When we first spoke to Kellie 12 months ago; she had been through the wringer! Her cancer journey started in November 2017 when she was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. The next three years were filled with harrowing periods of chemotherapy, operations, broken bones and countless hospital stays.
Then, in July 2021, Kellie's world was completely transformed when she joined a clinical trial at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne. To check out Kellie’s original story visit: stvfoundation.org.au/blog/how-a-clinical-trial-gave-kellie-her-life-back
The past 12 months have been, as Kellie describes, happily boring. She still visits St Vincent’s every week to receive her trial drug. She calls it her ‘Thursday outing’. “It’s always nice to have a chat with the girls, to have a laugh or share a recipe and talk about our favourite movies and TV, just normal stuff.”
Kellie’s nursing training has come in handy. Part of her treatment regime includes self-administering bone marrow stimulating injections and giving herself a sub-cutaneous immunoglobin (a blood product) at home.
Photo: Kellie with St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne Oncology nurse, Cameron Brent
Despite an ongoing sinus infection, a constant cough and a permanently blocked nose, Kellie says she feels very lucky.
“I pinch myself that I’ve finally had such a clear run. The myeloma is asleep, may it rest in peace! I still have to be careful because of all the bone damage. I do often feel quite tired, but every day is a blessing.
“I don’t sweat the small stuff. I’m so grateful to be alive. I married my handsome prince; I have a beautiful, talented daughter, I’ve got the fairy-tale. I want to see my daughter Daisy get married and grow old with my husband, John.”
Kellie cannot give enough praise to her oncologist, Hang Quach and the St Vincent’s team.
“Hang is Yoda, they broke the mould when they made her. She has an incredible mind and she’s really invested in her patients. The whole cancer centre team have become like friends.
“Thank you to the St Vincent’s team for giving me my life.”
PHOTO 1: Kellie with her daughter Daisy and her husband John.
PHOTO 2: Kellie with her daughter Daisy
The importance of Dry July
Kellie says everyone is so grateful for the support Dry July gives to patients going through treatment for cancer at St Vincent’s.
“Most people know someone who has been touched by cancer. The worst thing in the world is for a parent to have to have a conversation about cancer. A few nice items purchased through Dry July really helps to ease the burden of what we’re going through.”