I had my first "Herceptin at home" experience yesterday. After being told that this would happen, I hadn't actually been contacted by anyone to find out what was going on. Coincidentally, while I was playing telephone tag with the contact at Velindre hospital, the Bupa coordinator left a message on my phone about it. She had apparently been phoning me regularly but not getting an answer (indeed: I work, and am not waiting by my mobile phone 24 hours a day) - and not leaving a message!!! Funnily enough, I had no idea that it was her or I would have called her back. Apparently, she doesn't like to leave a message because of patient confidentiality. She could have said something like "This is Cathy from Bupa, please call me back on xxxx" couldn't she? Sigh.
Anyway, it was all arranged, and I received two calls from a more local coordinator and the actual nurse on Monday evening (they were brave enough to leave messages, thank goodness!) to confirm it was all set. The drugs will be arriving at 8am, and the nurse will arrive at 8.30am to get cracking. Great.
You can probably tell from my tone that it didn't go quite to plan! Sonia the nurse did indeed arrive on time, but the drugs did not. In fact they didn't arrive until gone 11am, so it was past 1pm before it was all done. Sonia was not happy - she had not been informed there was a delay, and the delay to my treatment also caused a delay to her next appointment and a couple of wasted hours. I had to call into work, as I was now not going to be able to go in and cover my sessions on the Enquiry Desk. Luckily they were able to arrange cover, and I worked before and after the treatment from home. Sonia was able to do paperwork while we waited, as well as make numerous calls to people to see what had gone wrong with the delivery. We never did quite get to the bottom of it, but she said she would put in a formal complaint.
Apart from that, having the treatment at home was absolutely fine. She had forgotten to bring her drip stand so we improvised with a coat hanger over the kitchen door, and didn't bother with the pump. Apparently, it was unusual to adminster it in kitchen/diner as most people do it in front of the telly - but I wanted to do some work as it was done, so the kitchen was better for that!!
Sonia was really lovely and easy to talk to, and she has arranged for my next treatment to be on a Wednesday, which is much better from a work point of view. Let's just hope the drugs arrive on time next time!!!