Catch 22

I am supposed to have echocardiograms every three months because Herceptin (my regular three-weekly drug of choice) may damage the workings of my heart so I need a constant check on its health. I was due to have my last echo in early November but didn’t receive an appointment. I phoned up and was told that they “knew about me” but were really busy, so…not to phone again, I should wait until I heard from them. In a compliant patient attitude  very unlike me…that’s what I did…Big mistake, it appears my echo appointments were discontinued because “usually” Herceptin is used for a shorter period than I am having it for and so the wrong assumptions were made on the appointments system which caused me to be removed.

So…nurse arrives to administer Herceptin yesterday but reluctant because I am “out of date” with my echo. She spends about  half an hour phoning around until some kind soul in oncology takes the problem on. It is agreed that I could have yesterday’s dose of Herceptin but would not be “allowed” more until I have an echo. They will phone me when they can squeeze an appointment out of cardiology for me.

I have since received a call giving me an appointment, the ONLY one available before my next Herceptin infusion which is at the one time (sod’s law) that it is really difficult/impossible for me to manage as I have other treatment then. If I don’t have echo in that pre-Christmas week then I can’t have Herceptin in that pre-Christmas week either and then we lurch into a bank holiday nightmare. I am told that there is absolutely no chance of having any other slot – this is one that has been “especially created for me”. Ha! – I thought…I will phone myself and see if I can get any joy…but what do you know..the phone is “un-manned” with no message facility or it is permanently engaged…or at least it has been for the past 4 hours…and people wonder how I fill my days!


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