eat because i felt nautious. This must also be the sun i got in the day and not the ‘beiing sick’. I feel now i have cancer i think fast that things i feel are connected with this, but sometimes this things are just normal things that we all can feel, like beiing tired, having to much sun.

I like that people can talk very open about cancer here and that they are not afraid to ask me things.

When i got home around 4pm my second day, i have to admit that i was a bit angry on myself, being in the room and feeling tired. I also had some troubles finding out my transportation for the next day, so that didn’t help me feeling better. I am terrible when i travell, i always forget things in the peoples house, or i get lost or booked on wrong dates, but that is how i get my little adventurs. People are so nice here, if i forget something they run after me, if i book wrong they will try to make it work anyway.

Now i am in Viñales, it is the countryside in Cuba, where the plantage of the cigars are . Yesterday i took a taxi collective to come here, that is a shared taxi. They are fast :), so in 2h i was here. I was thinking again of taking it easy, untill i arrived in my homestay, and they explained me all the things to see here. I want to see it all, but i have to take it easy 😬 and i only stay here 2days. I arrived around 15h. The woman of the house told me i could still go by bike to see some cave and a rock, i explained her a bit fast i am sick and need to take it easy, but i think i was not so clear. She sayed that it was always straight and easy to bike to, but with the humidity and the little hills (even it was straight), it was a quiet intensive ride for me. The things i saw on the way were beautiful. I met some people in the cave and we biked back together. After 1h biking to go and one to come back i decided to go see that rock tomorrow because i felt i had to stop. I still wanted to go to that hotel on a hill where you have a beautiful view, but also that i didn’t do. I wanted to save energy because the day after (today) i planned to do horsebackriding in the valley. But it is morning now, i got a bit sick in the night and my body feels really tired so if the people wake up, i will try to explain that i better don’t do this, they are very friendly i am sure they will understand.

When i arrived they gived me this cookies and some juice. I love the ‘casas’ here people always treat you like family.

I still have some other things i can do today, like go see that rock. The horsebackriding takes 4h and if i am struggling i will not enjoy anyway, i prefer taking my time today. Even i think it is beautiful, the ride with the horse because it is a valley where you can not go in with your bike or walking alone without guide. But choices, you always get so many choices when you travel.

Again, i don’t know if my body is tired because i am doing a lot or because i had chemo. Before i was sick, i wouldn’t mind cross that limit but things are a bit different now, and i don’t want to be the rest of my holiday tired because i went to far this one day. I have this fear to miss out on things when i travel like many people i guess, but i already learned you always miss out on things to see or experience other great things.

I told them this morning I couldn’t do the horse and told a bit my story about the cancer. They don’t mind cancelling and always say to me, tranquillo 😁. After that they spoiled me again with this big breakfast, every morning i get a table full of food, and for me the best part is the mango 😍.

After that, i decided to go walk to that rock that i didn’t see yesterday and the hotel on the hill with the view. The rock is a rock with prehisorical things signed on it, like a memorial to show they found historical things around here. I started walking, normally it was 4km but of course i got totaly lost again and ended up in this mudy little paths. I did see nice things when i was walking here.

Anyway, it was very hot again and i was very far from where i needed to go so i tried to go back on a street with cars and called a taxi to bring me, first to this hotel on the hill, the view was totally worth it.

than to that rock. After that i went buying a sandwich and came back to the house , this was around 2pm to rest a bit because i didn’t do the horses but instead i walked a lot 🙄 and to be honest now i am really without energy again. But, perfect moment again because when i was home their was this thunderstorm with a lot of rain, so perfect weather to relax.

I think i am ready for some beach😁. I have a collectivo picking me up tomorrow early morning.

If I hadn’t had the hairlosing-thing, i would forget i have cancer on this trip! With the heat, the tiredness can also be because of that. The only thing is that i start having a cold now, i guess because of the air conditionings. And an other thing , that i also know when i go back i have this operation, and sometimes i have to think back at this. But only short because al this beautiful places and people making me forgetting this.

Monday today, maybe i talked to fast, i woke up this night and i think my cold became worse, i woke up because i can’t swallow to good anymore, and i have stomach pain. Also i got hot. Luckily i have painkillers with me. I guess it’s just a big cold, and that is not fun but i can still enjoy with that😉. I knew that, after chemo i am more sensible and i can get sick more easily.

When i left Viñales this morning, the family where i stayed, prepared many things again to take with me in the taxi, empanadas, fruit. It was hard to say goodbye to them. The mother of Jocelyn, the owner of the house, told me she also had cancer 8years ago. It gived me a nice feeling when she told me everything will be ok with me because she thinks i am a good person with a good attitude 😍so sweet. They asked me to call them on messenger after my operation to show them i am doing ok. They are so sweet! I had some great conversations in the less Spanish i have, with all of them, the owners and their parents. Yesterdaynight, i was siting in the hanging chairs outside together with the grandfather,talking, i enjoy a lot moments like this. I regret, I didn’t take a picture with them.

Now i am already 2 days at the beach. Finally some time to do nothing. I love it but also now i take time to think about my life. I met some people but i tried to not hang out to much with people and take some time alone. When i started thinking at the beach, i realised , I think i am a bit lost, because i get a taste again now of the traveling and the life outside of Europe and it is enough to make me want to leave again. I can’t think about anything i want to do in Europe, but i have to if i want to keep doing this treatment to protect me. So again, i am not sure anymore of doing this. I was thinking of maybe finishing my studies anyway before leaving. I started feeling angry, angry because I don’t know if this sickness will make my life shorter or be more in my way in the future. But also i felt like i am winning this until now, because i am enjoying again in Cuba. I was thinking the cancer didn’t get me in paradise, i was faster and went myself. So at the same time i was happy. I met another guy from the US at the beach. So i wasn’t that long alone but i like to talk anyway 😁. He told me he lost his mother from a brain tumor, always when i start talking with people they know somebody ,close, that has or had cancer it is incredible. We had some nice conversations about life, it made me remember again i like to live a nomad life, travel and work on my way. But now i am sick and i shared many nice moments with friends home, i also see that this lifestyle, where you always meet new people can be a bit lonely.

I don’t like staying in Europe because i don’t want to get attached to materialistic stuff, and when i am out of this, out of Belgium, i can see i don’t want it but once back in Belgium, i see how fast you can go back into this, ,’buying many things’ to become ‘happy ‘. And working hard to pay it. But than it is getting old so you need to buy something new again and work even harder for it, so at the end you start living for work, and you do things automatically, you go on holiday with a head full of sorrows and forget to enjoy the moment ‘being on holliday’. I hope i will never become like that but that i will always work to live. I don’t say all people are like that but i see many people buying a lot, and to be honest, a few years ago i also did untill i sold a lot.

I stay in a home with 2 other Mexican guys. The home is right on the beach! It is amazing. It is very basic but very clean, what is more than good enough because you don’t want to sit in your room with a view like this. Yesterday I got a breakfast right on the beach. And in the evening we enjoyed this amazing sunset. It was a beautiful day, taking time for myself, having some good conversations and a beautiful sunset, normally it start raining in the evening every day so i was really lucky.

Another thing i did was walking around, looking for a postoffice, i walked around maybe one hour. Always when i asked someone they sent me to a different street, where their was no postoffice at the end. When I finally found it, i understood why people don’t know where it is. It is like a hidden house, between the other houses. This was a real mission😃. the postoffice

This morning, Wednesday the owner of the house had no time to make breakfast, so i went looking for a place that serves food in the morning, this was another mission, i walked again maybe one hour to find a place that had something to eat. I wanted some fruits but they didn’t had today, so i just took some toast with jam. than i see again how spoiled we are back home, how we have always our particulary things and here you are happy with what you find. In Belgium i am much more picky than i am here, but there are just no options and i am very happy to get something in my stomach. The funny thing is i am as happy to find something like i am happy when i have my preference food in Belgium.

It is almost noon now, i got this feeling back like ,when i am tired from chemo. I feel so sleepy and my body feels very heavy also i feel nautius so i will go to the beach to sleep, even i think being in the sun is not a good idea now but i don’t want to be inside.

Problem solved, i found a guy who rent out umberellas and it is windy so not to hot, perfect to pas out at the beach.

In the evening we were watching the sky full of stars on the beach outside the house, and some thunderstorm with lightning that was happening far away. It was beautiful, when i told the mexican guys, who are also staying here, that i have cancer they looked very surprised. The funny thing is in the day i am walking around with a scarf around my head, in Belgium this makes me look like i am sick but here it is like i protect myself against the sun like many woman 😃.

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