Serena's Story

Many patients requiring chemotherapy spend numerous hours in hospital receiving treatment, one such person is Serena Williams who has so far received 35 rounds of chemotherapy.

Serena has been battling bowel and liver cancer since 2020. A mum to two daughters and grandmother to baby Finley, Serena was given the devastating news by her doctor that she had terminal cancer, and that she probably had a month to live.

Serena said, “I’ve been a fighter and a hard worker all of my life, so I told my doctor a month didn’t suit me at all. As a single mother I have worked so hard for so long that I haven’t really had time to smell the roses! I was determined to survive a lot longer than that.¬”

The close bond Serena has with her daughters was all the more reason for this brave lady to do whatever she could to spend more time with her family. With her “fighting spirit” and what she describes as a “selfish attitude”, Serena was determined to prove her doctors wrong. It has paid off as Serena said, “My doctors are in awe of my current condition. They classify me as stable and my cancer hasn’t spread further.”

To alleviate time spent in hospital, Serena has had a catheter inserted into her arm and can now receive her treatment via a device known as a CADD pump. The CADD pump delivers chemotherapy at a controlled dose and rate, allowing Serena to receive her treatment in the comfort of her own home if she wishes.

Marissa Ledlin, Day Treatment Centre Nurse Unit Manager, said, “Staff and patients in the Day Treatment Centre are extremely thankful for the opportunity to purchase four new CADD pumps from funding provided from the 2021 Dry July campaign.

“This type of chemotherapy delivery is becoming increasingly common. It will ensure every patient that needs treatment to be infused by a CADD pump has access to one in the future.”

Serena is also very appreciative of Dry July funding, knowing that with the assistance of the CADD pump, life is a lot easier for her and many other patients.

Serena concludes, “I can’t speak highly enough of the Mater and all the nurses who do a wonderful job, sometimes under so much pressure. For me, they are worth their weight in gold!”

Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital



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