my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations

A year of living with cancer: travelling hopefully


The birthday couple!

The birthday couple! November

On Monday 15 December I had my check up with the Prof. I had flown in the day before and had spent the day with Tommy, first at the Bench, with a late birthday tribute to Louise (always in our thoughts),  and then in the pub with some of Louise’s friends watching the football. Consequently felt not only anxious about Monday’s appointment but also rather hung-over!

At the Bench with Tommy, Lou's friend Lana's Dad, Dot, Lana and me

At the Bench with Tommy, Lou’s friend Lana’s Dad, Dot, Lana and me

The relief of being told my chest x-ray is clear and there are no signs of lung secondaries is the perfect Christmas present. Hurray!

Only a year ago, I was hobbling around on two crutches with fifty stitches in my leg and in considerable discomfort following the removal of my tumours and then the radiotherapy burns. At airports I was confined to a wheelchair. My therapies include Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, loads of physio, and a complete change of diet. As a result I have shed 12 kgs and have never felt – or looked, dare I say it – better.

My leg post-op

My leg post-op

my legs with my 11 needles in box formation round my radiotherapy burn

my legs with my 11 needles in box formation round my radiotherapy burn

When I look back at 2014 it is hard to remember the anxiety and the pain of this past year.

Rewind: a year ago my surgeon said it was unlikely that I would ever be able to go uphill again (the surgeon in Singapore said I might even lose my leg!).

This week the surgeon said my plantar-flexor muscles in my left leg are as strong as my right, and this is due to all the physiotherapy, exercise (yoga, swimming, Pilates) and – his words – my sheer determination to live a normal life again. However, I will always walk with a limp and my leg still feels numb and tingles..

Photographic reminders of what I have achieved since then:

Swimming (at least 3 x pw, 500m) and yoga and Pilates 3-4 x pw

Boro pool

Our lovely pool in Borobudur



Yoga in Koh Samui

Riding a bicycle in Borobudur

Borovicky-bikeDiving in Raja Ampat, Bunaken and Koh Samui

Hooked on for dear life in a swirling current, watching the world go by!

Hooked on for dear life in a swirling current, watching the world go by!

Walking the Great Wall of China

on top of the world

on top of the world

Riding a trailbike

This is how it's done!

This is how it’s done!


Trekking in Myanmar


With Ghi Ghi and the porter! Dont  I look huge beside them!




Selfie in the air!

Selfie in the air!

Lots of walking round ancient monuments

Posing in Mandalay

Posing in Mandalay

And now – to try my hand at skiing – snow permitting (there ain’t none!)

In between the travels I edited a collection of my mother’s war-time letters: Love and War in the WRNS, which will be published in June. I also launched a website, Please do have a look as I am putting most of the holistic content on there, as well as all my experiments in cooking. It also gives insights into my recovery…

So it only remains to wish you seasons greetings and all the very best for 2015. I am looking forward to it being a year of further travelling – skiing in Japan in Feb, Yunnan in May, London and book launch in June, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe in September, diving in Wakatobi, Sulawesi, in October – and who knows where else in between!

Author: vickyunwin

I am a writer and traveller. Our darling daughter Louise died on 2 March 2011, aged 21 ( and I started writing as therapy. We never know how long we have on this earth, so I live for every November 2013 I was diagnosed and operated on for a malignant soft tissue sarcoma in the calf, followed by 6.5 weeks of radiotherapy, so am embarking on a different kind of journey which you can follow here. I also have another site with my blueprint for health and well-being.

8 thoughts on “A year of living with cancer: travelling hopefully

  1. Truly inspirational Vicky! You deserve a huge serving of good health! Keep those adventures coming. Much love. Maryon xxx

  2. What a year, what a journey and what a star! Well done Vicky xx

  3. Vicki….such an informative travelogue!! Thank you.
    Wishing you and Ross and wonderful Christmas season and may 2015 bring you many many more adventures, fun and great health!!!

  4. I have enjoyed reading your blog immensely over the past year(s). You are truly an inspiration for anyone faced with the hurdles that life throws in our path. Thank you Vicky. Best wishes to you and your family for a Merry Christmas and Happy, Healthy New Year 2015! Love Diane and Nick

  5. And today I skied for 3 hours! got taken out by a Dutch skier which was a nasty shock! (I was stationary for the record!). SO all is good. Looking forward to seeing you over the New Year! Vx

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