After the shock of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis at just 31-years-old, loving mother of four Sarah Pedler new she had a challenging road ahead.
“I found a lump in my left breast in May 2018 and I made an appointment with my doctor immediately; I was sent for a biopsy and results initially came back negative,” Sarah said.
“The lump continued to grow so I pushed to get retested. After a mammogram, MRI and another biopsy, doctors confirmed the worst and five months later, on November 8, my world came crashing down and I was diagnosed with stage 3 locally advanced and node lobular breast cancer.”
With no family history of breast cancer, the diagnosis panicked Sarah, who faced an uncertain future and had to break the devastating news to her family.
“One of the hardest things was coming home and telling my fiancé through tears and sobs. Another difficult challenge was of course telling my children; my 12-year-old didn’t take it well and ended up seeing the school counsellor,” Sarah said.
“My sister who was there when I got the results was a super star and held it together and my parents struggled with the news and felt extremely helpless as they live three hours away.”
Sarah’s treatment began with six months of chemotherapy and regular hormone injections followed by a mastectomy of her right breast and lymph node clearance. The next step was five weeks of radiotherapy and Sarah faced another challenge as she had to travel over four hours to Adelaide from Whyalla to receive this treatment.
“Thankfully, my breast care nurse informed me about the Under Our Roof homes available for rural cancer patients like myself.”
The Hospital Research Foundation’s Under Our Roof homes were specifically built for rural cancer patients needing to travel to Adelaide for treatment. The homes ease the burden for patients who are already facing the difficulty of a cancer diagnosis.
“Staying in one of the Under Our Roof homes was a God send. It eased the burden of having to find accommodation, meaning that myself and my family were able to stay in a secure home without the financial stress.
“This was a huge burden off myself and my family, especially living four hours away.”
The Under Our Roof homes would not be possible without the support of Mercer SuperCycle.
Sign up today to make a difference in the lives of country cancer patients like Sarah.