it seems that there aremany of us out there! Share your trips, tips, favorite dive sites, hotels, and any other dive stuff!
Game on Midgie! Thanks for organizing this group (I think the non-divers in the Lx group will be glad as well haha).
Will post favorite dive sites soon
Keep blowing bubbles everyone
My last dives were in Belize in May, aboard the Belize Aggressor. I have done many, many live aboard trips but this was my first time on an Aggressor boat. I'd heard mixed things, but we had a great time. The staterooms on that particular boat are VERY small, but the dive deck is very roomy and well set up and the food and staff were great. Only real downer was that the weather pretty much sucked, so (since wind prevented us from going to some of the best spots) I really can't say I got a good sense for what the best diving in Belize is like.
In any case, came home, felt a lump under my nipple the day after I got back; realized my nipple looked 'wrong', and here I am... :-( My goal is to be back to diving no later than April, when I am planning a trip to Cozumel....
The avatar is of the Great Blue Hole in Belize on a windy day....
Oh, I love Cozumel! We stay and dive from the Blue Angel Hotel. I have never done a live aboard, thought. My husband is a chef, we like to stay in one place and enjoy the local food and drink. I have been to Roatan 3 times, Bonaire few times, as well as to taveuni and mana in Fiji.
Cozumel is my favorite, the diving is nice, as are the people! We are hoping to go in narch for my hubby's 50th birthday. We were there in January this year and the winds were howling! We dove every day but I was always cold!
Hi all -- Thanks for setting this up Midgiemoon! We're booked on Cayman Aggressor for December and actually fly to Grand Cayman on the anniversary of my diagnosis. Plan to celebrate hard! My husband and I are both instructors, though I've retired from active teaching scuba and divemaster for him when he teaches the occasional class.
We love the Aggressor and Dancer boats and have been on several -- Kona -- 5 times, Belize -- 2 times, Cayman -- 1 other time. Our most favorite place to dive is the island of Saba staying at Juliana's Hotel (biggest one on island with about 15 rooms). We've been to Mexico several times including Cozumel 15 months ago (before BC). There we dove with Aldora and stayed at Aldora Villas.
We've met and made really good friends diving. In fact, there are now 6 of us (3 couples) who travel together to dive about once a year. Always looking for fun folks to join our informal club.
We mostly dive in Cozumel just because it is easy to get to and familiar. My husband and 17 year old daughter are also divers. We don't do a lot of diving but are hoping to do more and check out different places. I've always wanted to dive Belize. We tend to stay in the all inclusive ....again because it is easy. I think we need to get a little more adventurous!!!
Hi all! My last snorkle was April 2015 in the Galapagos; it was a trip to scope out the islands and gather information on diving the outer islands of Wolf and Darwin during Whale Shark season but, i've become anxious about cold water dives in wicked currents. has anyone been to the Galapagos? I would love to hear about it. Last dive was in 2014 near the Kona Coast, Hawaii with Manta rays.
Favorite dives have been off the Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia. Awesome large animals and fish, good vis, and warm water. The Paul Gauguin is not a liveaboard dive boat ( it's more of a luxury 300 passenger cruise ship) but it is really set up for great diving with the platform zodiac and awesome dive masters.
I agree Nash and Midgie: Cozumel is so easy to get to and fun drift and wall dives! Only dove Belize once (love your blue hole Avatar, Octogirl!) and Caymens (prob my 2nd favorite dive area) on a couple occasions but I've never experienced a Liveaboard. Yet . Maybe that will be in our future as a group of breast cancer surviving scuba sisters?
Thanks--this is a much-needed distraction from the reality and the unknowns of BC!
Breathe and remember to exhale! .
First post! Another diver here. I'll be tracking this thread and I'm counting the days I can splash again :-)
Yay! Another diver! Welcome Hazel Nut! Lol, diving must be important to you, seeing that this IS your first post. Hope you're recovering well from your UMX. Looking forward to hearing from you again, on this topic or another...just update us when you can.
Welcome Hazel Nut!
I tried a resort dive about 20 years ago in Key West. Claustraphobia took over, the instuctor was a jerk and I never made it out of the pool. My husband dives and my 15 year old son got certified two years ago. Last spring, while in Palm Beach, I did a discover SCUBA dive at Blue Heron Bridge. UNBELIEVABLE!! I loved, loved, loved it and plan to get certified when we are back in Palm Beach next May. My dive instructor was awesome, not sure I'd trust anyone else, it still scares me, but cancer made me brave and I DID IT! The dive instructor couldn't understand why I was crying as we were getting into the water, I just couldn't believe I was doing it!!
My husband and son dive off the Jersey shore - not sure I'm too into that, not much to see (though my husband sees sea horses and actually saw a tropical fish last week). I prefer clear blue water! Belize sounds lovely!
Hi all: I've been so busy with bc stuff that I haven't checked this thread in a while..that was dumb. anyway, Scubawoman, Saba is high on the list of places I've wanted to check out. Would love to hear more....Sweetmj, while much of the water is cold in the Galapagos, the water is warmer around Wolf and Darwin IIRC (it has been ten years...) but yes, wicked currents for sure.
I'd love to organize a sisters live aboard trip sometime...still counting the days to Coz...at my MO apt yesterday he confirmed that I will done with all the chemo/rads trip by the time of my planned trip in late April/early May. Although he did have the bad taste to say 'and you might even have some hair back by then.' Ouch! :-(
happy bubbles to all
Octogirl (and yes, it is a reference to that most cool and intelligent of sea creatures....)
Yay! A diving thread! When I was diagnosed with IDC in June, I was two weeks out from a dive trip with my husband and youngest daughter (17). All my tests indicated my tumor was 2 cm., and the presumption was that I'd be fine to delay my BMX until July 9. As it turned out, my tumor was 5.5 cm. and 22/25 nodes were affected. I spent about two weeks regretting my dive trip--what if they'd known the tumor was so large & had started with neoadjuvant treatment? what if the delay caused the tumor to grow as large as it did?--until both of my MOs said, in essence, enough. Maybe it made a difference, probably it didn't, and it's too late now. With that in mind, I'm going to share the details of that dive trip, because it was THE most amazing site. Also, that vacation turned into my Breast Going-Away Tour, during which I mooned the village from a hilltop, felt mocked by a pair of hills near our resort that looked like breasts, and took my breasts on various excursions.
We went to Saba: http://www.sabatourism.com/
After close to a week there & three days of diving, we went to St. Martin & St. Maarten for a few additional days before heading home. Without a doubt, our favorite dive was Eye of the Needle. It was surreal. The following is an excerpt from http://www.scubadiving.com/travel/caribbean-atlantic/wild-waters-saba-beyond
Third Encounter and Eye Of The Needle
A mile off Saba's west coast is a site so wildly surreal it's practically mystical. Called Third Encounter, it's a cluster of pinnacles rising from the seafloor to a depth of 90 feet. The mooring is on a plateau that serves as the base of Third Encounter, a worthwhile dive in its own right for the schooling jacks and black-tips that make the rounds here. But the real excitement lies a short distance off, at Eye of the Needle. To reach it, you need to swim away from the mooring, into the blue beyond, temporarily losing any frame of reference. Then, out of the infinite blue, a slender pinnacle emerges, a spindle cloaked with corals and crowned with a huge barrel sponge. At its top — the breathtaking eye of the needle itself — the pinnacle tapers to just a few feet in diameter, with reef sharks and grouper often making lazy circles around it.
We also loved Grand Cayman.
I see some other Saba fans.
Nash, you and I both dive with our (respective) husbands and 17-year-old daughters. Do you have other children? I have a 29-year-old daughter and 21-year-old boy/girl twins, but none of them is interested in diving. Sometimes I feel guilty that my DH and I take DD17 on fun dive trips, but she's the baby, so she deserves it.
Welcome, HazelNut! We hope you find this community to be a supportive place! Wishing you well on your recovery!
Saba?? I have heard off it but never been there! What an amazing trip. I'm from Maryland too (Carroll County) did you book with a travel agent? My husband turns 50 next year, and we are planning our trip now that my active treatment is done.
We have 2 kids. My 22 year old son is a diver and his 21 year old sister wants to get certified but she is in an intense major in school so we hope to get her certified next spring.
JenPam, I hooe your feeling well, and the treatments aren't too hard on you.
I'd love to do a live aboard sisters trip!! I have 8 weeks vacation time next year, let's look into it! If folks are on Facebook we could start a private group to brainstorm'
Thank you for the warm welcome. Two weeks after my Dx, I had a trip booked and paid for to Cozumel. I'm so glad I went. It was with a big group of friends but only my immediate family knew about my Dx.
Definitely check out the C53 wreck while you're there. Eat at Kondesa, you can thank me later ;-)
Chemo starts in 6 six days. I'm scared. Pulling up my grown up breeches and just wanting to get this done.
Hazel,, I am starting chemo first week of Sept. Do we need a Sept chemo thread?Oh yeah, totally with you on Kondesa!! :-)
Hi Jenwith4kids, Welcome! seahorse and tropical fish off the Jersey coast....wow, that's wild! And baby steps...that's what it takes sometimes to get through life. So it's ok to feel some anxiety before a dive, just acknowledge it, assess it-and let your dive buddy and dive master know what limits you might want to make. And there are plenty of shallow water dives that are just a amazing as 100' dives. But I agree, I love clear warm water!
Octo, what time of year was it when you are at the Galapagos? When I was there in March/April, the waters were warm, warm, warm! Did you see Whale Sharks? That's a dive that's still on my bucket list, although I might need a different location now---Central America?
JenPam, Welcome to you also! I think your MOs were wise in their advice. And the eye of the needle--great description--I could imagine it so clearly. It sounds so magical-what were the weather conditions like? ocean temp, thermocline, currents, etc.
Hi everyone. I dive - and am missing that feeling of planning the next dive holiday while in the middle of chemo.
Anyone had experience of diving on Herceptin? I finish my chemo end October but will be on 30weekly Herceptin for a year. Seems a long time to be out of the water! Walking is good exercise but just isn't doing it for me mentally.
SweetMJ: I was in Galapagos the end of May...but there were definitely times/places when water wasn't that warm! and no, no whale sharks although I had a friend who happened to be there the same time we were, on a different boat and while both boats were parked basically together at Darwin SHE saw a Whale Shark! (grr :-)) Not complaining because we saw hundreds of hammerheads, a tiger shark or three, lots of sea lions and seals, penguins, free swimming morays, schools (and I mean schools) of various rays....and of course, blue footed boobies! However, I have crossed whale shark off my bucket list (not that I wouldn't want to see more... :-) We saw several whale sharks while on a live aboard trip to the Sea of Cortez. Which btw I consider an underrated place to dive and I'd love to go back there!
of course, we could cross both Saba and liveaboards off various BOSS (BCO Scuba Sisters) lists by doing this one:
Im gasping and drooling....
Sea of Cortez... what time of year? Ohhhhhh, a new dream! will look at you link in a minute!
We haven't yet dived from a liveaboard, though we've talked about diving the kelp forests around the Channel Islands in California & utilizing a liveaboard boat. Not sure if that's still going to be in the cards, though!
Has anyone continued to dive after a full axillary lymph node dissection? I had 25 nodes removed and am at high risk for lymphedema. OTOH, I've heard that the pressure underwater is beneficial. OTOtherH, I've heard that the struggle of kitting up, not to mention pulling on the wetsuit, is deleterious. I want to dive again but don't want to risk a lifelong condition. I've considered various options such as kitting up in the water, having my DH lug all my gear and even finding a specialty wetsuit with a zip-up left arm, but I'm curious how any of you might have dealt with this issue.
Midgie, I planned the trip myself online. We flew out of D.C. National (about 30 minutes from our house) to St. Maarten & spent a night there before we took the tiny WinAir prop plane to Saba the next morning. We stayed at Queen's Garden Resort: http://www.queensaba.com/ I highly recommend it. There are few amenities in Saba, but the people are unfailingly kind and interesting, and the vistas can't be beat...nor the diving. We took WinAir back to St. Maarten and spent four nights there. We rented a car & explored the Dutch and French sides of the island. If you go to Saint-Marten, check out Roland Richardson's art gallery: http://www.rolandrichardson.com/ We brought home a lovely sea panoramic.
Saba restaurants we enjoyed: Sea Witch (hilariously pornographic sea creature murals & delicious ice creams concocted by the owner) and Swinging Doors (Tuesday night BBQ). We also had a quiet outdoor dinner in the beautiful Queen's Garden Resort dining room.
St. Maarten restaurant we enjoyed: Lee's Roadside Grill (on the water with fresh catch).
Saint-Martin restaurants we enjoyed: Sarafina's (small bakery with amazing treats), Bistro de la Mer (outstanding mussels), Calmos Cafe (right on the water in Grand Case), and L'Auberge Gourmand (best meal by far of our entire trip & perfect for a very special occasion!).
Sweetmamaj, we had spectacular diving conditions at the pinnacles. If the conditions aren't just so, there's no option to swim from Third Encounter to Eye of the Needle; we were lucky. The ocean temp was 84 F and we experienced no noticeable thermoclines nor currents. It was a remarkable day. The top of the needle starts at 90' down, so bottom time is limited, but it was well worth it. Abundant sea life circling the needle, including Caribbean reef sharks, wrasse, turtles. Our second favorite Saba dive was Tent Wall at 85'. I'm a huge fan of wall diving & loved this. Lots of reef sharks and plunging depths. There are two professional dive centers on the island. We dove with Sea Saba: http://www.seasaba.com/
Octogirl, the BOSS link looks incredible. I've bookmarked it to drool over & focus on when I'm having a rough day.
For those of you who haven't yet started chemo, I can say that I've had a fairly good time of it to date. After my first AC infusion, I had some mild nausea (mostly queasiness) and fatigue. My second infusion was two days ago, and I've had no side effects yet except an intense headache on the evening of infusion. I'm sure I'll experience some fatigue again by the time I stop taking my steroids tomorrow, and I'm about to start taking another week of Neupogen injections (ouch), but overall I've had normal appetite and energy. I've been meticulous with oral care and so far, so good. My hair fell out yesterday & my DH gave me a lovely buzzcut (clipper set on 0). I think I'll be totally bald within a week, but it turns out my head isn't lumpy or crazy! What a relief.
Octogirl, gotta dodge those hurricanes!
Jenpam, have you checked to see if DAN has information that addresses diving after full node dissection? I'm running late, but will write later. Have a good day, everybody
Good suggestion to check with DAN, but for whatever it is worth, I was already referred to a certified lymphedema therapist for an evaluation, and she said that diving is one of the best things you can do for LE, both for prevention and for treatment due to a combination of the wetsuit compression, the hyperbaric effect, and the coolness of the water. She did recommend having hubby do the heavy lifting on the gear...
I plan to dive again as soon as possible. I just can't give it up at least yet, it is too big a part of my life. When I was diagnosed with a permanent retinal injury last year (unrelated to the bc) the conversation with my ophthalmologist when he gave me the 'permanent partial vision loss in one eye and it will never get better, nothing we can do' dx went as follows:
Doc: it won't get worse, but it won't get better either. At least not until science perfects an artificial retina.
Me: well, that sucks, but can I still scuba dive?
Doc: of course.
Me: well, that's good that you said yes, because I was going to dive anyway.
Happy Saturday, all. Back to dreaming of exotic (Saba) and close to home (Channel Islands) locales....
This month's DAN Alert Magazine has an article on women's health and diving. No mention of bc, not surprisingly, but it does say that diving with breast implants/plastic surgery is fine once healed. Saline implants are neutrally buoyant but silicon (does anyone use those after MX?; since I had a Lx I will admit to not being very knowledgeable on this topic) is negatively buoyant so could affect trim....Other than that, nothing really relevant in the article, although the article does say that that men are much more likely than women to die during scuba, which they speculate may be due to men engaging in more risky behaviors....
Thanks for the advice & the alert to this month's article on women's health & diving. I don't want to give up diving, but I don't want LE either, and I already have 25 nodes missing. Luckily, I'm not interested in reconstruction, so nothing to worry about in terms of implants!
This is what I found at DAN from 10+ years ago: http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/articles...
It's not a large survey, but it's interesting. I hadn't thought about how my weighting will have to change! Just when I had a good system.
Interesting and encouraging article JenPam. Thanks for the link!