NZ hospital system

Way back when I decided to go to NZ to recuperate, I asked my oncologist and nurse at Guy's Hospital if they would write a referral so I could see if I could get the same treatment in NZ.  They reluctantly agreed but thought it would be impossible as I'd need so many tests and scans I'd be back in the UK before they could sort my treatment out.  I didn't hold out much hope but pushed for it as I really didn't want to risk missing out on treatment unnecessarily.

Treatment suite - ready with my snacks!
Christchurch District Health Board and Christchurch Hospital Medical Oncology, you are amazing.  The receptionist was so lovely and responsive and forwarded my query on to Dr Jennifer McLachlan.  Jennifer quickly let me know what test results she needed to see from Guy's Hospital, booked me an appointment with her on Monday 30 January, and treatment on Thursday 7 February.  On meeting her, she was absolutely lovely - an oncologist who had time to listen to my questions and give me informed answers - thank you Jennifer.

Treatment for the type of metastatic breast cancer I have is the same in NZ as it is in the UK and is funded by the government.  There were just a few differences: no ID wrist bands at reception and no delay waiting for the treatment to start.   The team had all three drugs ready and put them out at the same time, with no cover on them.  In the UK, they usually cover the pertuzumab and trastuzumab and only bring them out when they're ready to administer them. At the end of the treatment, they didn't flush the porta cath with heparin. All in all, treatment's done and my next one will be a little delayed and will be on Monday 11 March when I'm back in the UK.

The building behind is Christchurch Hospital - fab location.


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