“The care and support I received from Rennie Grove nurses was invaluable. They were so compassionate and reassuring.”
When Sarah Cassidy was told in 2012 that, following a course of chemotherapy, her breast cancer was highly unlikely to return she breathed a sigh of relief and got on with her busy life, continuing to build the successful estate agency that she’d established in 2009. Then it came back with a vengeance. However despite facing adversity both Sarah and her business have gone from strength to strength. Here is her story.
“In 2016, I began to experience severe pain in my hip,” Sarah explained. “I got on with things for as long as I could but when the pain became unbearable I went to the doctor and received the shock diagnosis that cancer had returned. This time, it was in both lungs, liver and extensively in my bones.
“Despite going through another round of chemo, I was still in such pain so I went back to my GP and it was at this point that I was introduced to Rennie Grove Hospice Care nurses as my GP felt they could really help me.
“Lyn, the Rennie Grove nurse, came round to my house and was great. She gave me medication to relieve my pain as well as some helpful advice on other pain management techniques. The pain relief made such a positive difference, it was amazing and both the nurses that visited were incredible. They offered support to me and my partner and it was so reassuring to know they were there whenever we needed them.
“Unfortunately my problems did continue and eventually my hip broke but once back at home from hospital, Lyn from came back to visit to make sure my pain relief was sufficient and that I was comfortable.
“I found that working all the way through my treatment really helped me to focus – I set up Place Estate Agents in 2009, my baby and I really enjoyed having something to focus on.
“As well and providing pain relief and helping with pain management methods, Rennie Grove nurses put me in touch with complementary therapists and I enjoyed some reflexology that really helped. It was so reassuring to know that I could call on them at any time. They also worked very closely with my GP, making recommendations and taking joint decisions about the best medication for my condition and providing me with reassurance when I felt worried about the implications of taking such strong doses of medication.
“Rennie Grove supported me for around four months and were absolutely great. When the time came to be discharged from Rennie Grove’s services I felt ready because I was back on track, fighting and this was a really positive feeling after all I’d been through.
“Along with Rennie Grove, the medical help I’ve received, the support from my partner and my sister (who is a nurse practitioner), have all aided my recovery immensely. In December 2018, I finished chemotherapy and the great news was I was in total remission. I put this down to a very positive mind set, amazing support and focusing on my business as opposed to my illness.
“Most people think that Rennie Grove only care for people at the end of their life and unfortunately there can be a stigma or fear around the term ‘hospice’ or ‘end of life care’. I want to let people know that Rennie Grove’s nurses are there for more than that and people shouldn’t feel scared if they are put in contact with them as Rennie Grove can help people at different stages of their cancer journey.
“I believe that ‘nobody is promised tomorrow’ and I am living my life to the absolute fullest. I love going to work and the challenges that I face daily and recognise that many people face more difficult challenges.
“Summing up Rennie Grove Hospice Care I would say their nurses were invaluable to me, so compassionate, understanding and reassuring too. And that is why I am looking at ways to raise funds and support the charity via my business and with the help of our clients. I want to help make sure that more people can get the important help they need – so watch this space for developments.”
Sarah’s estate agency Place is also supporting Rennie Grove as part of our Commercial Partnership programme.