Belinda, from the South West of England, started receiving care for stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer HER2+ in February 2020. Her treatment was transferred through her oncologist to Sciensus in February 2021 so she could receive her medication at home. She is now clear of cancer.
Belinda’s cancer was aggressive and she had already received six rounds of chemotherapy via infusion at her local chemotherapy unit.
She says that the experience up to that point had been fairly stressful as she lived quite a long distance from the hospital and used patient transport. This meant being in a car with other patients for a long time – at least an hour each way.
In February 2021, during the national COVID-19 lockdown, Belinda’s medication delivery changed from being administered in a clinical environment to her home, with the aim of keeping her safer during her treatment.
A positive shift to treatment at home
“Having my treatment shifted from hospital to personalised care at home by Sciensus completely took away the worry of travel and being in communal settings while in a vulnerable condition,” said Belinda. “The Sciensus nurses were very kind and attentive, which felt really important.”
The Sciensus nurses brought the medication to Belinda’s home themselves and she felt reassured that the service was following public health guidelines on COVID and PPE, and only one person was coming into her home. “I was extremely nervous as I hadn’t had people in my house during the pandemic,” said Belinda, “But the Sciensus nurses changed into their COVID-safe PPE outfits on the doorstep to ensure everyone was kept safe.”
Belinda’s particular medication is painful and given over five minutes in the upper thigh. She says that while in hospital she would sit in a chair but at home she could lie on the sofa to be more comfortable. “The nurse had to stay for 2 hours of observation,” said Belinda. “At first I was very nervous, but eventually it felt more like a relaxed social occasion with putting the kettle on.”
Belinda said that she could ask the nurses anything she wanted to about any reactions or problems she had, and that “the treatment really was fabulous. It was an easy-to-use service geared towards the patient and I only wish that everyone with cancer knew they might be able to have their chemo treatment at home. My treatment was completed in June 2021 and I’m so grateful for the support I received from Sciensus.”