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?!!

29 October 2008

A timely reminder to "Just Stand Up"

It's been 36 days since my last entry and it's not because I managed to raise the full amount for my Herceptin treatment and then lost interest keeping the blog updated. Far from it.
It's because since September 26 I became absolutely fed up, frustrated, very disheartened and totally pissed off so expressing all that on my blog during the month of October would have made me look like a right twat and tosser.
I am in actual fact no closer to my target goal and I've delayed Herceptin because once I start and if I run out of funds before I get the 14 treatments which right about now looks likely, I have to fork out the cost of another loading dose.
I wonder if I can say f**k right about now on my blog and not get reported?

Anywho October surprisingly was harder for me than I expected.
Everyone knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and if you don't I want to know what planet you are from) and ads ran relentlessly which I found hard to watch; Home and Away had Martha fighting breast cancer (and I am not a big fan of H&A but I saw it on the only channel that works on our poor excuse for a tv at work during my breaks) which made me feel more than uncomfortable; I had writers block and became a blog snob so the last thing I wanted to do was post on my blog and I will confess that earlier this year I registered to be a Pink Ribbon volunteer but instead on Pink Ribbon Day ashamedly I sat by myself like a hermit in a cafe at Mt Wellington sipping on my trim latte with one sugar (go figure) not giving a damn and cursing the 'c' word.

October was also the month I was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and those that should have remembered didn't and what should have been a celebrated milestone wasn't. So that kind of almost sucked the biggest muddah chucka kumera until the day before my first anniversary my friend Karyn sent me an email that opened the floodgates, unleashed the dragon (LOL), cleared the demons and slowed the profanities out of my mouth.
Karyn's message consisted of only 10 words yet they were priceless particularly at a time when I wanted to slump around with a permanent one finger salute to the world.
It was exactly what the doctor ordered and what I needed to hear because I was about to lie down and give up the fight.

The first anniversary of a cancer sufferer I am not sure will be easier on the fifth or the tenth anniversary but I will find out and will share it with others.

JUST STAND UP for Cancer!!!!
(check out the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr5mvNPyV1I)

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