Introduction

Sarvs Falefitu is a 40year old NZ born, Auckland bred Samoan/ Niuean. Sarvs is mother to four teenagers (Kroydon 19 years, Denae 16 years, Kendra 14 years, Grayson 13 years) and has been married to her 'Samoan warrior' for 19 1/2 years.


My gals, Denae (left) & Kendra

My boyz, Grayson (left) and Kroydon

I have breast cancer and so...

This blog has been created in the hopes that I could raise awareness of this 'evil influence that spreads dangerously', according to Collins English Dictionary, Compact Edition, to fundraise to cover the majority of my Herceptin treatment and hopefully this might help other women even in the tiniest way who might be living and dealing to breast cancer also.
I have Grade 2, HER2 positive type cancer and my cancer has moved away from the primary spot and invaded other parts of my body via my lymph vessels and blood vessels. Along with chemotherapy and radiotherapy I will also need Herceptin. NZ only funds Herceptin for 9 weeks but a full 12 months is recommended. I have opted to take the recommended 12 months and it will cost exactly $96,273.60. While some specialists are 'comfortable' with 9 weeks of Herceptin, I am not. I want to attend my teenagers graduations. I need to wave them goodbye when they go on their OE's. I wish to witness them all walk down the aisles, be present at the births of my grandchillens and finally do my big OE with my hubby too - of course without the grandchillens!!! Clearly I have far too much to live for and I implore anyone with time to please support my fundraisers or send any fundraising ideas our way.
Your support will make a lasting difference to my quality of life and I sincerely thank you all in advance for your love and support.

Accolades

Sarvs wishes to acknowledge the amazing staff at St Marks Clinic who at the early days of her breast cancer diagnosis helped and coached her through one of the darkest days of her life.Thank you Michelle, Beverley, Jenny, Tracey, the wonderful surgeons Stephen and Stan. Most importantly Sarvs would like to acknowledge 'Johnny' for having the foresight to establish a beautiful haven such as St Marks Clinic many years ago for women such as herself.


Breakdown of Herceptin costs

Since day dot Dr Mike McCrystal my oncologist has been apologetic of the horrendous Herceptin costs for HER2+ women. Nothing to apologise about Mike it is out of your hands and ours however look closely at what Pharmac and NZ Government are blissfully content in handing to a cancer patient and their loved ones -

Loading dose cost: (1 loading treatment)
Drug cost, delivery (+GST) 500mg $7018.65
Nursing $250.00
Medical $350.00
Consumables $35.00
Hospital charge $100.00
GST $969.20
Sub-total $8722.85 for loading dose at 8mg/kg

Maintenance dose cost: (13 maintenance treatments)
Drug cost, delivery (+GST) 370mg $5251.35
Nursing $250.00
Medical $350.00
Consumables $350.00
Hospital charge $100.00
GST $748.30
Total $6734.65 maintenance dose at 6mg/ kg
Overall total for full course: $96,273.60

So dealing with the diagnosis of breast cancer, losing a breast, having major surgery, being put through chemo treatment, being hospitalised 3 times, going through radiotherapy, getting through the remission period, dealing with the emotional side of this all and then having to fundraise endlessly for Herceptin do you think Pharmac or NZ Government have the right to play God with our lives?!!

28 August 2008

***PERFORMING ARTS FUNDRAISER***

No I.O.U's or excuses peeps just put your money where your mouth is and come and support my Herceptin fundraising event. The last concert we held was fantastic so this one promises to be another fantastic night of fabuloso (as Mariah Carey would say) entertainment.

Once again Kelston Boys High School have come to the party and allowed us the use of their premises. The Kelston community have gotten behind me all the way since day dot, you guys just freaking ROCK!!!
The committee have put together a performing arts fundraiser this time, so come and check out Kiwi's home grown talent in the form of Lil Saints, Legacy and more.
Nesian Mystik's will grace the stage with their unique poly sound - thanks guys! And Dawn Raid Entertainment have jumped on board with the likes of Mareko and more fantastic talent!!
All this will be happening at Kelston Boys High School on the corner of Archibald and St Leonards Rds, Kelston on Friday 26 September and kicks off at 7.30pm.
For those working, studying or on your way to Friday night drinks in town, tickets can be purchased from Real Groovy Records in Queen Street OR contact either Las 021 2643164 OR Epe 021 1524832 with your name, number and the number of tickets that you require.
General Admission: $21
Family (2 adults & up to 4 kids 6-12yrs): $60
5yrs & under: FREE
Door sales: $25 (Limited door sales)
Doors will open at 6.30pm and for one night of the week NO ALCOHOL PERMITTED (buwhaahaahaa)

There has been loads of time, heart, sweat and soul put into organising this night and it would be fantastic to have you all there to witness, be a part of the support network and fill the hall to absolute capacity....so grab your rallies and mates and come out to scream the house down with us!!! And if you were at our last concert the adorable and hilarious Yolande Ah Chong will be Queen of Hosts for us again...bless ya gal..!!


24 August 2008

I've aged 20 years since Oct 07...

I've been preoccupied with other areas of life to be blogging lately however this is no means the end of my trials and tribulations or joys and truimphs - pull out the violin's.
But it would be quite timely to mention that cancer does not exclude the trauma stages of teens nor does it make them take the easy road to adolescence out of love for a mother with breast cancer.
I had hoped that my family could have escaped the terrors of teens but just as I did not escape cancer nor have I escaped the troubled teen stage - sigh or shite as has been the case of late.
Again I figure that if I could live through a mastectomy, chemo treatment, radio treatment, side effects and tonnes and tonnes of yucky tests then it should have toughened me mentally and emotionally for other parts of my life and many times throughout the past months I have survived the day without cracking - just.
Anywho, with everything else that has just snowballed in our lives lately, I haven't forgetten the kindness people have shown in our time of need nor would I intentionally not mention the hard work people put in for my Herceptin. Far from it, it really is a case of tending to other matters that is not cancer related even though I would liken it to cancer sometimes...LOL...I wish that chemo could kill some of the behaviours of our teens and radio would burn out their desire to grow up too fast - and I heard all the mum's out there say 'amen'.

I begin Herceptin in 6 weeks. I'm not looking forward to the needles or the bloods but I will be looking forward to 2009 when I will look back and sigh with relief that I got through the cancer treatment and I survived another year in one of the hardest roles in life...parenting (through cancer).

19 August 2008

DON'T FORGET TO PURCHASE YOUR $5 TICKETS FOR THIS HAMPER (Alcohol, choclates & meat vouchers)


This hamper will give some lucky person several last minute birthday or xmas pressies or you can crack open a bottle with friends over a few winter dinners!!


ALCOHOL HAMPER (valued at over $250.00)

Includes

1 x Bombay Sapphire (Gin)

1 x 42 Below Feijoa (Vodka)

1 x Jim Beam

1 x Alize (blue)

2 x Lindauer

2 x Cabernet Sauvignon

1 x Sauvignon Blanc

1 x Chardonnay

1 x Deutz Marlborough

Plus a delectable variety of chocolates
AND
$100 meat vouchers
(kindly donated by Mad Butchers with an expiry date of October 08 hence the addition to our wonderful hamper !!)

Tickets ONLY $5.00

If you would like to buy a ticket email all4sarvs@yahoo.co.nz (subject: hamper).
Drawn under Police supervision the winner to be notified by 1st September 2008

Che che & thanks for ya support,

18 August 2008

Demons, Sunday roast and piddle patch

OMG we have been slogging it for nearly 8 months now and when updating the 'What's on the board Miss Ford' section, the number of treatments secured doesn't seem to have increased for months which is probably because it hasn't and the total amount is still daunting not to mention an absolute pisser...LOL (well hey what else can you do aye?). It hasn't been without effort because the effort has been huge and the support has been undying.
My committee on the face of it has changed somewhat but the commitment is still there. I've been absolutely blessed by the ongoing work from them while I have silently challenged the demons in my head and slowly lost my marbles....!!
Not only fighting demons, I unfortunately still have many many senior moments (does being 40 qualify for 'senior moments'?).
One Sunday before heading off for an afternoon nana nap, I prepped our Sunday roast. Oven turned on ready for the beef, potatoes, kumara, parsnips, pumpkin, garlic...mmmm...anyways, prepped it all and headed off for my nap. Ashamedly, I ended up napping for 2 1/2 hours!! Fortunately I didn't burn the roast or the trimmings because unfortunately I forgot to put it in the oven...sigh...
Another time, Ice our pup did a bit of a wopsie on the floor unbeknown to me. Heading towards the piddle patch my husband stopped me and warned me Ice had had an accident so don't step in it. So I don't step it but I plonk my handbag right in the middle of it....hastily picking it up I walk off to wipe and clean it off annoyed with Ice. Not finishing what I needed to say to my husband, I drop my handbag away from the piddle patch and then bloody stand right in it...I'm not annoyed anymore, but in hysterics at myself!
My brother inlaw kindly loaded the pics from our golf fundraiser on his work memory stick - months ago...I put it in a safe place, so bloody safe that not even I can steal it because I don't know where the safe place is...sigh...
Hand over heart, laughter is truly the best medicine. Even the demons in my head that come out occasionally have to go away and laugh!

07 August 2008

I AM SO PEED OFF...!!

To watch a fairly young caucasian male and an Asian women with Dr as her title, sit in front of the nation including women with families and friends who are struggling to fundraise for Herceptin and lie to our faces that their idiotic and pathetic excuse to yet again decline women with HER2+ breast cancer the full 12 months of Herceptin and then have the audacity to lie and pretend that it has nothing to do with money absolutely infuriates me to no end. How dare they put my family and friends under so much stress and pressure. I could guarantee that one of their annual salaries could comfortably pay for majority of my Herceptin treatment too.

I watched the news with my family and I knew that they would be disappointed but I didn't realise that the reaction from my teens would be so strong. We don't promote swearing in our home but I knew they wanted to and for the first time I wouldn't have batted an eyelid if they had. The spokespeople for Pharmac did not even sound or looked convinced themselves - WTF!!!


My vote is going to National and I am sure that many of the women with HER2+ breast cancer and their families and friends will swing their votes this way too because as they said Herceptin has now become a political issue, and Labour hiding behind the skirts of idiots who at Pharmac can kiss their votes good bye.


Labour and Pharmac will be held responsible for all the women in NZ who have HER2+ breast cancer. Cancer is cancer.