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Doctors said this Melbourne dad had an STI when he actually had cancer

2 weeks ago 8

Multiple doctors thought the rash on this musician’s legs was a sexually transmitted infection, blaming it on the promiscuous lifestyle associated with being young and part of Melbourne’s jazz scene.

But 28-year-old Josh Kelly was happily married and had not had another sexual partner for 10 years.

Mr Kelly eventually sought different opinions and discovered last month that the irritated skin was actually Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

He’s angry that the cancer wasn’t discovered sooner, leaving it to grow in his lungs for two years.

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After first discovering the rash in June 2018, accompanied with itchiness, inflammation, fatigue and night sweats, Mr Kelly underwent countless STI screenings, including one for HIV.

“It felt like a sweeping generalisation about young people being really promiscuous. Neither of us have been with anyone else in 10 years,” the Melbourne man told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Kelly has been with his wife Maggie for a decade. They have a young son, 18-month-old son Remy.

Doctors then thought it was a staph infection.

It wasn‘t until Mr Kelly saw a naturopath that he started thinking his condition was more serious.

The naturopath referred Mr Kelly to an immunologist.

On August 19 this year, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma — a type of lymphoma in his white blood cells.

It was also discovered that Mr Kelly had two tumours deep in his lung cavity, one more than 7cm long.

“Many of you know that I’ve been struggling with some health issues over the past two years,” the saxophone player told his followers on Facebook.

“I’ve tried hard to not let it impact on my performance, but behind the scenes it has been a struggle.

“Moments before stepping on stage at last years jazz fest I was incredibly nauseous from the antibiotics they had me on (again). I’ve battled fatigue before rehearsals and insomnia during tours. Chronic itchiness has interrupted my flow on stage.

“Yesterday I finally received a confirmed diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The news is a bit of a shock, but I … have the support of my community and this legend next to me.”

The disease is usually curable — as long as it is diagnosed early enough.

Luckily, doctors are confident that Mr Kelly will pull through.

‘They’re really confident that this is treatable, but this is still going to be with me for the rest of my life,’ he said.

But living under Melbourne’s stage four lockdown as a musician is hard. As a result, friends of the Kelly family have launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover medical treatment costs, which has gathered a staggering $46,000 so far.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out and to the people who have donated,” Mr Kelly said.

“Being a full time muso and creative small business owner means I‘ve never known income security or sick pay.

“But the way y’all have stepped up has just shown me even more that I must continue to dedicate myself to the service of music, art, and community; once I (fingers crossed) get to the other side of this battle.”

Mr Kelly acknowledged that the disease is harder to diagnose than most cancers — Hodgkin’s lymphoma is often referred to as “the silent killer” because it can’t be discovered in a generic blood test. But he still wished doctors had figured it out sooner.

“It’s so frustrating,” the young father said.

“I put my trust in doctors assuming they were doing the best they could do. I understand it’s hard to diagnose, but why was it not on their radar this entire time?”

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