Repeatedly on ‘pending’ list for chemo

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I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in late October, and was given a treatment plan of weekly chemotherapy followed by mastectomy, and potentially radiotherapy afterwards. This all came as a bit of a shock as I had just turned 25 with no family history of breast cancer. 

I started chemotherapy two weeks ago but don’t have any firm dates for my next appointments. When I speak to the nurses at the hospital they say I’m on a waiting list and they will try and fit me in last minute if there are cancellations. However, they also said there were 37 people on the pending list for a chemotherapy appointment last Friday so I’m not feeling very hopeful! 

Is it normal to always be ‘pending’ my next appointment once I’ve already started treatment. As my chemo is meant to be weekly I’m worried what will happen if they can’t fit me in. The constant wait for an appointment each week is quite stressful and has also caused issues for my work as I don’t know when I’ll be suddenly asked to drop everything and drive to the hospital. 

  • Hi Essa, are you on weekly Paclitaxel? I would check with the nurses if there is genuinely a risk you could miss your weekly slot. Based on this you could raise a complaint with pals.

    in the meantime you could talk to your oncologist about your plan (my local hospital doesn’t routinely off weekly Paclitaxel due to capacity issues). 

    If you are on a taxane, then there are two other options Firstly Paclitaxel can be administered every 2 or 3 weeks in a full dose - this means you only have 1 visit per round, secondly, they could switch to docetaxol which is every 3 weeks (but whilst docetaxol is doable it does have more side effects).

    Just some thoughts xxx