Herceptin at home

Last week I had my first visit from Healthcare at Home who will be administering my 3 weekly Herceptin injections. It seems they operate quite independently from the hospital so I had to go through a lot of information with the nurse who visited me. She had called me the previous day to indicate what time she might arrive and I had received a booklet in the post to allow me to complete all of my personal information and to keep track of my treatment.

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On treatment day, the nurse phoned to let me know she was running late and would be with me an hour later. It turns out she has a rather large geographical area to cover and the traffic was bad so I couldn’t really complain. She eventually arrived, armed with several bags and a massive sharps box. After initial introductions, measurement of blood pressure, temperature and a few questions I got my injection which took a good 5 minutes to complete. The plus side was that it barely hurt at all. This could also have been due to the fact that the drug had in the meantime come to room temperature.

After the injection, the nurse continued to ask me questions and she recorded everything electronically. She explained that the Herceptin visits used to last 2 hours but that they have very recently changed to just 1 hour. Before leaving, she checked my blood pressure and temperature one more time and that was the end of the visit.

Unfortunately, I have suffered some side effects this time, including a sore tongue, loss of tastebuds, bouts of sneezing, a runny nose and feeling nauseous on occasions. In addition, the skin on my feet has been peeling and causing my toes to be quite sore. I have also noticed sometimes I have pins and needles in my left hand. Whether this is all down to Herceptin is hard to know as I also started taking Tamoxifen a few weeks ago. Time will tell.

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2 thoughts on “Herceptin at home

  1. Hi Sarah, I was interested to read this, as I have also recently started getting a sub-cutaneous injection of Herceptin, rather than an infusion, and I’m finding it so much quicker. I didn’t realise you could have them at home, though – I have mine at the hospital, because I’m on a clinical trial. Whilst I don’t personally recognise most of the side-effects you mention, except the runny nose and sneezing, there’s such a long list… Wishing you well on your ‘new’ treatment, and I hope the side effects calm down very soon.

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