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Holly by Cass – A chemo hero

Published on December 4, 2023.

Story from Holly by Cass – A chemo hero

The love I have for Holly is endless & our bond is like no other.

Holly is my beautiful daughter, she’s just turned 11, a Maltese cross and is a big sister to our 8 year old Cavoodle Ivy.

Holly loves to EAT! it’s one of her most favourite things She’s addicted to Chicken. She loves gardening too, rubbing her face in dirt & exploring in the backyard. She loves sleeping on her back & snoring loudly. Holly’s favourite person is her Grandad! She gets so excited when Grandad comes to visit, they get upto all sorts of mischief.

In late May 2023, we noticed Holly had a paw pad that was quite red with a bit of a crusty edge. We weren’t overly concerned, we thought she’d either licked her foot too much or that she may have hurt her pad on one of our walks. She was acting as normal so we didn’t think there was anything major.

Off to the vet we went. After a multitude of tests and a biopsy our world came to a complete stop.

Holly was diagnosed with – High Grade Mast Cell Tumour on her right front paw.

Our vet said she had 4 months! She’d be gone by Christmas.

We were referred to SASH Western Sydney (Prospect) for a consultation & that’s when everything changed.

From the moment you ring to book your appointment you feel a real sense of calm, compassion and deep understanding, the ladies on the reception desk are lovely. For us it was the most difficult uncertain phone call that we have made.

We met with Dr Johanna our Oncologist

From the first meeting at SASH with Johanna we felt like Holly was in the best possible place. Johanna explained all the different types of treatment and procedures available, she answered all of our questions and really took her time in explaining things in everyday language.

Holly underwent a series of tests and further Biopsies to ensure the right course of treatment could start.

At this stage we were told Holly had roughly 10 months.

Holly had Chemotherapy every fortnight for 4 months at SASH via an IV & had Chemotherapy tablets with steroids daily at home.

During an incredibly difficult time there was a silver lining, Holly was allowed to have her sister Ivy sit right next to her during all of her treatments. This made it so much easier for Holly to be poked & prodded and Ivy to understand that her best friend was going to be ok.

After 4 months of intense treatment Holly GRADUATED CHEMOTHERAPY!! The cancer was gone. The paw pad was completely healed.

Holly recently had her 3 month post treatment check-up. The Oncologists Johanna said that she hadn’t seen someone in a long time who had responded and recovered to treatment as well as Holly. Johanna said that she’s healed and recovered so well that it would be hard to tell that Holly had cancer to begin with.

The prognosis for Holly is now YEARS!!

There aren’t enough words invented yet to describe how GREATFUL we are to SASH & Dr Johanna, Dr Vanessa, Hayley & Sarah for taking such wonderful care of our Holly & giving her back her quality of life.

Thankyou so very much we tell everyone we know about SASH and the exceptional experience we had in our darkness days.

Forever greatful, forever thankful

Cass, Andrew, Holly & Ivy

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