Patient story – Kellie

If I had to have Breast Cancer, I’m glad I had it here. 

I wrote and scribbled this line out over half a dozen times, but try as I did, it just felt like there was no better way to express my thoughts.

September 22 – National Day of Mourning. I went to the gym and because the rest of the day was free, I tried a little bit harder than usual. Arms. Aaargh!

I got home and instead of the usual race through the shower, getting dressed, breakfast and racing out the door, I had time. I opened the mail. You know those beautiful 50th ‘gifts’ you get – scape your poo, check your boobs. I was opening the BCA envelope as I massaged a ‘pulled muscle’, which, come to think of it, was actually, sort of, in my breast. Hmmm.

A week later and the ‘pulled muscle’ hadn’t subsided, so I made a call to get it checked. I figured it was just a cyst and they would drain it. It was a bit like a golf ball.

Mammogram. Ultrasound. “I’m just going to get the senior technician to come in” …. “I’m just going to get the rostered Doctor to come in”

October 7 – “You have Breast Cancer”

I met Dr Rice, Jasmin and Jo the very next week. The warmth and care were the first things I noticed. The knowledge, thoroughness and concern followed as we sat down in the appointment.

More tests, biopsies, scans. All in one place. Appointments seemingly just appeared, as Jasmin slipped out and organised them. Those early days I just wanted to be told where to go and what to do.

Results. Dr Rice explained the surgery (single mastectomy with axillary clearance) and why other alternatives were ruled out.

Surgery done. Both Dr Rice and Jasmin were amazing supports – firstly making sure that I got to attend the cricket (I’m a cricket tragic, so 4 days post-surgery I made my way there. With drains. The poor security guard).

I was also able to still be a clown in The Christmas Pageant. 12 days post-surgery I ‘ran’ the streets of Adelaide. What an absolute buzz!

From there I met with Dr Joshi. Again, how fabulous is it having everything under the one roof?!

Jasmin came in to see me during the first Chemo session – to check on how I was settling into the process (and to see the clown photos). She has continued to be both a friendly face and ear throughout the whole process.

Paclitaxel is finished and now I embark on AC. The cold capping has kept a reasonable amount of my hair. The Cancer Centre nurses have been wonderful. For all the fast-paced logistics they juggle, as a patient you are made to feel like everything revolves around you. The chats during the process – which focus on everyday things, about the weekend, a concert… all the normal stuff. It’s just so lovely.

When the Chemo is finished, I’m off to Radiotherapy. I’m sure I’ll meet more beautiful, caring, genuine people there too.

If I had to have Breast Cancer, I’m glad I had it here. 


  • Please note: The Northern Breast Centre at Calvary Central Districts is part of the Calvary SA Breast and Endocrine Service, which also incorporates the Breast and Endocrine Centre at Calvary North Adelaide.