Had herceptin today. Think it was the fourth one. Losing count. But it's not important. I still have about a year to go, every three weeks.
Anyway, while I was there one of the admin people asked who was having herceptin and could go to a lunch. The head nurse indicated me. The lunch is on Wednesday, organised by pharmaceutical company Roche.
Anyway, the head nurse told me how wonderful the company is, how they treat them, most recently to a weekend at Sun City and all the nurses from the centre went.
Well, everything was fine till I got the call from Roche later today. When they woman told me they supply/manufacture Herceptin, I got angry, saying they need to bring down the cost and that although it is expensive in the UK and Canada, it is still cheaper than here in South Africa and that ethically I did not think it was right I come to the lunch, to be treated by them.
Now I think I was rude. I told her I would come back to her. But really. The lunch is to raise money for a mobile mammgraphy unit to service the rural areas. Great. But what about herceptin? Not even middle class people can afford it. I cannot begin to afford it, what often amounts to about R10 000 a month as I have it every three weeks and each time involves a payment of about R4500-something..... each treatment costs R23000 and the medical aid pays 80%.The only reason I am having herceptin is because my family is paying for my contribution. Without their generosity, I would not be having the treatment.
So when is Roche going to make it more accessible to everyone, so everyone can have this amazing preventative treatment for hormone-positive breast cancer?
I fully support the fundraiser to raise funds for a mobile mammography unit. Great idea. Just hope they have the people to read those mammograms... anyway, I would not be helping raise funds. I would be a guest. "Oh, an exhibit," said a friend, who seemed to think I should go so I could meet others on herceptin.
So what do you think?
By the time I get responses I will have decided what to do as I said I would tell her tomorrow. And the lunch is on Wednesday.
As my friend said: "I have the whole night to toss and turn and keepn changing my mind".