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#sashcancerhero: Jayde Free: Stella Free

Published on November 28, 2022.

Story from #sashcancerhero: Jayde Free: Stella Free

To write about Stella’s Cancer story it’s important to first understand Stella, without her cancer, and what she means to me. When I adopted Stella I was living in a tiny studio apartment in South Yarra, I had just broken up with a very subpar boyfriend and asked my job what they would think about me getting a dog and bringing it to work every day. They said yes and the search started. I went and visited Stella at her foster home and she acknowledged me with her trademark side-eye, she was a judgmental little sass queen and I loved her from the moment I saw her.

From that moment Stella and I have worked three different jobs together, met my now husband lived in three different states, and accidentally adopted a fur brother (much to her disdain). She is my little shadow and every person that knows me knows I come along with Stella, we’re a package deal.

It was Easter this year when I first discovered a bump on the back of Stella’s right leg. She still had her appetite and was happy enough so I wasn’t too concerned until the next day I felt a similar lump on her left leg. We were interstate visiting family but I booked the vet for as soon as we were home.
By the time we arrived back in Adelaide three days later the lymph nodes around Stella’s neck had started to swell up. I will never forget the phone call that told us it was Lymphoma or the heartbreak that came with it. My way of coping was to research, research, and more research. The first on my list was the “best pet oncologists in Australia” and SASH North Ryde kept popping up. Lymphoma moves quickly so we started Stella on the CHOP protocol at a specialist vet in Adelaide and started planning our relocation to Sydney.

The knowledge of Dr. Nick Lai and his entire team assured us that we had made the right decision. At Stella’s first visit she was shivering in the waiting room, to three months later trotting into the waiting room with “awhooowooowoo’s” to greet Dr. Nick. Yes, the Sash team has made Stella “a woo girl”. I mean she still doesn’t love it, but in their defense, Stella only loves three things; me, ball, and chicken.

Stella is now in remission and is doing better than ever. We know that the remission won’t last forever, but we do know that when the awful big C raises its ugly head again we will have the Sash team there to help us every step of the way.

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