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Nel james

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six months ago is has nothing more ever than a common cold. Following a spit in my thing I was diagnosed stage 3 melanoma. It was cut away then a wider incision to get good margins and there followed 3 monthly check ups. On 2nd check up I had slight tightness in chest and X-ray and pet scan and brain mri were done. Outcome was not melanoma spread but nsclc. Shocked doesn’t touch it. It’s T4 no spread no lymph nodes and I’m told that due to central location surgery too risky. Therefore chemoradiotherapy is the only other curative option and as I was diagnosed mid January they want to start treatment mid Feb. My problem is that my husband and I booked and paid for a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ on board the Queen Mary for 28nights around SE Asia and this was booked following melanoma thing. If we take the cruise which leaves Monday it will delay treatment by approximately 3-4 weeks. Medics are saying it’s uo to me but it could grow or maybe even spread in that time - what to do? 

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Hi, Nel, and welcome.

Well, that is a dilemma.  If the doctors don't think it's too risky then maybe it isn't.  T4 is a good-sized tumor or one that has already invaded nearby structures.  But the fact that it hasn't spread (apparently) to lymph nodes is a good thing.  The other thing to consider though is whether you will enjoy the cruise under these circumstances.  Have you contacted the cruise company to see whether they have any kind of cancellation policy for these kinds of situations?  Ultimately only you can decide what's right for you.  

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I'm not sure anyone can give you assurance about delaying treatment to complete your cruise vacation.  

Here is an article on how fast cancer tumors grow but note it does not discuss how fast cancer can spread. Your tumor is large and while not a doctor, I have personal experience with how quickly large tumors can metastasize, that is, cause new tumors throughout the body.  Metastasis is the risk and the cruise vacation is the opportunity.  Having said that, I've have no advise on how to choose between the risk and opportunity.

Stay the course.


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