Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin is a multi-published novelist and former newspaper reporter who worked in public relations for more than 20 years. She retired from her day job in 2016 after being diagnosed with primary lateral sclerosis, a degenerative motor neuron disease, and stage 4 ovarian cancer. She spends her days writing and loving her family.


Patient With Cancer Answers Common Questions and Dispels Myths About Clinical Trials

October 20, 2021

The number one reason to participate in a clinical trial is because someone has to do it so new drugs can be developed to treat and even cure cancer. All of the drugs we have now were made possible by patients who were brave enough to try those drugs.

Patients With Cancer Deserve Respect, Civility and a Voice in Their Treatment

October 06, 2021

Health care isn’t something that is done to you. You participate in it. You’re part of the team. If your team is letting you down, say so. If they don’t do better, consider seeking health care providers who do include you in the conversation.

PET Scan Stirs Old Memories, Prompts New Dreams for Patient With Cancer

August 18, 2021

There’s been joy in the journey, along with the drugs, the endless waiting in chilly waiting rooms, the lab work, shaving my head twice, the CT scans every three months and the steady hum of anxiety in my brain. The time with my husband, kids and grandkids has made it worth every minute of cancer treatment. Bring it on, cancer.

Making Room for Miracles And Modern Medicine as a Patient With Stage 4 Cancer

July 20, 2021

“I could’ve implemented my bucket list, backed away from writing contracts, outlined my end-of-life wishes and prepared my children for my possible, impending demise,” writes a woman with ovarian cancer. “Instead, I signed a four-book publishing contract and started a full-time career as a fiction writer.”

When Oncologists Retire, Their Patients Must Learn to Embrace Change

May 06, 2021

“We’re all blessed that there are so many dedicated, caring health care professionals willing to step in and fill the void when members of the team move or retire,” writes a patient with cancer. “We can never forget how tough a gig it is or say thank you enough.”

Cancer Treatment Sucks, Even When it Works

April 05, 2021

It makes sense to take stock of cancer treatment — its physical, emotional, and spiritual cost, and what people want out of life going forward. Here, a patient with cancer writes how It’s OK to say, “Cancer treatment sucks and I hate it, even when the big prize, our buddy NED, has taken up residence in our bodies.”

Celebrating A ‘Cancerversary’ In A COVID-19 World

January 16, 2021

It’s okay for me to not feel like celebrating my 5-year cancerversary in a world that is upside down and backward because of COVID-19. Yes, I’m grateful and blessed, but I’m not bullet-proof. I’m human. I don’t have to feel guilty. None of us do.

How COVID-19 Robs Patients with Cancer of Their Precious Time

October 06, 2020

Time is a valuable commodity, especially for patients with cancer who may find themselves with limited time or limited free time to enjoy the things they loved prior to their cancer. But the COVID-19 pandemic is robbing patients of that precious time.

Make Exercise Work For You

January 29, 2020

Maintaining a good self-image in the face of body changes caused by cancer and chemotherapy is tough. However, exercise was able to boost one cancer patient’s morale and self-image.

Appreciating The Gift of Time is the Best New Year Resolution For This Cancer Patient

January 15, 2020

Patients with cancer are acutely aware of how time is finite, and that's ok. They can appreciate the fit of time all the better.