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.


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?!!

15 December 2008


Firstly thank you ever so much for your continued support and extended love during the most memorable (for want of a better word) time of our lives - even after all the blogging and interviews etc still there are never ever words that describe the gratitude!!!
Secondly, fantastic news regarding Herceptin.
Herceptin and service will be fully funded for the full 12 months in the public sector.
My oncologist is referring me back to the public system to receive this. I will be on a waiting list so I don't know how long that will be until MOH and DHB work out payments and prioritisation of patients due to staffing levels. So I continue to pay until the administration has been sorted and I may seek reimbursement from November 19 onwards. That will be interesting but I don't really care about the reimbursement to be honest.
Herceptin not service will be fully funded for the full 12 months in the private sector.
If I am unable to get back to the public sector I will continue my treatments where I am at (Mercy Hospital) and again until MOH work out and start payments for Herceptin I will only have to pay for the staffing and service in the private sector which compared to the cost of the drug was piss all...!!! So I continue to pay until the administration has been sorted and I may seek reimbursement from November 19 onwards. Again I really really don't care about the reimbursement.
I have enough funds to continue in the private sector and in the meantime my oncologist would have sent the paperwork with his recommendations to MOH and then DHB work out the staffing levels and beds etc over in the public sector or if DHB cannot manage the transfers I will remain in the private sector for fully funded 12 months of Herceptin. Of course MOH and DHB will need to make sure that it happens within a 4 week timeframe as patients cannot go without Herceptin any longer than that. Otherwise MOH will have to pay another loading dose.
The sleepless nights have been minimised by the fact that I no longer have to worry about how soon the cancer might return because I only had enough for 6 treatments, thanks to National...!!! Finally a man who is delivering good on election promises!
To all those super negative opinionated pratts that rant and rave on about the drain on society now this Herceptin is being fully funded and who haven't had the pleasure of being cut open, sliced, poisoned and burnt....

On a nicer everyone who crossed my path, laughed, cried and supported me and shaped my life during my journey I sincerely thank you and bid you
good health, the merriest of Christmases and plenty of prosperous New Years's to come to you and your loved ones..

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