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"Amazing Chemotherapy Treatment"

About: Karratha Health Campus / Outpatients & Day Treatment

(as the patient),

Since being diagnosed with bowel cancer in late 2020 my life was quickly uprooted from Karratha and relocated to Perth for specialist care in the private sector. After undergoing initial radiation and two cycles of chemotherapy treatment in Perth my young family (my beautiful wife and 5yr old and 6-month-old sons) and I yearned to be back in Karratha. We made the decision to return to Karratha to return to our “normal life” and I would then continue with chemotherapy treatment in Perth, flying down every 3 weeks (under PATS). This decision, whilst sensible for my family, caused so much stress for us all for the trips to Perth I would be away from them. Having to manage travel plans, find suitable accommodation, buy all my healthy produce and cook for myself and the major fact of Covid 19 in the community was making us all anxious and stressed. Not good for a cancer journey! It was seemingly our only option and one we would have to live with for quite some time as I go through my cancer treatment 😔 

But then something amazing happened! After unfortunately having to be admitted to Karratha Health Campus for 5 days for a complication (after receiving 1 round of chemo in Perth) I fortuitously found out that some chemotherapy treatments were available in Karratha! Not ideal to only find out this way but nevertheless a blessing and possible answer to all our needs to lessen the stress on me and my family. A visit from cancer nurse coordinator Phyllis confirmed I could get my treatment done locally at KHC - amazing! 

As Phyllis was on leave during the transfer process (private to public system), Tracey took over. Tracey was so professional and instantly recognised my predicament of already starting a chemo treatment cycle and needing to continue ASAP with the next round. She moved mountains to hasten my transfer process doing so much work in the background between Perth and Karratha to get the transfer done. I thought it would take 3-4 weeks to get going again with treatment but after taking over my case Tracey was able to significantly reduce this timeframe and next thing I know I was booked in within days to undergo my second round. I was never stressed by it all with Tracey buffering me from this stress and making the process so easy for me. I cannot thank her enough! 


I then came in for my chemo treatment and was met with so much calm and care, coupled with such a clean and vibrant atmosphere in the outpatients area. I was instantly relaxed and so thankful I had none of the stresses I was experiencing from my first travel down to Perth. Tracey and Bride (treatment nurses) were so lovely and could really focus their care on me unlike, my visits to Perth where I could see the nurses there were under the pump and only able to care for you in their best endeavours but nothing like the focused care I received at KHC. 

In summary, I am just so thankful I can remain in Karratha for my chemo treatment, the facility is amazing, the nurses are wonderful and my new treating oncologist Brandon has been first class since taking over my case. Added to this the stress reduction for me and my family, it is a result I could not have wished for! I sincerely hope this service can one day be expanded and advertised more widely so people in my position who live in remote Pilbara locations can stay “home” and have their cancer treatments facilitated here. I am truly grateful. Thank you. 

Responses

Response from Lisa Smith, Operations Manager, West Pilbara, WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara last month
Lisa Smith
Operations Manager, West Pilbara,
WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara
Submitted on 02/09/2021 at 11:38
Published on Care Opinion at 11:56


Dear delphinusrx93,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your very heartfelt compliment to our Chemotherapy Unit, Cancer Nurse Coordinators and Nurses Tracey and Bridie.

It is wonderful to hear that the service provided at Karratha Health Campus allowed your family to return home from Perth for your treatment and that you have instantly felt relaxed and less stressed with the coordination of your treatment.

I am sorry that you only found out by accident during your admission to Karratha Health Campus that you could have your chemotherapy here in Karratha. I would like to investigate this further to identify why this may not have been offered to you sooner. I will endeavour to provide you with an update on your case and invite you to contact me if you would like to discuss this further. My name is Lisa Smith and I am the West Pilbara Operations Manager. I can be contacted on 9144 7652 or via email at Lisa.Smith3@health.wa.gov.au.

The level of care you received is what we aspire to in WACHS and it is rewarding for the staff to receive such feedback.

I will happily pass on your gratitude to the team.

Kind Regards,

Lisa Smith

Operations Manager, West Pilbara

WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara

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