Take A Vacation From Cancer: Backyard Camping

While going through treatments, various people suggested that my husband (fiance at the time) and I take a vacation from cancer.  Easier said than done!!! I continually thought to myself while smiling at their well-intentioned words.  Even now, 3 years into my survivorship, I still often feel like I need a vacation from cancer…my worries about having a baby because of cancer, my drive to tell the world why Young Adult cancer needs more resources, my issues with finding new health insurance this year that will cover cancer…cancer does seem to be a recurring theme.

Well!  I think my little family of 4 (2 people and 2 furry daughter dogs) have finally started figuring out how to take little vacations from cancer (and life in general).  My husband and I have started taking days off from our cell phones while staying totally engaged with one another, taking little excursions that feel like mini adventures.  This past week, while the weather was still on the warm-ish side of fall, and before our first freeze, I announced to my husband that we would be spending a night camping in our backyard!  Another little adventure to take a vacation from our day to day grind.

A few years ago I purchased a tent, with the idea of backpacking in mind.  It is a small, 2 person tent weighing only 4 pounds.  Probably not the most suitable tent for backyard camping with my little family of 4…but we made it work 🙂  The pups weren’t entirely sure what to do but they quickly nestled into the blankets and the sleeping bags along with myself and my husband.  We used headlamps to light the interior and spent the evening chatting and snuggling.  Listening to the noises outside, even in our own backyard, was a wonderfully soothing way to fall asleep.



Have you tried to take a vacation from cancer?  Now that I’m getting the hang of it, I would highly recommend making it a weekly routine.  What ways do you use to take a vacation from cancer or illness?



Take A Break While On Vacation!

We have started a new series here on Lacuna Loft called Take A Break!  Once a week or so we’ll post a different Take A Break article with a new twist.  This week, enjoy some tips on how to...

Take A Break While On Vacation

The summer that I finished chemo, my husband and I went on a vacation with my family.  With my dad and little brother, we drove from St. Louis to Disney World in Florida.  We were in Disney World for 5 days with one day off to see the last Space Shuttle launch!  Each day in Disney we spent walking around a different park….5 days walking right after I finished chemo.  It was exhausting!  🙂  It was actually quite a stressful trip…I wanted someone to take care of me and suggest that I take a break while my dad expected me to set my own boundaries (and reasonably so!).  Anyway, the point of that story is that it *is* possible (and sometimes necessary) to take a break during a vacation 🙂  On a totally side note…traveling with my husband’s family is a completely opposite experience 🙂  They relax on vacation!  (I think my husband and I like to find a happy medium when we’re traveling by ourselves)  🙂

The real key to taking a break while on vacation with others is two part:  1) Know that it is ok to step back for 30 minutes or an hour (or maybe more if you need it!) and do your own thing.  Maybe try and illicit one other person to join you on the break?  2) Have something to do while relaxing.  Unless of course you love people watching 🙂

[list type=”like”]
[list_item]Carry a bag large enough to hold a book.[/list_item]
I actually made a tote bag this past winter that takes care of this requirement really well.  If you’d like to see a tutorial of that here on Lacuna Loft just say so!  In any case, find a bag that is large enough to carry a book or a tablet (or a pair of knitting needles?) but also a bag that won’t become too heavy when you put what you want in it 🙂


[list_item]Bring a book.[/list_item]
One of my favorite, easily carried around hobbies is reading.  My husband recently started reading with a Kindle Paperwhite and uses it everyday.  I will admit that I love the feel and smell of a real book but I may be converted one day 🙂  When walking around a big city, finding a bench outside or place to perch in a department store is pretty easy.  Just sit down for a few minutes, letting your friends/family that you’re traveling with know where to find you and when they might expect you to be ready to go again… and relax!

[list_item]Play a game.[/list_item]
There are a number of awesome games that are easy to carry with you and that don’t take up too much space.  Have you tried Bananagrams or Pass the Pigs?  If you can convince a friend to take a break with you, the two of you (or more?) will be set for 30 minutes of relaxation no problem!

[list_item]Bring a pen and paper.[/list_item]
I like to carry around a small notebook with me.  It makes jotting down spur of the moment ideas and thoughts so much more convenient.

[list_item]Have some sewing supplies on hand.[/list_item]
My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was fairly young and I really like it!  It is such a great way to keep your hands busy and complete an activity that doesn’t require huge parts or your brain power 🙂  I’ve started an afghan recently but it is definitely a slow work in process.  My sister in law and her fiance like needlepoint.  They always have a cool cross-stitch project on hand when they travel home for holidays.  These sorts of supplies and projects are easily found in your local craft store!


image via

What sorts of things do you like to do when relaxing for a moment while on vacation?  Do you have trouble stopping to take a break?

P.S.  Take a break outside.

top image via

*while some links are affiliate, all ideas and opinions are those of the author